I am leaving tomorrow for the trail head and just wrapping last minute details today. I will have Thursday at the campground to get my gear packed for hiking and get ready in general to head out Friday morning. I have to pack differently for the plane and for hiking.
My gear weight will cycle from 70 pounds (brutal) to 45 pounds (no problem) every 7 days. I have carried 70 pounds before but it is going to be tough no doubt about it. My food weighs in at about 25 pounds so my weight goes down by around 3.5 pounds per day. I will see how much I am eating and I might be able to shave some weight off there, maybe 5 pounds. With the exertion I have a feeling that I will be pretty hungry though.
Overall my gear is down to the bare bones of what I need. My gear started off with everything I wanted to bring, then slowly to what I thought I needed and finally down to what I only absolutely had to have. I didn't scrimp on safety or communication so there was additional weight there. I will have one luxury item, a paperback book and I thought pretty hard about getting rid of
If I wasn't going to be blogging or taking videos I could have shaved off about another 8 pounds but then that would defeat what I wanted to do on the trip. 8 pounds might not sound like much but when you carry it on your back every pound and ounce counts. I also went with MRE type food which is a heavier option. By doing that I don't have to carry anything to cook with or take the time to cook the food when I want to get back on the trail. I also don't have to worry about finding places to eat, having food go bad or resupplying in stores along the way. MRE's will give me more flexibility but that will come at the expense of weight.
A great piece of news is that I won't have to take a train or buses to the trail head now. A friend is going to be heading down to D.C. from NYC for work and offered to give me a ride to the trail head from the airport on their way down. That is a nice change from what I was expecting for the trip down there, trail serendipity.. A chance to relax and b.s. rather than bump along on a bus.
Also I will have short radio interview with Steve Brandy on 1340 WJOL on April 28th. Steve will be
doing a few short talks with me as I make my way across the country
when I make it to Illinois I will get to go in and meet him and
Slocum and be in studio for a talk. www.wjol.com