Monday, January 3, 2011

What I'd do differently in the event that I got to thruhike again

I took a sick day today after all.  But I felt better throughout the day, so I'm thinking tomorrow should be back to normalcy.  However my day off today left  me with a lot of thinking time.

So I thought about thruhiking.  As one does.

I thought I'd do a "What I'd do differently" list.  Some things would stay the same, at least the same as the end of my attempted thruhike, if not the same as the beginning.  In fact I also need to do a "What I'd do the same" list for comparison.

What I'd do differently:
Call more cabs.  This is not always possible, but if it is, why not?  It's safer than hitchhiking, plus you can arrange a cab in advance.  Now, I'm talking about getting from trail to town and back.. not skipping ahead.
Either walk faster or accept lower mileage.  Longer days, hours-wise, leads to chafe-age.
Try to find other slow people to hike near.  Having friends around makes a huge difference in my daily mood.
Not get Lyme disease again.  My plan is to take Andrographis as a preventative.  I figure I'm a pretty good test case for finding out if that actually works.
Accept that I am not an ultralight hiker.  I am not one of those butch Marines that can "dry out my clothes in camp by wearing them."  That is a recipe for hypothermia for me.  Also, I need more than a tarp to sleep under.  I am a cold sleeper so I need to be warm, and I need to keep ticks off of me.
Think about taking glasses with me.  In case I need to read, or something.
Buy a brand new Marmot Precip right before my hike.  They're great jackets but they do age, so taking an old one is a bad idea.
Carry extra charging capacity for my phone.
Skip the "extras" that don't really appeal to me.  I generally don't care about waterfalls.  Home-style restaurants either.  But I should eat more Chinese food and read historical plaques.
Train more ahead of time.  That was the idea for this year, but the Snowpocalypse put the kibosh on it.
Wear my wedding ring or a cheap facsimile thereof.
Carry more of the AWOL guide at one time.  I often cut it too close, and had to wait until I picked up the next section to figure out how many days food to buy.
Ditch the bandaids.  I used sports tape for all my bandaid needs.
Carry stevia rather than splenda.  So my liver won't, you know, hurt.
Might try to find a pair of boots that doesn't rub my heel off.
Take more video.  It conveys things that pictures just don't.

What I would do the same:
Hike South to North.  You get more warm weather that way.  I like cool weather, but I don't like cold weather, and southbounders can get a whole lot of that.
My tent (Tarptent Rainbow), backpack (Gregory something or other), stove (AntiGravity Gear alcohol stove), pot (something titanium), and spoon (long handled titanium) are all fine.
My final hiking outfit is also fine:  convertible pants designed for curvy women, button down shirt.
Probably I would still carry all the maps.  I love maps.  They haven't been super useful, exactly.  It's not like I got lost and map and compassed my way out of it. I just like looking at them.

I am of two minds about my water treatment.  On the one hand, when the steripen works, it rocks.  But when it doesn't (mostly in cold weather), filters are also problematic. 

In other news, this is day three of my diet and I'm hungry.

That is all.

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