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Archive for May, 2008

Appalachian Trail – Test #3

May 26th, 2008 No comments

Ok, I’m getting better at this. I went for a hike with my bother-in-law today. We took at 5+ mile hike through the “Black Hawk Unit”. Oddly this historic area is not in the Wisconsin list of hiking areas. They consider it a “Wildlife Area”. The first mile of this round trip hike is a good climb. Using Google Earth (I love that tool), it shows a 350′ climb to the top. Not quite GA but a good start. I had a 40 lbs pack (he had nothing!). Skeeters were bad in the woods but this time I came prepared with my Deet so we didn’t get eaten alive. Legs held up but after the hike my feet hurt a bit and a careful review showed that I had gotten some blisters. The good news was that this did not seem to be directly from my boots. The blister, in both feet was between the pinky toe and the one next to it (gee does that toe have a name?). The blister was at the tip so perhaps it was a bit crowded at the end of the boot. I’ll have to make a little adjustment. That’s it for now….

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Appalacian Trail – Lightweight?

May 21st, 2008 No comments

I have now aquired just about everything off my gear list so I did my first attempt at packing. After loading everything except food and water, the pack came in at 23.6 lbs. Not bad. I still need to add a few missing items so I am expecting to rise to about 25 lbs. I still have a few “luxury” items that I can leave behind (GPS…) as well as some repackaging of some items that contain more than I need for this trip.

I am regretting not getting a smaller/lighter pack as it seems I have plenty of room. However, have not added food yet and it may absorb some of the empty space. Perhaps next year I should reevaluate (Just don’t tell my wife!).

I’m planning on a third trial hike this Sunday and it may help me decide to leave a few more pounds of gear at home.

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Appalachian Trail – Test #2

May 16th, 2008 No comments

Went for another trial walk to day. This time, with 40lbs pack. Only walked about 3 miles but over much steeper hills (still not mountains but the best I can do in Wisconsin).

Of note on this trip:

There is a big difference between 30 and 40 pounds. Think light!

I had a stretch of about 1/2 mile with a good steep grade and rocky trail. Georgia is going to be a workout!

Bugs are out, I need to bring DEET next time!

Pack a small camp towel to wipe the sweat from my head.

Need bandanna or something to cover head (keeps bugs off)

Used wool socks with base liner. While I did not get blisters, I found I slid more in my shoes. Nice on flats but not so nice on hills. Going to stick with WrightSocks. Still pondering new shoes with more support and water proofing.

Need belt pouch or something to toss small things in without taking pack off.

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Appalachain Trail – Test #1

May 8th, 2008 No comments

Today I stuffed my pack with 30 lbs and headed off for a short trial run to shake things out. I hiked about 7 miles on rolling hills. Not much when compared to the mountians in GA but heck, this is Wisconsin. At the end, well… I was tired and realized that I need to get more work outs before I leave in 5 weeks.

Most the gear worked as expected. I’m 50-50 on the trekking poles. On flats, skip them but going up hills, I like them. So I expect to use them on this trip.

–Bill

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Appalachain Trail. What is this about?

May 1st, 2008 No comments

I have started this blog to try and track my Appalachian Trail journys. I plan on section hiking the entire trail over the next few years as time permits. This year I will be starting my first section starting at Springer Mountian. I hope to cover 160+ miles over 2 weeks.

So when was the last time I did any hiking you ask? Well, that was 30 years ago! I’m in fair shape but I will need to improve on this in the next few week.

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