Next Week, I’ll Be Hiking the AT

Next Saturday, July 22, I’ll resume my AT hike at Hanover, NH.

My preparations are nearly complete. I decided to resupply with food boxes mailed to various visitor centers, hostels, and motels along or near the route. Two of the boxes are in the mail with two more to go out this Wednesday. My wife, Betsy, will mail the remaining four boxes over the next three weeks. All are medium-sized flat-rate boxes through USPS.

I’ve begun daily hikes with a 20-pound pack from my home in Boulder up to the City Open Space lands immediately west of town. A quarter mile of the trail is quite steep, but I’m able to make the grade by going slowly. I expect to start my hike with about 20 pounds on my back.

I’ll be wearing more or less the same outfit I’ve used for my other long-distance hikes. The attached photos shows the items.

From the top down, I wear a baseball cap with a bandanna underneath. I’ve found that this combination keeps most of the sun off my ears and neck, plus I stay cooler. Not to mention the sartorial ‘cool’ factor. I’ll swap my regular glasses for sun glasses when out in the open on sunny days. My shirt is 100% polyester light-colored long sleeve from White Sierra. I bought it last summer from Sierra Trading Post when my Dakota Grizzly shirt disintegrated after years of use. Long-sleeve shirts keep the sun off my arms, thus eliminating the need for sunscreen. The shirt has a zippered breast pocket in which I keep my cell phone (for taking photos) and my guidebook pages, both in small plastic bags. The zippered pocket is essential for keeping my phone and pages safe and accessible.

Last summer, the cap on the handle on one of my Black Diamond hiking poles failed. Unable to repair the pole, I gave both poles to my neighbor, Jim, who finds them serviceable. I bought a new pair of Black Diamond Trail Back trekking poles from REI for $80. The small white patches on the poles are name/address/phone number labels in case I leave my poles in the back of a truck while hitchhiking. I’ll wear a pair of Under Armor 7-inch Launch shorts, a bargain for $35 at REI. I keep trash I pick up on the trail in the deep pockets. I’ll wear REI 100% polyester CoolMax Liner socks, reasonably priced at $6.95. These are the most durable hiking socks that I’ve found. Finally, I’ll wear a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilator low-cuts I bought at REI for $80 using a 20% discount coupon. They protected my feet from the rocks on the more northerly parts of the AT last summer. On the less rocky parts in GA, NC, TN, and VA, I wore New Balance model 1340 v2 running shoes with great success.

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