One of the things I am having the hardest time figuring out is how much time I need to properly prepare for this adventure. I know that come February 1st, and maybe January 15th, my “free” time such as it is will be gone. I literally work seven days a week during tax season and anytime that is left over goes to being with my wife or sleep. Not looking for sympathy. That is the job. And that job is what is going to allow me to take five months off, so no, I am not complaining. However, preparations for the hike need to be completed or nearly so by mid-January or so. I need to physically prepare. I need to prepare meals. I need to make sure I have the right equipment and gear. I need to prepare re-supply boxes. And finally I need to somewhat prepare maps and the route. Sort of. I start at Springer and end at Katahdin, so that part is really kind of set and many have said you do not even need maps on the AT it is so well marked. So, with the exception of the last category, I need to do a lot of hours in each category.
I know what it takes to plan a week-long trip. This is potentially six months, although I hope to complete it in just over four. Wow. To say I am not overwhelmed is an understatement. In fact, the enormity of the task may have hit me a couple months later than it should have. I find myself having to say no to a lot of things that normally I would not say no to this time of year. I am trying to get my life down to work, AT preparation and spending time with my wife. Everything else will fall by the wayside. It has to or I won’t be prepared. This is going to be very difficult given that we are coming into the holiday season. I will make it work. Somehow.
Every day, I find myself doing something. This morning it was more gear research online. In fact, I found a supplier of my new favorite hiking shirt, the Rab Meco 120 short sleeved shirt, for $31.00. I ordered three, two in the medium size and one large. They are somewhat form fitting and at this moment my form is more round than not, so I thought I would try out a large one for my training hikes. The mediums are for the trail. Since I like this shirt so much I decided to order extra so I can train in them as well as have them ready to go for the hike. Any clothing I am taking with me has to be purchased now and set aside specifically for the trip. The reason for this is I am going to send it all into the company Insect Shield for treatment. They treat the clothing with permethrin and it helps to repel not only mosquitos, but more importantly ticks. It is true that you can buy a bottle and home treat your clothing, but it does not last as long as having them treat it and I do not want to be retreating clothing along the hike.
That reminds me…one more thing to do, I need to call them to see if they will treat my entire backpack. That way when I leave it outside at night, I don’t have to worry about ticks taking up residence. Yes indeed, there are a lot of little details to take care of.