Monday, November 21, 2011

lighten up!

I've been doing a few things in order to lighten my pack weight. I haven't turned into a full-on gram weenie, but there were some pretty easy ways to cut weight. 

First off, my cookset needed to go. I gave up the Soloist for a grease pot from k-mart with a windscreen made out of an oven liner and a pop can stove using bent hangers as a pot stand. Everything fits inside of itself so it's very packable. The best part is that everything in my kitchen (including a lighter) is only 5.24 oz. that's pretty good in my book.

I've also decided to ditch my tent. After reading everything I can find about them, I made up my mind on an 8x10 Outdoor Equipment Supplier silnylon tarp. weighing in at right around 16 oz. 

This was the first time I've pitched a tarp in my life, and I didn't have the guy lines attached so it wasn't as taut as possible. I want to add an extra tie out loop to the center of the long side so that I can set it up in the half pyramid like in the picture but wider. 

I really need to get some tyvek for a groundcloth and something to use as the guy lines. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

getting closer...

Since my last post I've decided to push my start date up a day and officially start the trail on Feb 29th, 2012. Just because I can, and it's a leap year. 

Thanks to an awesome website called The Clymb, I got a killer deal on an awesome multipurpose watch. I bought a Highgear Altiforce; it has an altimeter, barometer, and compass, on top of all of the typical watch type stuff like alarm clock and whatnot.

I keep watching it while I walk up the stairs at my house and at work to watch the altitude change. Looking forward to trying it on a real mountain. I'm a huge nerd. 

The barometer will be handy in helping to tell what the weather is going to do, and the compass will be the only one that I'm bringing. 

Physical preparations - I know that I haven't talked much about this other than my shakedown, so.... - I've taken up running to get ready for the tough mudder that I'm running next month. It's basically a 10 mile military style obstacle course race to raise money for the wounded warrior project. It's not the running that I'm concerned about in that race, it's everything else. Those types of obstacles really can wear you out. I ran the warrior dash last year and it was a good time, but too short at only 5k.

I've also been playing hockey for over a year now, so I think my legs are in decent shape. I'm sure the AT will have something else to say about that. 

Budget - I'm PLANNING on spending around $2,500 on the trail, however I'm saving a little over $6500 to cover everything that I need to take care of before I leave, and to allow extra money when I'm gone.