By: Marian Van Vlack, Lifetime Girl Scout from Whitesville, NY
It’s game time! My parents have kindly offered to drive me to my starting point in Connecticut on Sunday, June 7th. This last week has been a whirlwind of preparation. I spent an entire day with my extremely patient dad in Rochester getting the rest of my gear. We found most of what we needed at L.L. Bean where I spent a staggering $700 on everything from socks to my 3lb 3oz one-person tent. I ordered new guidebooks with topographic maps to take with me, and finally planned out my entire route complete with stops and mail drops.
In addition to my tent, some of my big gear purchases included two pairs of zip-off hiking pants, gaiters, fuel for my camp stove, first-aid supplies, and a whole selection of freeze-dried dinners. One of my main concerns is ensuring that I have what I need, while carrying as little weight as possible. This image is from my initial attempt to fit everything into my pack. It only weighs 20lbs at this point, which is promising. You might notice that in an attempt to reduce the amount of weight I will have to carry, I chopped off about a foot of my hair! (Actually, I just think it will be easier to keep short hair clean J) And yes, I did donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths for someone in need.
In planning my route, I decided to cut my millage a little so now I will be hiking 700 miles instead of 750, this will give me a chance to enjoy more of the trail without having to worry about making it to each stop so I don’t run out of time. I will be averaging about 10.5 miles each day and stopping in towns to resupply about every eight days. As a treat, I scheduled a stay at one of the huts in the presidential range in New Hampshire. My parents are going far above and beyond to help me with this trip and will be taking a detour from their vacation in New Hampshire this summer to meet me at Mount Katadin in Maine for my last day of hiking, and hopefully hike to the summit with me!
My next post will be from the trail, so wish me luck and I can’t wait to share all of my adventures!