Friday, December 14, 2012

ShakeDown Hike: Lessons Learned

I certainly learned a lot about how awful blisters are, and how important footwear is to a successful thru hike. I had a pair of waterproof lightweight hiking boots that I *thought* I really liked, but it turns out my feet sweat too much to be comfortable in waterproof boots. (What keeps water out also keeps water in). I also wore a pair of SuperFeet insoles that may have contributed to my blisters. I also forgot my liner socks (it's the trifecta of blisters).

Since the trip I've tried on 10+ different pairs of shoes and boots, trying to find TheOnes. I think I have finally settled on the Moab Ventilator Mids - they are very comfortable. I need to make sure to hike plenty in January & February, so if I need less ventilation during winter, I have time to break in some waterproof boots.

  • When I *first* feel a hotspot, I need to take care of it immediately instead of waiting until I get to camp.
  • If I can get out of camp just after sunrise, I can cover more mileage.
  • I don't need a trowel or a full sized moleskine notebook.

Time will tell whether L. and I end up being compatible speed-wise. I fear that she will get frustrated with my slower pace. I hope I can get into shape quickly so her frustration is minimized. Even with awful blisters my average speed was 2mph - not too shabby for starting off.

I was surprised at the amount of cell coverage I had. I thought about getting a personal locator beacon or a SPOT device, but think I will hold off for now. If I end up doing the trail by myself I'll get one.

I learned that I am ready to do this, and I am capable of doing it. I want to hike the AT so badly I am willing to do it alone, if I need to.

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