Monday, January 9, 2012

After two months of limited activity, I finally got back to the gym today.  There was two weeks of gall bladder attack, surgery, and then six more weeks of 'nothing strenuous' as per doctor's orders.  It felt good to work up a sweat again.

The countdown begins in earnest now.  As of today I have 83 days and a wake-up till I step off Springer Mtn. on my way north on the Appalachian Trail.  Now that I stopped to add them up, time is actually running short on me.  I have to get myself back into as good a shape as possible.  The trail will do the rest.  I also have to put together 15 or more care packages that can be mailed to post offices in towns along the way.  And then there's the household stuff to put into storage and find a home for the three cats.  So there's lots to do and the clock is ticking a little louder now.

The GoPro camera arrived the other day.  I will practice some and then take some videos of how I am preparing for this adventure.  In February, GoPro will release a WiFi attachment that is supposed to allow me to upload video and pictures from the trail - and stream a live feed.  I am looking into getting that attachment.  It might be fun to show you live images of life on the trail. I will be mailing back my camera memory chips for safe keeping even if the upload doesn't work out.

I put all my basic gear in the pack yesterday and weighed it.  To my pleasant surprise, it was only 25 pounds.  Anything I add to that I want to find something else I can cut back on.  25 LBS is a good start.  I will add water and food to that, but those are 'consumables' and don't figure into the base weight calculations.  It is suggested that a hiker carry about 2 pounds of food per day, more during winter hikes.  So five days will equal ten more pounds to carry.  There is a balance point between taking enough to be comfortable in camp and taking little enough to be comfortable carrying it all on my back.  I am targeting 35 total carry weight.

Stopped at the local Post Office and picked up 15 priority mail boxes.  I will fill them up with my food supplies, snacks, batteries, and other essentials.  Otherwise, I will resupply at local grocery stores and outfitters as needed along the trail.  Somewhere in Virginia (about the middle of May) I will have my summer gear sent and return my winter gear.

Well, time to pack some more supply boxes.  Stand by - there's more to come soon.

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