Friday, September 24, 2010

gear talk

so i don't have any gear. at all, really.

i'm thinking that if i'm really gonna do this, i should spend the next couple of days/weeks/whenevers researching gear and making a packing list. i guess i'll start out with a sleeping bag. that's pretty basic, right?

so i'll need one that will keep me super toasty warm. i'm such a wimp when it comes to being cold... i went camping once with a group of friends out by a lake and i had to be at work the next morning. i woke up at 2 a.m. because my face was so cold and i couldn't get back to sleep. i packed up my stuff that night and drove home to sleep in my warm bed for a couple of hours so i'd be able to function at work the next day. i'm SUCH a pansy when it comes to the cold.

so... i'll start checking out the forums and reviews and i'll decide on a sleeping bag first. =)

here are a few people are throwing around:

1. alps +20 this one weighs a little more than 3 lbs but it's only $65! and all the reviews have been great on it. i figure, too, that being rated for 20 degrees, it'll be able to keep me warm? i just think it's awesome that it's only $65. almost makes me want to buy it now. =) side note: booo... it's for people up to 6'6". =( that would give me an extra 12 inches of wiggle room... something maybe i shouldn't have? o.O

2. mountain hardware +15 found this one as well. it's only a 2#er, and it fits up to 6'. i read somewhere that it's nice to have a little extra space at the bottom of your bag for when you want to stuff clothes for the morning down at the bottom to warm them up overnight. this one's $205, though. =/

Thursday, September 23, 2010

on the fence?

so i'm still on the fence as to whether i'm really going to do this (or at least this year).

am i really going to leave in march and hike 2,100 miles to maine?

i need to figure out my gear list... see how much everything will cost. then i'll need to figure out how much everything will weigh.

i need to do a lot of research. i need my rei catalog to come in. =)

brian sent me a facebook message asking if i was still going to do it. i don't want to tell him no.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

staying put

my move back to bristol has been canceled due to not being able to find anywhere that would let me have my dogs. the AT will remain hundreds of miles away. =( 

that's okay, though. i can always drive back and do day hikes with friends and maybe take a long weekend and do a section to mt. rogers. 

i still have to figure out what the heck i'm doing come february... whether i'll stay here in charleston and hike with my cousin next year, or whether i'll set off this spring on my own. 

decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

something new every day...

so i bought a new book today. =) backpacker magazine's "everyday wisdom." i bought it because i don't have any trail common sense - yet. when i first looked into hiking the AT, it never dawned on me that you might want to bear bag & cable your stuff. i would have been eaten the first night, had i not done any research. i'd never thought about taking hiking poles. i was pretty naive.

anyways... so i bought this new book and it should wisen me up. i also bought a backpacking magazine, but i bought it mainly for the ads in the back so i can go online and get a few more catalogs sent to me. :)

i still don't know about taking the dogs with me. a lot of people on the wb forums seem against taking a dog on a thru-hike. most of them are concerned about the health of the dog, while the rest of them seem to just be anti-dog.

i don't know what i would do with them for six months if i didn't take them with me. i hate to say this, but the thought actually crossed my mind of just taking swayze and leaving jolie behind. i don't like to think that's playing favorites... but swayze *is* my firstborn. o.O plus, jolie is a boxer and would overheat really quickly. who knows?

i did start a discussion on a whiteblaze forum today regarding dogs and water supply etiquette. i don't want people on the trail to hate me, so i asked everybody else what they thought of letting your dog(s) swim and play in rivers/streams as long as they were downstream from the main collection site. i just don't understand why some people would get upset about that! bears and raccoons and all the other wildlife POOP AND PEE in the same rivers and streams that we're getting our water from! that's what water purification systems are for, people. i don't know... i just don't understand some people's logic. if they can see the animal playing in the water, they have a conniption fit, but if a bear craps upstream around the bend, it's outta sight, outta mind.

i'm still on the fence about whether to go or not. i'd really, really like to and it's the only thing i've been able to think about lately. i just don't know what i would do with all of my bills and whatnot.

if i could keep my truck until february and then just sell it off, that would be awesome. daddy did mention buying my truck, and that would be the perfect scenario, but i don't want him to feel obligated to buy *my* truck just because he's looking for another truck of his own.

so i wouldn't have rent or electric or cable to pay. i wouldn't have insurance or gas to pay on my truck (maybe just the actual note). i would have to buy my food. i would call the student loan people and get another six-month deferment. i would still have a cell phone bill. i would still have a minimum monthly payment due on the credit card, should i start using it again.

maybe i just need to buy another lottery ticket tomorrow. =)

Monday, September 6, 2010

rei ... check

so i ordered my first rei catalog today... i'm pretty excited about that. =) i probably won't wind up ordering much from them, but it's always fun to build my wishlists. while i would looove to buy all new stuff for my hike and feel like a kid on the first day of school again, i don't think i can necessarily afford to do that (unless i just want to go ahead and name myself max and stay true to my chosen name).

sigh. march, huh? that's not too far away at all.

i have no idea how to get in shape for a thru-hike. i've been thinking that if i stay here in charleston, doing as much walking on the beaches in the sand as i can might halfway prepare me. charleston's just so flat! that would be the one good thing about moving back to bristol...the AT would pretty much be in my backyard. i also have a treadmill that does inclines that i guess i could start practicing on.

i feel like there's so much to learn! lnt practices and freezer bag boiling and bear cabling, oh my!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


so i'm planning my thru-hike. =) i have two options... one, i can go this march and do it relatively solo (since you're never truly alone on the trail), or i can wait until 2012 and go at it with my uncle and cousin. they're thru-hiking when she graduates college.

i wouldn't necessarily be all alone. i'd rather take my dogs. i will be heavily weighing this option as the months progress.

i don't have a trail name as of yet, but i came up with two options this morning on my drive to work... dorothy/dot, in honor of my grandmother, and because while i'll be having fun in the hypothetical land of oz, there's still "no place like home." my other possible trail name is max because unless something drastic happens in the next few months, maxing out my credit card will be exactly how i finance my thru-hike. =)