Thirteen months ago today I was working on getting everything together for my departure on the Appalachian Trail from Harpers Ferry on April 29. Yesterday I spent a day feeling sorry for myself for making the right decision.
Today we start working on next steps.
Have an opportunity over the next thirteen months (likely actually seventeen months since hiking south in the summer makes no sense to my Canadian blood stream) to improve everything about my hike.
Now I am certain if you asked a few of my hiking companions, they would say I carry too much and I walk too slow. And you know that is worthy of looking at.
I hiked the speed I needed and I am not certain if an aim to go faster is really important for me. I got a chance to see and enjoy a number of small moments that might have been missed. But you know if I wanted to make it to Georgia in 2017 the weekend before American Thanksgiving covering more miles in days with less sunlight would be a good aim.
Other point is my gear. I have never carried more than 1/5 of my weight. Thing is I weigh over 230lbs and started my hike last year at 270lbs. So my pack has always seemed incredibly heavy to the folk who were half my weight who would pick it up on occasion. BUT heck I need to remember, when I started it seemed incredibly heavy to me as well. (I would choose not to take it off during rest stops since putting it back on took way more energy than I felt I had.) Doing training hikes with 25lbs had become second nature to me before I left, nearly doubling that weight to start likely wasn't the smartest move. So building up to training hikes with more approximate weight closer to departure date makes sense as does bringing down the weight. Working out an idea of what is essential, what would be nice and what could stay behind will also be part of this blog as I continue it.
'We' could dissect my gear. I don't have unlimited funds for different choices and I do rather like a number of them otherwise they would never have made it home from the Trail. But looking at them with a critical eye wouldn't be a bad choice. One of the points to keep in mind if you are going to make recommendations is that I am a plus sized hiker. There are more limited gear choices available for any plus sized hiker/sports minded folk and even less so when she is female.
So I have a few more adventures on the horizon, after the healing, which I am also planning on cataloguing here if you stick around.