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Monday, December 29, 2008


Well all my gear is here, and ready. I tested it up at bear mountain a couple days ago and I was kept warm even in the low 20's. Everything is comfortable and works well! I am very excited.

However, the past couple weeks have been tough. My roomate is leaving which means my girlfriend Hannah and I need to figure out a new living situation. We were contemplating moving to a smaller place for just us and started looking around but everything was terribly small and run down for the price we could afford. So we are going to have to find a new roomate. Chances are it won't be someone in school as it's mid-year. I just hope we don't get anyone weird and creepy. That being said, I won't be able to do the full trip this season. I will probably just do a month of it. It's a bummer because part of the reason I wanted to do the AT was to finish it. Since my flight and transportation is all set up, I am going to have to live with the fact I can't finish. A month will probably get me into the middle of Virginia.

On the plus side, my transportation from the airport to the trail is a guy named "survivor" Dave. Turns out he was an executive chef for 25 years and since I want to go into the food industry, we will have a nice hour long convo about food and hiking. He is planning another thru-hike for 2010. Hopefully I will be able to replan a thru-hike sometime then too (once school is finished.)

Anyway, thats all of the updates for now. I've been asked to talk at my little brothers school because the theme of the 2nd grade class is expeditions and Louis and Clark type stuff and word got around that I am hiking (now part) of the AT and they thought that would be along the lines of their theme. So I will probably be doing that in the next few weeks.

So the bummer is I can't do my planned 4 month thru-hike, but the plus side is I will be able to prepare and practice for it one day. Next post will be the day I leave!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Gear

Well, the boxes keep coming. I must say, it is fun getting numerous boxes a day of cool stuff. Things I have received are:

My sleeping bag
Back Pack
Little things
Two shirts - they weigh a 2 and 3 ounces!
baselayer pants
and my mini lantern

I was kind of worried about buying all my stuff online because I can't play with it first and also I have to wait which is something I don't like doing. However, my experiences with the online retailers have been great so far. A majority of my gear came from Backcountry and they have been extremely helpful. Free shipping (over $50) and a lifetime warranty! They say if you ever find something wrong with something they sell you or dislike it for any reason, you can send it back. Thats not 30 days or even 3 months, but for life! So that is why I went with them for a majority of my stuff.
Also when I was searching for some small things like a flint and lightweight rope for my bear bag, I came across Antigravity Gear. I placed a small order with them, and got a call a couple days later. The man I spoke with told me that the order of flint and steels had just come in and they were out of yellows. Since I picked the color at random, it didn't really matter. So just picked red and got my stuff two days later. Actually I missed the package on Saturday so had to wait until I could get it today from the post office. I opened it up and found an extra item. As a 'thank you' for the day or two delay and not having my first color choice for a 1 in piece of plastic, they sent me a bandana with a map of the Appalachian Trail from Maryland to Connecticut on it! I looked on their site and it was the cost of half my order. I thought it must have been a mistake, but e-mailed them and they said it was a gift. Anyway, they were very kind and helpful. I actually just placed another order for a 4.3oz water purification system. So thanks George and Matthew!

My sleeping bag is extremely comfortable and warm. It weighs 1.5 lbs and is rated for 30 degrees F. The top portion is very roomy and large and there is plenty of space for my legs. I want to test all my gear out for real, but can't until finals are over.Once I do test things out for real, I will put my thoughts up so anyone else thinking about doing the trail can get some input.

Pictures of the gear I have gotten so far are up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My stuff begins to arrive

Today was the first of many shipments of gear I will be receiving this week and next. Yesterday I got my flashlights and knife at Paragon, but today was the first box. I must say, I do love this tent. Unfortunately it is not a self-standing tent and needs to be staked down for it to be erected. No problem for me -- I just went out into the middle of Stuyvesant Town and pitched it. Its beautiful. You can see the pictures, its incredibly roomy on the inside, quite large from the outside, and the best part? No poles! There are two airbeams on the inside which you inflate. This thing... is awesome. Everyone at Nemo Equipment (where the tent is from) was wonderful and very helpful in advising me what would be best for my needs.

This is a wonderful tent, it's just unfortunate that next weekend is finals week and I have projects to do which means I can't actually test it out. Oh well, in the mean time, it's packed away waiting -- more like calling -- for me to use it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So it begins!

Today was the first real step towards my hike. I have purchased my gear, purchased my plane ticket to Georgia and set up this site. I know from when I was planning the hike, the most useful information I got was from people who had documented their trip online. From gear lists to learning the hard way (so I don't have to) they helped me get ready more than any book has. I will be submitting my leave of absence form on Monday so it will be official. Christmas is coming early as nearly all my gear will be here this week! As you can see, there is a map to the right. My phone has an auto-updating GPS on it that will update this map every 5 minutes or so. Or Maybe every mile, haven't decided yet. Either way, it is not live now as I am not leaving yet! But that will give you an idea of where I am and how my progress is going.