Hello everyone! As many of you already know, I will soon be embarking on an adventure. On Saturday, February 28th 2015, I will be leaving from Springer Mountain, Georgia on the 2,180 mile trek to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. I am hoping to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in one continuous journey. Only 1 in 4 hikers who attempt to do this are successful. I will do my best to complete this mission and invite you all to join me through the entries I will posting to this blog along the way.
You may ask, “Why are you doing this?”. The short answer is: to achieve something I would have never thought possible, however the true answer lies in a series of events, misfortunes, and battles that I’ve experienced particularly in the past 8 years of my life. More specifically, it’s part of the ongoing fight against the depression that has plagued me and my decision to bare my soul by sharing my story with everyone in an effort to raise awareness about the dreadful illness. You can read the entire story by downloading the vignette I’ve written divulging all the dirty details: http://go-ownit.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Appalachian-Trail-Hike-2015-A-Vignette.pdf.
Contrary to what you would believe, hiking in the wilderness for 6 months straight costs a lot of money! Since I have not been working since February of this year, my resources are limited. If you’re feeling generous, you may support me in my endeavor by contributing to a fund that I have set up here: http://www.youcaring.com/other/fighting-depression-solo-appalachian-trail-thru-hike-2015/226285.
Some of the things I’ve been doing to prepare for this thru-hike include:
- Appalachian Trail (or A.T.) segment hikes (I’ve done some blogging on these adventures http://go-ownit.com/tag/at_2014/)
- Hiking various types of terrain with my fully loaded pack (A.T. and non-A.T. trails)
- Hiking with thru-hike veterans to gauge how I would actually fare on the A.T.
- Camping out in all types of weather
- Testing and re-testing all of my equipment, clothing, and gear
- Using all of my trail gear in the above mentioned activities
- Weighing, re-evaluating, adding/removing and re-weighing all of my equipment, gear, and clothing.
- Strength training via CrossFit and Olympic Lifting with the support of the wonderful coaches at CrossFit Mahwah
- Learning survival skills by attending a survival camp
- Optimizing my health through nutritional supplementation
- Doing tons of research about thru-hiking via Internet articles, blogs, social media, and various groups dedicated to thru-hiking the A.T.
- Planning hike strategy using official A.T. guide books and trail maps
- Pre-purchasing supplies that will be needed to be replenished along the way and preparing mail drop packages that can be sent to me along the way
- Networking with thru-hike veterans and picking their brains
- Soliciting support from various organizations via letters, e-mails, and applications (such as the ‘Thru-Hike Syndicate’ which is a “Vasque partner-powered ambassador initiative”)