In a few months this is who I’ll be. A demi-god among other demi-gods. An early-80s Will Ferrell of the mountains. Lumberjack shirt, a stance to sell anything, external frame back pack with no fear of using it.
I do hope so … that’d be pretty sweet.
I dread knowing what I’ll actually look like! I suppose my dream is to raise a beard to the standard of my friend and inspired bike-riding buddy Santiago. He’s on his way to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina from Bogotá, Columbia, should get there in about a year or so. That’d put the fear of god into other hikers. Blog, Santi?!
In any event, I’m researching and looking for gear. Not the kind my hero here smoked, but the stuff that’ll get me from A to B. Or from this hill to that one. There seems to be a lot of hiking equipment snobbery around, lots of fashion and no real “grrrrrrrr” stuff. I want to be able to growl at low frequency like Tarquin here.
One hopes to go light as possible without clearing my bank account out. Everything’s rather expensive here in Mexico (and now worse with the crappy peso) and there’s not a great deal of choice. Most of the simpler stuff’s going to be dirtbagged from here in Mexico (not lining the pockets of camping companies for a titanium spork when I can use a plastic spoon) and purchased from sites in the states and sent to my special folks from the north who can
bring it over the border for me. A few things will have to be bought here… I’m gonna have to invest in trail runners here, gotta get those bad boys to fit. I’d never think about boots. After a couple of teething problems on el Camino de Santiago I’d never wear anything but them. They’re like normal running shoes but tougher. I’ve got a stove. You can see a test run a while back on a trip to la Laguna Zempoala in central Mexico. That’s it though, that’s my equipment list thus far! Time to start investing in a tent, clothing (cotton kills), backpack, stuff sacks, duck tape, socks, camera, and 3 A4 pages more of shopping list. Gotta be careful not to go over the top.
Most people don’t do this and end up having way, way too much stuff at the start of the AT. You shouldn’t carry more than 20% of your body weight, so I hear… a few still start with like 60lbs or even more! Some things I’ve heard of include a gallon of gas, frying pans, magic 8 ball, flare guns, mace etc.
I’ll be carrying 30lbs/15kgs more or less including 4 days of food. After 30 miles there’s an outfitters and post office. I want to be one of the few people that is buying stuff I need, rather than sending stuff home I shouldn’t’ve bought. Fat chance of that actually happening, but if my Yorkshire blood has anything to do with it, I’ll be aiiiiit.
Gear won’t do shit though if you’re not really prepared mentally. This is going to be more than just a physical journey. Gear won’t fix your head in the Virginia blues. Or when you’ve had enough of being wet 24 hours a day, without a Hooter’s in sight.
Even with all this though, I think I’m up to the task.
Time for bed.
Enjoy the pillow while it lasts.