This is somewhat like getting your ducks in a row, but not quite.
It’s hard to believe that in a few short days I will be on a flight to Atlanta Georgia to begin my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I have been very busy getting ready for it…mostly with preparations, rather than physical training. I will be much less prepared, physically, than last time, but I’m trying not to freak out about it. I know that the majority who show up to the trail will have trained very little, if at all.
After I finished dehydrating what I thought would be enough food for 5-6 months, I organized the meals according to type. Then I went through my mail drop list to see how many days worth of food I needed to put into each drop and put that amount into their respective boxes.
I did have a little freak out moment as I neared the end of the organizing and saw that I was going to be short on meals. Bud and I ran down to Jasper and picked up oatmeal packets, rice and pasta sides, and tuna packets. Thankfully, I had dehydrated a roast, and could add that to the rice and pasta sides for a healthier meal. It was only about 10-20 meals that I was short. All’s well that ends well.
I already purchased my extra pairs of shoes, and put them in boxes about 500-600 miles apart. Bud helped me get my toilet paper and vitamins together, and those went into the boxes as well. My snacks are also organized, and in the boxes along with wet wipes.
All of my food is dehydrated, organized and my boxes are packed. Today, I will package up the last half of my drops into ziplocks and put them in the freezer so that they stay fresh by the time they are sent to me.
It really is a monumental undertaking, but it’s worth it to me to have the organization out of the way, and not have to worry about re-supply along the way. I also know my food is healthier than most out there. Almost all of my meals are gluten free.
There have been other preparations, too. I bought a new sleeping pad and I needed to test it out. I also wanted to test out my sleeping clothes in cold temps to make sure that with my new sleeping pad, I could stay warm on the coldest of nights.
The night I chose to do so, it was 24 degrees outside. It was brutal, and I did have trouble staying warm. I’m not sure why, except that maybe 24 degrees was much colder than anything I experienced on the trail last time? My sleeping pad has a similar ‘R’ rating to my old pad. (The R rating is given based upon how well it keeps you from feeling the cold ground.) I will try to do a review of both of my sleeping pads before I leave. I think it deserves its own blog post if I can get it done.
My friend, Raid, said that I was probably approaching the limit of my equipment for such a cold night. She also pointed out that though I might be uncomfortable, I will be warm enough to not die. She also reminded me that the what’s left of the cold season will most likely only last a few more weeks…not the entire trip.
Like last time, I wanted to do the ‘big chop’ on my hair. Hair is not something I like to worry about on my best days, but I certainly don’t want to mess with it on the trail when I will be going for 3-5 days without a shower, and without access to a blow dryer. I am taking some hair paste, though. 😉
Please understand that I don’t like looking at myself with really short hair, but I am please with the cut. I went to Bud’s barber and she did a really nice job with the cut.
Other preparations include leaving things in order for Bud before I leave. Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning out the hen house. I wanted to spray the inside for mites, as I’ve noticed evidence of them when I have been out there. That is done, and I feel much better for having that in order.
Bud only likes to use my soap. I usually make a big batch, so I go a long time without having to make any. I attempted to make a big batch the other day, and it flopped. I had to throw it out. So, I still have that yet to do before I go.
I’m sorry it has been so long between blog posts. I’ve just been very busy. I’m hoping to do at least a few more posts before I leave.