Hello all. After meeting with my father, I made it to Silers Bald shelter for a 16 mile day. The following day I made it to Clingmans Dome and then past to a shelter called Ice Spring Shelter. During my hike that day I fell and hurt my back. I had some familiar pains go down my leg. I made the decision to come off the trail early for spring break to recuperate and then see my kids. I will be back on trail towards the end of March to make my push to Katahadin.
I stayed at the Nantahala outdoor center the night of the 17th. At 0530 I made the push to Brown Fork Gap shelter for a 17.8 mile day. I awoke and was on the trail again this morning by 0600 and made it to Fontana Dam by noon for a 12 mile day. I am taking a short day so I can meet my father and hike with him tomorrow into the first part of the Smokies. I was able to get a ride to Fontana village earlier to get my food drop from HH6 (thank you babe), and have a quick but tasty meal at the hotel. I’m currently camped out above the lake for the evening.
Hello everyone. I left Wayah Bald shelter this morning at 0530 and was plunged into more snow. The storm let off at about 0200 earlier so everything was fresh and the trees were laden. I made the 17 miles in just under 8 hours to the Nantahala Outdoor Center. My shoe had a blowout and I fell 3 times. I am now showered and just finished repairing my shoe. I’ll head out again in the morning to make the long climb out of the River valley.
Check out my Day 10 video. Gorgeous view!
Hello all. Since starting the trail I have had to adapt some of my gear to better suit the current weather situation. I have added a Sea to Summit Reactor extreme bag liner which claims to add 25 degrees to the bag. I’m not sure on that but it definitely helps some. I replaced my down sweater with my good old trusty Columbia down jacket, and have added neoprene socks to the mix and will be hiking in those and my Vapor gloves only from now on. I purchased some Northface outer mittens that are waterproof as well. I will be departing from Dicks Creek Gap later this morning after I get a good hot breakfast and say goodbye to the family.
I made it to Dicks creek gap yesterday at noon and was able to check into the Top of Georgia Hostel. It snowed again on Friday all day. Upon arrival at the hostel I ate a pizza and did laundry. I met some cool new people and caught up on some needed sleep. HH6 came by the hostel today and got me. We are having some family time before she has to depart for home in the morning. The snow is expected to continue into next week but I am better prepared thanks to my right hand lady. She brought me neoprene socks and a full resupply that should get me to the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. Thank you to everyone who is following me here and thanks for the words of encouragement.
Here is my Day 4 Video.
Final pack weight including water and 3 days worth of food is 25 lbs.
Check out my gear list YouTube video and subscribe:
Appalachian Trail Gear List 2016
Here is a list of what I am carrying along with photos:
- Osprey Exos 58
- Big Agnes Boot Jack 24 deg. Sleeping Bag contained within a Sea to Summit silnylon bag
- Henry Shires Tarp Tent Pro Trail w/ 7 aluminum stakes
- Sleeping mat foam to sit on
- Sea to Summit silnylon pack cover
- Army polartec 3/4 zip shirt
- Jetboil Zip Personal Cooking System
- Vargo Titanium spork
- Polartec Beanie
- North Face Gloves
- REI Flash Long Sleeping Pad in Osprey 3L stuff sack
- Sea to Summit Pillow
- Brooks Wind Jacket inside Sea to Summit silnylon bag
- Sea to Summit Daypack
- Down Sweater
- Balega no-show Blister-free socks
- Smartwool heavy socks (sleeping)
- Underarmour Cold Gear Tights
- Food in green Sea to Summit 8L bag
- Photive Volt backup battery, cable, etc
- “Hiker wallet”
- Marmot Precip Rain Jacket
- Recon Wrap, watch
- Oakley M-frame Sunglasses
- Standard issue Dysfunctional Veteran ball cap
- 2 Gatorade bottles
- Pack Towel, hygiene kit in 1L Sea to Summit bag
- Balega socks, North Face sleeveless shirt, PT shorts
- Merrell Vapor Gloves
- Merrell Trail Gloves
- Black Diamond Carbon Cork trekking poles
- Both shoes have Lock Laces
- 1 Sawyer Squeeze, 1 2L Platypus bladder, 1L Platypus bladder, 1 back flow plunger
The time has come, so HH6 has been harassing me about food prep, dates, and locations. She’s the organizer. I just like to fly by the seat of my pants. However, getting food drops will take a little stress off of me (when I get on the trail anyway), so that’s what we worked on today.
Between now and March 8, I will receive 4 supply drops. Each supply drop will contain 4 days worth of food. Each box contains the following:
- 4 Pasta or Potato (Pasta Sides, etc)
- 4 Meat (Spam Snacks, Spam, Tyson Chicken, Tuna, Hillshire Farms Summer Sausage, Turkey Snacks)
- 8 Instant Oatmeal
- 4 Carnation Instant Breakfast
- 2 Ramon Noodles
- 1 Snack Size Ziploc Raisins
- 1 Snack Size Ziploc Dried Bananas
- 1 Snack Size Ziploc Granola
- 4 Snickers
- 2 Honey Buns
- 4 Tortillas
- 4 Jif Chocolate Silk Whips or Nutella
- Powdered Drink Mix
- 1 Travel Size Wet Wipes
- Anything she can think of I might like to eat
I take off tomorrow, and the family surprised me with this. Nothing like some good old fashioned carb-loading before I hit the AT.