Three Weeks From Today . . .

Three weeks from today, I will be on the Appalachian Trail, near the start of my journey.   I’ve had many interesting questions regarding the trip – everything from “Are you bringing a gun?” to “Are you frightened?”  to “Are you ready?”  Well, the answers to the first two questions are no,  and the third, not quite.  Three weeks isn’t a long time, although it might seem so and I still have some items on my list to do, you know, like make 100+ freezer bag dinners.

My gear is pretty much set, and I didn’t actually have to buy too much.  Hiking the Long Trail in 2013 and a section of the AT last summer really helped me in the gear department.  I’ll be carrying the same pack as last year, Osprey Exos 58; sleeping bag and pad, EMS 20 degree bag and Neoair Trekker; and swapping out the two person Henry Shires Double Rainbow tent for the one person Lightheart Gear Solo tent.

Good old Osprey Exos 58, looks like it might need a bath, but otherwise it is good to go.  The new umbrella fits easily in the side.

Good old Osprey Exos 58, looks like it might need a bath, but otherwise it is good to go. The new umbrella fits easily in the side.

Other than the tent change, I am carrying roughly the same amount of clothes, same trailrunners, rain gear, emergency kit, electronics, etc. as I have before.  I will have to actually carry the kitchen this time – Caldera Cone with alcohol stove, plus pot and lid – as I won’t have my partner.  We had an agreement that he would carry the kitchen and I’d carry the tent.  I think I got the heavier end of that deal!

The one new thing I did add to the mix was an umbrella.  I bought a euroSCHIRM Swing Liteflex, similar to the now extremely hard to get Golite Chromedome.  I also made some small adjustable shock cords to rig it to my pack for hands free use.  We’ll see how that goes, but for 8oz. and recommended by a hiker with over 20,000 long distance miles, I figure I can always send it home.

Other than that, it is just food and water.  I’ll have my homemade freezer bag dinners shipped to me, and then resupply breakfast, lunch and snack items along the way.  I was going to make freezer bag breakfasts too, but then it dawned on me one day that I didn’t like hot breakfasts or the time and trouble it took in the morning to make them.  I’d rather eat something cold, pack up and be on my way.  Honestly, I did try the hot breakfasts last summer, and it didn’t work for me.  I don’t actually need the dinners shipped to me, I could resupply along the way, but it is actually cheaper and better variety for me to make my own.  It also keeps my family involved with where I am and the hike in general.

Other than double checking and fine tuning things at the last minute, I’m think I ready to go.  Well, there’s that thing about making 100+ freezer bag dinners.;)

If anyone would like a detailed gear list, let me know.  I’ll try to get a post with a more complete gear list done before I leave.  After I make those dinners.;)


6 thoughts on “Three Weeks From Today . . .

  1. Summerset, I’m so eager to follow your AT journey! You are so incredibly well prepared, but knowing you, I’d expect nothing less! 🙂

    Regarding the addition of an umbrella to your gear, I think you will be so glad you did this. I’ve hiked with an umbrella for years, and find that it keeps me drier than any wearable rain gear that I’ve tried.

    My well wishes and prayers are with you!


    • Thanks, John for your encouraging comments! It is great to hear that you’ve had a good experience with an umbrella, I will certainly try to make it work. I’ve hiked many miles in rain, and anything I can do to be drier is a good thing.

  2. Summerset,

    I have to laugh at one thing– your “here is my pack before thru hiking the AT” shot looks different than all the other similar photos I’ve seen because your pack looks like it has already been through a thru hike! That’s a good thing though, as I think it is a testament to the prior experience you bring with you before starting this endeavor.

    No rain, no Maine!

    We wish you the best of luck and will keep you in our prayers.


    • LOL! That’s dirt from Maine! Guess I should carry that back, huh? No, all my gear isn’t shiny and new, and neither am I, and I agree, it is probably good that I have a few trail miles on me. Thanks so much for the luck and prayers. I am sure I will need both. 😉

  3. You may have already started on your journey, but we will be praying for a safe hike and no snowstorms! Used to follow your sewing adventures – glad that you are still a part of the blogging world. Originally from Maine, now in Michigan – hope you will post pics, never hiked the trail but have seen parts of it. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much El! I do have some snow experience, but I won’t have my full winter gear with me, so right, no snowstorms. LOL. I will do my best to get some pictures on the blog here and there.;)

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