It blows me away that we are already coming to the end of January! Throughout this post I want to give everyone updates on our planning and training for Packing It Out’s first trip along the Appalachian Trail. Yep, you read that last sentence right. Packing It Out is no longer a solo effort. As of right now, Packing It Out will be a trio. More information on how this happened below. 

Most of January has been dedicated to working and training. I’m still working for Wilderness Inquiry but instead of working as a trail guide I have become a full-time boat repairman. After many seasons of hard use, our cedar strip canoes need attention. Luckily, I get to work with a guide that I spent the whole summer with. Paul and I spend most days dreaming about the trail and ways we can simplify our lives. It didn’t take long for my audacious ideas to rub off on Paul. As of right now, he is on board to hike the AT with me. To say that I was excited when he told me he would be hiking with me is an understatement. Shortly after hearing Paul’s decision to join me I received a call from Joe D, good friend and partner on the Mississippi River Trip ( Joe said this was something he wanted to be a part of! After giving me his rational for going, I told him to sleep on it and to call me in a few days. A few days later Joe called and said he wanted to hike. With the start of this hike still over two months away things could definitely change but as of right now Joe, Paul, and I will be Packing It Out.

Having someone to train with is invaluable. Paul and I have been running together every Wednesday with a local running store. This has been a great way to build cardiovascular fitness. While running is important, the best way to get strong for hiking is to hike. We recently loaded our packs and hiked around a nearby park. This was a great first hike for Packing It Out. We hiked four miles and came out with over two pounds of trash. Standing with grins on our faces after throwing away the litter, we both realized how good it felt to hike and clean the trails. Along with weekly hikes and runs, I have been bike commuting and practicing yoga. I’m feeling stronger everyday and look forward to the next two months of training.

Planning for this hike is ongoing with transportation logistics and equipment needs being most important. My gear needs are pretty well covered. In the outdoor gear world, the lighter your equipment the more it cost. I have decided that I’ll just make any ultra-light pieces of gear I need (i.e Tarp/cloak, wool beanie, rain mitts). I will be purchasing a guide book to help me along the trail. Other important pieces of equipment I’ll be ordering soon is a light weight luggage scale and trash picking tool. One piece of gear that generally gets replaced again and again along the trail is footwear. Footwear  is extremely important for hikers because they have to carry you +2,000 miles. Those that know me well know that I’m a big advocate for barefoot and minimalist footwear. I want to stay true to this while I hike the Appalachian Trail. I recently contacted a great company that feels strongly about the benefits of traditional minimalist footwear. In an upcoming post, I formally announce Packing It Out’s collaboration with this company.

So for now, I will continue to work hard, train smart, and dream constantly for this adventure. Keep your eyes open for more post. Thanks!

See you out there


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