State of the Hike: 5 week edition
The last three weeks have whizzed by in a blur. I’ve been telling people I was leaving in 6 weeks, but I just looked at a calendar and it’s actually 5 weeks.
… Oh hey, that’s soon! Good thing I’ve been chipping away at my to-do list.
Crossed off the list
What I have done since my last update, for logistics:
- received or printed all permits
- PCT long distance hiking permit
- Canada entry permit
- California fire permit
- ordered & received maps
related to gear:
- received new backpack, tarp, and bivy sack
- purchased miscellaneous gear: guylines, stakes, microspikes
- practiced knots at home: taut-line hitch & bowline
- tested gaiters, sports bra, shirt, skirt, shorts
- received trekking umbrella and promptly broke strut in wind
- washed my down quilt & vest
- fixed up my old Timex 1440 Sports watch
on the food front:
- tested out rehydrating beans with cold water
- tried 2 flavors of BearValley bars and 3 more Pro-Bars
- made sample 2500, 3000, 4000 cal/day meal plans
and with regards to health:
- got fitted for extended wear contracts, been testing them for a week
- had a general check-up
- got (and filled) prescriptions for meds for giardia & general traveler’s diarrhea
- scheduled dental cleaning & women’s health check-up
Still on the list
What I need to do, about food & logistics:
- decide where I’ll be resupplying for the first month
- prepare resupply boxes for first month
- prepare resupply location information to leave for Russell (my resupply manager extraordinaire)
- test out remaining gear
- repair trekking umbrella and test out in sun (no wind, bad)
- buy extra memory cards for my camera
and of course skills:
- practice knots in the field
- practice setting up my tarp
- learn how to
shoot better videosdo everything better on my camera
- decide how to journal on the trail
- practice setting up the tarp some more
- take that Wilderness First Responder course (March 21-30)
- do a multi-day shakedown hike to test my set-up under real conditions
- practice setting up the tarp even more
Shake it down
I will be doing my shakedown hike the week after next, and I am still deciding where to go for it. I’m considering the Ohlone Trail in the East Bay, piecing together a hike through Marin county, or heading down to Henry Coe State Park or Big Sur.
Sort it out
I am still avoiding resupply to some extent (bad Alice), though I finally started detailing out some possible calorie plans. I’m focusing now on what I’ll need to get through my first month on the trail, and will evaluate how I’m doing mileage and taste-wise at that point.
The big picture
I’m feeling good as I come into the home stretch. I am both enjoying the anticipation inherent in the preparation process, and don’t want to try to figure out what every step of the trail will be like. Gotta leave something to do while I’m out there, eh?
Reading through my JMT ‘013 trail journal as I put it online was helpful for my planning. I hadn’t remembered quite how tired I was those first few days out of Yosemite Valley; the end felt so doable that I’d forgotten how much the beginning whooped me.
I had also forgotten how cold I got near the end of the trip. I’m looking forward to seeing how much warmer my new bivy sack makes me feel, along with the restored loft from washing my down sleeping bag for the, ahem, first time
this season since I got it.
YOU GUYS, it looks (and feels) so much loftier now. SO MUCH.
With just five weeks left to go, I am feeling like I could leave tomorrow, and be just fine. Even without any mailed resupply boxes (okay, one in Warner Springs), I’d have real crappy food for the first few weeks, but I would manage.
That’s a nice feeling.