Fixing my knee for 2019

People make resolutions to lose weight, sleep more, spend more time with their family, etc. My knee is something I have to fix. Limiting my AT sections to 10 miles, then taking 6 weeks off to recover is not a workable plan. I’m fairly confident it’s an IT band problem now and that there’s greater than zero hope of resuming overnight hikes. I got a foam roller for Christmas as one of my best hopes of a resolution. I may also still have a paid consulting visit to see if my legs are uneven or something that I could adjust with a heel insole.

I also got myself a Warbonnet Ridgerunner for Christmas, so now I’m waffling back and forth on carrying straps and whoopies, and what tarp to take when. I also ordered a 10 degree underquilt from I know it’s overkill, but when my son starts sleeping in a Boy Scout patrol in a tent with a buddy, I’ll be out on my own in year-round, monthly, all-weather campouts. It’s not uncommon for the campgrounds in North Georgia to drop to the teens during Winter. I got the double layer, so in the other seasons, I could insert a pad (zlite?) instead.

The bigger complication is that much of the rest of GA would be overnight hikes. If I limit my son to 10% of his body weight, backpack + sleeping bag + flashlight + water hits the limit really fast. That leaves me to carry either TWO hammocks or a bigger (heavier) tent (and sleeping pad, kid clothes, food for 2…). The math seems plain - if I take my son, I extend my role as the family mule.

Thanks to the trips I’ve taken on the south half of GA, I’ve changed my gear a bit - to the lighter side. My base weight is down to roughly 14lb now, so if I take 3-4 back on, it’s probably manageable, even if undesirable. One day soon I’ll probably stuff my pack full of gear like I’m going out and see if all my own + kid stuff fits in 50L. This is, in part, why I’m procrastinating on buying him a nicer hammock (i.e. Blackbird) versus suffering on the ground, sharing a tent.

I also decided that hiking with my son, I might as well downgrade from the Garcia bear canister to an opsack allmitey, save 2lb of weight and make sure to plan for stopping at an official campground that has a bear box as much as possible. Having a privy (and possibly a water source) nearby is a big motivation here, too. I asked for a Katadyn BeFree for Christmas, but I guess my relatives didn’t think that was a cool gift and will have to acquire it myself, along with some Injinji wool sock liners.

Hiking in a kilt was great this year. I ordered a purple kilt from Mandy at, so wouldn’t want that to go to waste! I asked for an extra-wide waistband.

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