I spent a few hours of my snow day figuring out how to pack my hiking backpack. NOT AS EASY as I thought it would be considering it’s not that much stuff to pack. However, when I organize I tend to conjure within my head all the various scenarios in which I would want it packed while on the trail so I can spend more time enjoying myself and less time trying to figure out the most ergonomic and efficient pack set-up.
It was a tough puzzle to crack, but I think I am as close as I am going to get for now. I mostly struggled with getting the weight balanced well. Some of the advice I read about how to pack a backpack did not apply well to my particular pack/items, so as with many things in my life I figured it out using both intuition and sensing as my guides.
Atmos 50 by Osprey:
Just about all of my stuff is packed for storage, which was quick and easy since I gave away most of my possessions over the past couple of years. Some of the more valuable things I sold, and I appropriately disposed the junky things.
I received my last work schedule today. It will be difficult saying goodbye to this job/community. I have gained so much from my experiences there over the past 4 and a half years. I have a lot to reflect on while walking.
It also will be quite difficult saying farewell to my housemates, friends, and family. I am starting to become more and more present to how there will be many times on the trail when I will be completely alone in the woods. Fortunately I do not have to say goodbye quite yet!
My excitement has been keeping me awake most nights (like right now). I’ll start thinking about some part of the trip or the pre-trip preparations and then I am awake for another hour, sometimes more. Hopefully writing this helped calm my mind enough for me to sleep before a busy day at work tomorrow. Zzzzzzzz
Based on many sources (mainly this source) and my own sense of timing, here are my projected travel dates through each state on the Appalachian Trail:
March 17 - March 29 Georgia
March 30 - April 28 North Carolina/Tennessee
April 29 - June 8 Virginia/West Virginia
June 9 - June 27 Maryland/Pennsylvania
June 28 - July 4 New Jersey
July 5- July 11 New York
July 12 - July 14 Connecticut
July 15 - July 20 Massachusetts
July 21 - August 2 Vermont
August 3 - August 17 New Hampshire
August 18- Sepember 8 Maine
This week I registered for a SOLO Wilderness First Responder course at Bucknell University from March 8th to 15th. I am excited to gain some solid medical knowledge/skills to prepare myself for whatever medical emergencies I may stumble upon in my travels. An event while backpacking in Yosemite National Park this summer inspired me to take this class after stumbling upon a gentleman who looked like he was on the brink of death. Fortunately I was traveling with two individuals who had wilderness medical training because all I could do was run for help. After this course, I should be well equipped to respond to a variety of medical emergencies until professionals can make their way to the scene (or until I can bring the person(s) to professional help).
A description of the course from the SOLO website:
The WFR is 72-80 hours long (7 to 10 days), and is a comprehensive and in-depth look at the standards and skills of dealing with: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental Emergencies and Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies. Although these appear to be the same basic topics covered in our two-day WFA course, they are covered far more extensively, and there is much more hands-on practice (See sidebar). Additional topics, such as CPR, are also included.