Watch out, Mt. Katahdin! I’m coming for you!

I saw that Maine and much of the Northeast got battered by storms recently, so I’m glad I wasn’t try to summit Katahdin during that time. If I can have one good day of weather when I go hiking, I want it to my first day when I’m going to summit Katahdin. I don’t want to arrive at Baxter State Park the day I have a campsite reserved and it be storming all day, making a summit dangerous.

Anyway, I’ve been anxiously getting most of my final preparations done. I have really been going over all my gear and whittling down excess gear and weight. It’s really quite difficult to shake down your own gear but I think I’m doing well. I’ve cut out about 4 pounds of unneeded weight and it’s already making my pack feel more manageable. Anything is more manageable than the 40 pounds I was carrying around on my last practice day hike though. I’ve also decided to spend some money and replace some of my heavier items that I’ve owned for a long time with newer, but more importantly lighter, versions. I swapped out my rain jacket and long underwear and probably saved another pound. My rain jacket was always a bit heavy, I was just hoping I wouldn’t have to buy a new one. I didn’t have to but the saved weight and pack space is quite good.

What I actually did was take a kitchen scale and weighed each piece of gear individually, writing each weight down. This really helped. I was able to see every single piece of gear I was wanting to take with its weight. This method really helped show me what was weighing down my pack and how much weight I could save by taking out combinations of items. This is how I was able to bring my pack weight down pre-hike. I know I will lose more pack weight as I hike, but I feel I’m doing pretty well.

There isn’t too much more to report on. I’ve been keeping up my workout routine, so my body isn’t in a state of shock a week into the trail. I’m going to be making my own beef jerky soon, as I normally do, for my trip in the 100 mile wilderness. I can make a bunch and it’s super light weight. I’ve also started buying some cliff bars for the beginning of my trip. I’ve also repacked my pack a few times and I now have most everything inside my pack, which I like better than lashing things on the outside. My sandals and pack cover are the only things hanging on the outside now.

I will be heading to Cleveland (Cleveland rocks?) on July 4 to meet up with my girlfriend before we head off to Maine. She hasn’t managed her pack weight at all yet, so I figure I will be helping her with that. It will be good though. We’ll have a few days in Cleveland when we can really work out our gear together, so that should be really nice.

It’s getting close and I can’t wait to stop blogging because that means I will be starting my journey. I hope all the Southbounders on the trail now are doing well (and the northbounders….I’ll shoot them some love too).

16 days til’ Katahdin! #SOBO #Maine2Georgia

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~John Muir

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