Planning the Hike: Battling my Neuroses

When I first started to plan for the trail, in my heart I wanted my through hike to be this beautiful, organic, granola-and-quinoa-fueled commune with nature. My mind quickly told my heart to get it’s head out of the sand and eventually I came to my senses.

The first inklings of an AT attempt made themselves known over a year ago. Growing up in Maine in an outdoorsy family, I had known about the AT since childhood, but I never imagined I’d have the time or drive to actually shoot for a through hike. But last February my two year position was coming to a close and I was sick and tired of living in a workplace that didn’t have windows. Instead of doing the reasonable thing and just getting a job that involved some level of fenestration, I figured I would go roll around in the woods for six months. My initial thoughts were ones of come-what-may optimism and a general sense of “if I stay positive and healthy everything will just work out.”

Then I remembered what it was I was trying to do. My goal was to haul myself over two thousand miles with everything I needed strapped to my back. Historically, only a small percentage of hikers who set out on the AT make it the whole way, and I lack the existing skill set, physique, and luck to make it through without doing an ungodly amount of pre-planning.

The next nine months were spent working on a farm while I read everything I could, played with my existing gear, did an unhealthy level of research on gear I did not yet have, and took several shakedown hikes to get my body and my stuff dialed in.

I’m not going to write out everything I consulted (we don’t even know if the knowledge gleaned will pay off yet), and I’m certainly not qualified to reiterate anything I have learned with any sense of authority.

I’ll post what’s in my pack to start out once I get everything organized. As it stands it’s all just in one ungodly heap in the basement.

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