In just over a year, my plan is to be on the Appalachian Trail, Northbound.
It is something I have considered for some time now, and I really want to set it in stone. I want to make it a reality, so I’m going to do just that. I was initially surprised at the resistance that I met. People often try to tell me it is too difficult, or that I need to go with other people, or just hike a section of the trail. I wonder why this is. Are people afraid for me? Do they doubt my ability, or are they intimidated by the unknown, the mysteries of the wilderness.
Although they are overreacting, I will have to go through a significant amount of preparation. I need to figure out exactly what my gear will be. This will be a difficult process, but I have a head start, and I mostly have to decide what out of my current gear will work and what I will have to obtain. A lot of this has to do with its being light enough. Even the pack that I have now may be too large to be practical.
I also need some more experience in the woods. In order to test out my gear, and simply to make sure I’ll be ready for anything, I want some more wilderness hours. These can be easily obtained, but I have to start thinking about how to do it now.
I’ll need a boatload of money. The estimates of cost vary significantly, but I can expect to require at least a couple thousand after I have bought all my gear. This will be the hardest part, in my opinion, as I need to stay on top of all of my expenses and still save up a good chunk of cash.
So far, it hasn’t been too difficult to find a wealth of information from people who are experienced and enjoy sharing their knowledge. This has been really encouraging, and I almost feel as if I am a part of the culture, part of the experience. Of course, I know I can’t fully relate until I have been on the trail, but it is comforting to even be looking forward to being part of such an inclusive community.
I plan to get the trail guide as soon as I can, and then I can start preparing. I will make a list of all my gear and write up a list of desired gear. Then I’ll focus on making money. I have quite a ways to go. My goal is to put away $3,000 (at least) dedicated for trail use. I’ll probably need more than that just to be safe, but this is my current goal to work toward.
I am really excited to have this as something to look forward to in the near future. It helps me jump out of bed in the morning!