Each day I get up and hike. I thought I’d be able to hike longer distances, but the trail is harder with constant ascents and descents that slow me down. I’m doing about 30 minutes a mile and it takes me 8 hours to cover just 16 miles. Typically I wake at 5:45 AM, pack up my tent and start about 6:30 AM and finish about 3-4 PM depending upon how long I stop for lunch. Then it’s time to set up my tent, send my GPS location, make dinner, etc.
Just after reaching 200 miles I hitched into Gatlinburg TN for food resupply. It took too long so I had to stay in town. Two other hikers and I got a room for the night. Two beds and one slept on the floor. We got up at 7 AM to catch a 15 mile ride at 8:30 back to the trail. It was a late start and then it was hours of hiking to get to the shelter for the night. There were at least 12 in the shelter. Each on our own mat and in our sleeping bags. Very communal living.
Here is my “kit” of gear. The “big three” (most weight) are my tent, sleeping bag and backpack. Overall everthing weighs without consumables (food and water) about 15 1/2 lbs, which is quite good.
At the start I’ll be carrying four days of food, which is way too much for the first 60 miles, but I’m being conservative. Also I probably won’t eat that much, because hiker hunger will not have set in yet.
Today was my last prep hike. Here are my final stats. I covered almost the same distance as I’m planning to hike on the trail – 1919 miles vs 2192 miles. Wow! I didn’t expect that.
I’ve been busy doing all the last minute things. Yesterday I called it a wrap at work – I’ll miss them. Also I bought an old suitcase to hold my backpack during my flight to Atlanta. Today I finished my extra gear list as my last planned document. Right now I’m charging all my device batteries. Tomorrow I have to explode my backpack and make sure I have everything. And then pack it all back up neat and nice, put it in my suitcase, and I’m as ready as I can be.