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General Updates

It has been a while since I have given any sort of updates, and as I do not really have a full post ready to go, I figured it was a good time for one.HikingI have not been hiking as much as I had wanted to lately.  It seems like life is just in the way again.  Between working EMS shifts and riding the motorcycle to events, and everything in between, my weekends have been filled with lots of other tasks… just not hiking.  As we start the “hot and humid” season here in Maryland, part of me expects my outdoor time to be limited.  No sense in getting heat stroke before I need to.I have been getting in a lot of walking, though.  Mostly at lunch, on the sidewalk, but I figure a cardiac workout is still better than nothing.  While I would not say I enjoy these lunchtime walks (mostly because I hate going back to work sweaty and stinky…) I do notice a difference in my day when I do not take this walk, though.  I also have some hikes planned – I just need to find some openings in my schedule so I can get out and do them.  I am still working on it.NotificationsUmm, none have been made.  Yet.  I am going home to see my parents soon, and plan to tell them in person at that point.  I also plan to tell them individually, because I know they each process new information differently.  I figure they will have a lot of questions, but hopefully I can pull enough answers out of thin air that they will not freak out too badly.Actually, I jest a little, but in reality, I know they will support me at the end.  There will be a lot of questions, for which I can almost predict what they will be, but when all is said and done, I know that my parents will be right behind me.  They always have been, even if they do not agree with my decisions.  Who is a lucky bastard?  This guy.Once my parents are “in the know”, then I can start disseminating information.  My boss will need to be notified at some point, but probably not until closer to the actual hike.  Not sure on the reaction I will get there.  Ultimately, I am not sure I will have a job to come back to.  A lot of my friends will laugh at me, saying I am crazy.  That is fine, I am.  I need to let my bike club president know, and he will probably need some talking and coercing before he buys into the idea.  We have some pretty major events coming up shortly after my thru-hike, and I am quite certain he will want to make sure everything is in order for those before he gives me his support.  No worries, Ron, it will be.GearAs you may have seen, I have put together a listing of the current gear I own.  (If you missed it, check out my Current Gear post and my Questionable Gear post!)  There are still some big ticket items to be looked at, and some smaller things I know I need.  Here is a short list of what is still up in the air.

- Pack.  Testing coming, to see if my dad’s loaner will work.

- Summer Sleeping Bag.  I have a 20-degree bag that should work for winter – I hope.  Thinking I might need a 45 or 50- degree bag for June, July, August and September, so I do not die of heat exhaustion at night.

- Sleeping Pad.  My pad still works, but it is not the lightest and it does not fold up, just rolls, which would require strapping it to the outside of the pack.  Contemplating the newer, lighter, smaller-packed pads.  Not a required purchase, I suppose.

- Water Filter.  Looking at the Sawyer Squeeze, which is much smaller and lighter than my current pump filter.  The same way a car is smaller than an aircraft carrier.

- Boots.  Or shoes.  Or whatever.  I need to find something that works.  Soon.

- Headlamp.  Mine works, but it is heavy and does not hold a charge very long.

- Clothes.  Yeah, need clothes.  Pretty much need to buy everything I need to take.  Except socks.  I have socks.  Then again, I probably need more socks.

- Stuff Sacks.  I do not even know how many I need.  I am guessing at five.  Need to research this one a little more.

- Lots of odds and ends.  You know, a rope for a bear bag.  Bug spray.  A new journal.  A case of snickers.  That sort of thing.

As you can see, I still have quite a ways to go before I am ready.  There are also a lot of the planning items to prepare for:  North vs South?  Will I have a job or be able to find a job after?  How will I fit all of my junk into a single storage garage?  Yeah, I am going to be quite the mental case soon… (quiet, no comments from the Peanut Gallery, please!)If you have any comments, advice, or topic suggestions, please use the comment box below or use the Contact Me page up top.Until next time, remember to “Spin the Compass.”MapCompass16_small 

Book Review: Appalachian Trials

Questionable Gear