Tomorrow, I Begin

Tomorrow I take my son up to Springer Mountain and we sign the log book, then I drop him with my wife, eat dinner, and spend the night at Stover Creek Shelter. We spent last weekend at Cloudland Canyon State Park where I decided that sleeping in my old The North Face tent on the Thermarest Zlite Sol is not my first preference for sleeping outdoors. My second night, I swapped to one of the Eno hammocks that I used for lounging at the top of Sawnee Mountain to do work (yes, real work for pay). [Read More]

Weight Check at 22.5

I bagged up my food for the Labor Day South GA hike last night, put some sleeping clothes in a gallon ziploc, and swapped my Winter bag for my Summer one. I still have to add water filtration, a spoon, pillow, headlamp, and trekking poles to the weight, but tonight it was all-in 25.5 lb. Things I know are unnecessary, but currently have packed: 5oz homemade first aid kit (mostly the case and bottle of New Skin). [Read More]

South Georgia Hike Moved Up

When I hiked Amicalola Falls today, I averaged a 40 minute mile, so I did some math. To do the 82 miles of the AT over Thanksgiving, I’d probably have to do some night hiking. To avoid that, my wife is up letting me hike the south part of the Georgia AT over Labor Day weekend. Thanksgiving will be for the North GA section at a less-rushed pace. I’ll take my son up the approach trail and drop him with my wife at the first forest service road. [Read More]

Zero Day at Old Federal

I took a zero from training and taught some girls how to fish at Old Federal Campground. Then I taught my son the clove hitch and bowline, though I he didn’t quite get the bowline - it’s a little early for that one. Then we did something really silly - waited in line for an hour and a half at The Varsity to get anything we wanted on the menu for $0. [Read More]

Time for Trekking Poles

Hiked with the family at the other side of Sawnee Mountain Preserve tonight (I call phase 3). In the 2.8 miles, my hands swelled up good and obvious enough that the wife gave her blessing to get some trekking poles. I figured I’d pick something from Black Diamond, but I still have no idea whether to get ergo or straight grips. Judging by reviews on each at REI, the ergo poles seem to get more reviews, so are more popular? [Read More]

Power Walking Shin Pain Today

When I had the idea to do parts, or maybe someday all, of the Appalachian Trail, I was most worried about my left knee. It seems to constantly ache a little, pop pretty much any time of the day, and I swear it wants to hyper-extend until all my connective tissue rips apart. When I walk or do practice hikes with my pack, it hasn’t bothered me. At my lunch walk today, we were walking a 19’ 36” mile pace and my shins were on fire. [Read More]

More Lean Mass

Hiked Sawnee Mountain today. A group of people cut the trail and my son asked them about it. They stayed behind us the rest of the hike and did not cut again. Since I started training for the hike, I’ve gained 4 lb, but according to the Fitbit scale, dropped from 14.6% fat to 13.3%. That’s about where I am when I’m in shape for my annual 34 mile off-road bike race around Fort Yargo State Park for Mother’s Day. [Read More]

Thorlos Fail

Just returned from Sawnee Mountain. My pack has mostly real gear in it now - I added some extra to make it 27 lb (including water and 3 days food). I thought there was a rock that worked its way into my heel and stuck in the webbing of my Thorlo Lt hiking sock or something, but upon closer examination, the sock balled-up and made a lump. I think I’ve already got the start of a blister and it was only a 3 mile hike! [Read More]

Tubing to Test Hike Gear

I had a little extra comp time built up at work today, so when the family said they were going tubing on the Chestatee River, I joined in. I unzipped the bottom from my new prAna Convertible Zion pants and used them for swim pants to see how they would act if I get rain on the hike. Water beaded on about 1⁄4 of the fabric. The SAXX boxers were… still not impressing me, but I haven’t found something better. [Read More]

Hiking With Fire Extinguisher

The fire extinguisher rubbed my pack a lot. It was a bad idea.

Last night I weighed a bunch of stuff and figured the skin-out weight for the November GA thru-hike is 34-35lb - pack, what I’m wearing, food, water, all of it. Today I was having trouble figuring out what to put in my pack to weight it down that much, so I grabbed the fire extinguisher from the garage and threw it in my pack. That brought my list of ridiculous pack items from including camp chair, full bag of baby wipes, 24 pack of AA batteries, 6 pack of D batteries, up quite a lot. [Read More]