In 6 days my lifestyle is going to radically change. Most everything in my day-to-day life will be different than the way I have lived the past 24 years. New environment, new people, new entertainment, new challenges, new clothes, new food, new tasks, new routines, possibly even a new name (thru-hikers typically acquire trail names while hiking). Naturally, I feel more confident about some changes than others and I think certain things will be more challenging adjustments for me. Of course this is completely subject to change the moment I get to Amicalola, but less than a week out these are some trail life characteristics I am feeling most and least confident about.
Feeling preeeetty good about:
- My pack weight and gear! My body has become accustomed to the pack fit and weight at this point and I have tested all of my gear. I will hopefully shed a few items on trail, but at this point I am confident with my gear and it all fits in my pack woohoo!
- My resupply boxes! Thanks to lots of advice from friends, a few trips to Walmart, and a weee bit of OCD in planning, my resupply boxes are very (possibly too) thorough. I packed 8 resupply boxes, which my Mom will mail to me along the way. I will receive most of these in towns where resupply options are super limited or too expensive due to the town being more of a tourist attraction. In these boxes are things such as: segments of my trail guide, homemade dehydrated meals, first aid supplies, toiletries, cash, fresh bandanas, and lots of other goodies.
- Being disconnected from technology. I am definitely not the best at limiting my tech time when it’s readily available, but I do every now and then try to put away my devices for a while, which always feels refreshing. Of course I don’t need to go into the woods for 6 months to do this, but it will sure make it a lot easier because there won’t even be the temptation to check Instagram or Facebook on a daily basis.
- The routine of setting up and taking down camp. This is something I will have to do every day except on zero days and I really think it will be alright. Sure the rainy days will suck, but overall I like the idea of setting up a little home, my own space, and then putting every piece of gear in its place in my pack. It’s a cool feeling to have everything you need to survive on your back. I hope this routine and the minimalist lifestyle will translate to my abundant (and somewhat materialistic) lifestyle when I return.
- Pooping in the woods. I’ve mastered it.
Some things I’m feeling eeehh about:
- Hitchhiking into town. It’s probably a good thing I don’t feel confident about this. I’m a decent judge of character, which will be important for safety, but I can’t say I have done much hitchhiking in my day. Any tips…shout ’em out!
- My homemade dehydrated meals. I made ten different recipes and tasted one of them (edible, but not the greatest). They look like dog food. It helps to know the ingredients that went into these, but I’m not even that great at cooking hydrated food, so setting the bar real low for these.
- Being wet…constantly. I typically like to dry off after I take a shower and put my clothes in the dryer after washing them. I’m a diva, I know. These aren’t exactly options on the trail and it does rain quite a bit (like every 1 in 3 days), so expecting everything to be wet a good chunk of the time is very realistic.
- Night hiking by myself. The idea of hiking in the dark by myself does not sound great, but that’s a different story if hiking with other people. Will try and avoid doing this solo this as much as possible.
- Hanging my bear bag. It’s just friggin’ hard.