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Re: [at-l] Beginner's Test Run before 3-day AT hike



Takes me back.  I remember my first hikes.  You are SO much better 
organized.  Glad everything worked well; cool when a plan comes together, 
huh?  Looking forward to the next report.  JPJane


>From: Delita Wright <delita@mindspring.com>
>To: at-l@backcountry.net
>Subject: [at-l] Beginner's Test Run before 3-day AT hike
>Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 00:02:29 -0500
>
>Whew!  Thank's so much to those of you who have taken the time to encourage
>me (and say you want to read these posts). ;-)  I would probably think I
>was crazy to be trying this if it weren't for all the wonderful voices
>taking these early efforts seriously.  For newcomers to the list, a little
>background info:  I am learning to backpack and work around life long
>health problems including needing to eat continually while hiking, needing
>to drink huge amounts of water, prone to heel spurs and have always had a
>problem with heat.  These were my main concerns this round.
>
>So, I went to Georgia to see my kids and hike - but they must have felt I
>came just to hike as that took up most of my time! ;-)  My son especially
>has been extremely helpful - both because he knows me and my limitations
>AND he is a backpacker with experience on the AT.  My goal was a day hike
>and a 3-day hike on the AT.
>
>Thanks to Fred Engel, my new Journey Pack was waiting at my son's house
>when I got there.  We spent 2 evenings on the kitchen table sorting out
>what I had brought and what I could borrow - and what I could do without.
>
>Then we did a 5-mile day hike on the Raven Cliffs trail (along a creek off
>the Richard B. Russell highway) to test me and my new pack and see how much
>water I actually drank.  My son was thinking if he had to carry the pack
>out he wouldn't let me tackle the 3 day hike we had planned. ;-) I carried
>38 pounds in the pack (had settled on 21 pounds without food or water) and
>had no problem with either the weight or the pack.  I also was using ski
>poles for the first time - they were too short for me but otherwise seemed
>worthwhile.  NOTE:  We both imagined the thoughts of those who passed us
>with me carrying a 38 pound pack and him carrying about an 8 pound dayhike
>get-up. We didn't attempt to explain! LOL  The Journey pack at 38 pounds
>was easier to carry than my rucksack when I get it loaded over 20.
>
>This hike was a lot of fun and it was very different to be hiking with
>someone as I usually hike alone.  Being a middle-aged mom, it was great
>just to spend time with my son - but as we hiked I realized my focus was
>tied up with the two of us and what we were doing - that I was *noticing*
>less of the nature than I usually do.  This is probably normal and
>understandable when hiking with someone (plus, we were really focusing on
>the gear).  Seemed to me it is probably a trade off either way.
>
>I quickly realized he needed to let me lead as I couldn't help trying to
>adjust to his pace if he was in front and it is very easy for me to exceed
>my ability to maintain a pace.  He had no problem with that - although it
>must have been tough to go as slowly as I do.  He assigned himself the task
>of filtering water and keeping track of how much I drank.  We were using
>his SafeWaterAnywhere bottle which worked great for him and his wife during
>4 days on the AT - but we both got frustrated with it since I drink so much
>- it was just too slow.  He recommended the inline filter and a hydration
>system for my long term needs, and I decided to just use iodine for my
>coming 3-day trip (since I was out of budget for now).
>
>My total water usage for the 5 miles (approximate length of each day
>planned for the 3-day hike) was 8 liters.  This was a concern since between
>Hogpen gap and Low Gap Shelter there is no water and we could expect it to
>take me at least as long to hike.  The entire 5 miles took me 6 hours with,
>I'd guess, 12-15 stops for water and/or snacks.  I was using snacks I had
>prepared for the 3 day trip and they worked well.  It would have been nice
>to not have to stop and take off the pack to get water.
>
>Overall I thought the *test hike* went really well and I was feeling
>jubilant as we finished.  With a little more refining of what was in my
>pack I felt ready to tackle section 13, 3 days later....
>
>Delita
>
>
>
>* From the Appalachian Trail Mailing List |  http://www.backcountry.net  *


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