Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update - 1 Week To Go

Here's a list of things I've been doing:

1. Food planning
I made a google document (an online document that multiple people can edit) for my parents and girlfriend, who will be sending me packages of food and maps along the way. The spreadsheet contains a section for requests for upcoming boxes, including relevant addresses, as well as an expense sheet so that I can reimburse them along the way from my bank account. The first food box -- for Warner Springs -- needs to go out this Friday. I also had my first shipment of MealPack bars sent to my parents' home. At roughly $1 per 100 grams and 400 calories, they're a good deal as far as nutritious energy bars go. 

Hopefully, this arrangement will give me the flexibility to adjust my eating habits along the way while still enjoying the advantages of maildrops. 

2. Itinerary
I have done a day-by-day breakdown of the route, as discussed in a previous post. I am not tied to this itinerary, but it is important as an estimate and a list of important information that has a bearing on my decisions along the way. I've sent the itinerary to those who are involved in my hike in some way. 

3. Maps
I'll finish printing out maps in a day or two (Halfmile's maps), as well as Jonathan Ley's Glacier Peaks reroute. I bought resealable freezer bags (hard to find in 11'' height) to store map sections in. I've decided to cut out pages of Yogi's trail guide and include those in each section. I can toss those as I need to along the way, but some pages will certainly come in handy -- enough so that I don't feel like rewriting the most important info on a special sheet. 

I'll mail off the maps, divided into sections, to my parents' house and have them include them in maildrops. 

Finally, the day before I leave I'll print out the water report for sections A-G. I was originally going to plan out water sources in advance, but it seems like too much work. I'll probably do this on a section by section basis just a day or two in advance. 

4. Packages
I just sent off a tube with my trekking poles, knife, and tent stakes to Scout and Frodo's home in San Diego. These are trail angels who typically take in PCT thru-hikers at the start of their hikes. I saved just $3 over the cost of checking this piece of luggage on my flight. 

I will prepare a package soon with my gear for the High Sierra to be sent to Kennedy Meadows in a couple weeks: ice axe, Kahtoola microspikes (crampon-like traction devices for snow), gaitors, larger backpack (Golite Pinnacle), plastic pack liner, and a fresh bottle of DEET. 

5. Body
I have one more session at the tanner's left, and 2 or 3 sessions at the gym, as well as some jogging and biking. The day before I head out, I'll cut my hair short and shave certain parts of my body to make things easier on myself later on.

I'm still looking for small bottles to store contact lens fluid in. 

6. Boxing up belongings
I've begun packing up my not-so-numerous belongings and listing the contents of each box on the top and side. Of particular importance is the box of backpacking gear. This box has a detailed list of its contents inside the box, so that anyone could find the piece I need on request and mail it to me in a maildrop.

7. Wrapping up business
I have lots of writing and web work to finish up...

8. Excitement
I'm excited to leave this boring, computer-based lifestyle behind me, free up my mind, and be out in the wilderness living a simple lifestyle. This excitement overrides any sadness at leaving my girlfriend behind, but we'll see how that plays out in the coming weeks. 


  1. Sounds like a pretty complicated lifestyle to me...

  2. Haha, yes. The planning is complex, even overwhelming. Once you're out there, things get simple fast.