earthtrekblog

Adventures of Life


Leave a comment

Just because you’ve left the trail doesn’t mean the trail has left you

It’s only taken a year!
Seems I’m think about the trail A LOT lately.  Excited to share more of my story from the Appalachian Trail:  FOLLOW ME

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements


6 Comments

A woman’s world on the AT

Coming out here, to the AT, I was nervous.   I was alone with my dog headed into the great unknown.
The trail is your teacher.  No matter how much you know or what plan to gain from it, it is the trail which guides and provides for you.

I came onto the trail with a decent amount of trail knowledge already tucked into my back pocket.   I understood how to make camp, hang a bear bag, cook food and respect leave no trace (LNT).
What I didn’t bring with me was a bottle of mace, a big knife, or an ego. 

The first week was a learning curve as I rediscovered what legs can do (lots and lots of walking) and that it is possible to meet people and in the course of a day know you’ll be friends for a long time to come.  In the same respect I’ve also met people and realized it was fine if they kept on walking.

image

As a person on the trail I feel no less equipped than any other person.   There is a common phrase,  hike your own hike (HYOH), which is repeated over and over again as a mantra.  People can provide ideas, information, and experiences but it is up to you to accept them, or leave them, and move forward.  Here are a few things which apply to me as a hiker, and a woman.  MEN there may be more info than you are interested in knowing, than again it may provide you with a good conversation piece.

When it comes to hiking alone.  Go. Do it.  You will meet amazing individuals who will fill the space and you will no longer be “alone”.  These remarkable people will become your “trail family” or contacts throughout your time on the trail.  When predefined groups enter the trail they often interact amongst themselves and don’t reach far to make new connections

image

Trail buddies for life!

When you meet these wonderful folks on the trail do yourself and them a favor, don’t shake hands.  During the first week on trail I offended more people by opting out of handshakes and here is why I opted out; having just left a privy I was headed for my tent to snag my hand sanitizer when someone asked for direction to the water source.  I rattled them off quickly and was going to continue on when he introduced himself and offered a hand.  I started to extend mine when I suddenly realized I hadn’t sanitized yet and withdrew my hand rapidly while explaining, “sorry, I just hit up the privy and haven’t cleaned up yet.”
The response was all I needed to know never shake a hikers hand. “That’s ok!”

image

There's a reason some privys are not to be used...

I don’t touch hands with other hikers, I don’t reach into offered food bags, and I don’t accept food unless I’ve seen them pouring food from it.  An elbow is the closest thing you’ll get to a fist bump from me.

The “trail diet” is a fascinating thing.  You eat what you see, and anything else which crosses your path, bugs, dirt, etc.  You will be counting calories but in a whole new way.  When I pick an item up and the calories for a single serving are below 150 I tend to reconsider eating it.  I want items where the calories are over 200 and I can make a hearty meal with over 1,200 calories.  Despite this style of dieting I have dropped 30 pounds in the past 6 weeks.  Town days are a thing of gluttony, double servings of pretty much any meal I order and ice cream is a must.

image

Thanks for the birthday snack fest!

Now onto the good stuff!

Peeing in the woods isn’t all bad.  I won’t lie,  men have a distinct advantage when it comes to peeing in the woods UNLESS you are willing to step outside your comfort zone and give the Pstyle a go.   I swear by this female urinary device. 

image

Pstyle storage. Easily accessible. And cleaned after every use.

There are numerous ones out there but I have heard this one has advantages, the urine doesn’t back up so it’s not a guessing game whether it is empty. BUT don’t think it’s all peaches and cream.  This thing takes practice, some say best done at home, than again necessity pushes you to be more accurate.   I have days which I label my 85% accuracy days.  Yup,  we all have a learning curve. These are laundry days.  Days where I was in a rush or didn’t focus on the task at hand and ended up “leaking”.  It’s ok, in my mind those days are few and far between. 
The convience to be able to stand on the side of a mountain and take a moment to enjoy a “vista piss” and not worry about exposing myself to a crew above makes every learning curve worth it.  Or the day I’d reached a mountain top before the rest of my group and sidled up behind a tree.  Having just rinsed off the Pstyle I hear a cry “did I catch you pissing?! Because if I did you just made my day!” Glad his day was made…

Women, I know you are all thinking about the frustrations or concerns regarding menstruation while on the trail.   Really it’s nothing.  Yes it may require a little extra time to clean up but truth be told it’s simple.  Options have changed and we are better informed.  It is up to you how you want to manage while hiking, using either, pads, tampons, or the ever increasing in popularity, menstrual cup. 
I hear concerns from women about how to pack out used items.  Ziploc bags.  Everyone has their own way, cover the bag in duct tape to strengthen it and keep items out of sight.  Some use a coffee bag to store their ziplocs in, and toss a coffee bean in the bottom to cover perceived odors. Personally I don’t want to carry anything out and find the menstrual cup to be highly effective. 
The concern about cleanliness and this are no different than any other situation, if your hands are in that area, you want them clean to start.  Take time to plan your day accordingly, give yourself extra time at lunch to take care of business.  Personally I opt out of using privys as I find the woods to be more sanitary. 

If you want to go out and enjoy the trail go and do it.  Become one with nature! You will define your adventures!

image

After a day of "slacking" it was important to see if I could convict people I'd built up lots of glute muscle!


1 Comment

Sponsorship…

To anyone who is checking in to see if I got the sponsorship I have sad news

The disappointment!!

The disappointment!!

I did not make the final cut from 4o entries to 12 – but I did get a wonderful email from the main person with much encouragement and appreciation for my video.

Please feel free to vote for other contestants, the video links are at www.appalachiantrials.com

(located partway down the page with the headings “name” wants Badger sponsorship powered by LARABAR)

I would like to assist in any way I can for the fellow Thru Hikers!

 

I hope to also provide you with a link to my video by the end of the week, I feel that you should get a chance to enjoy my little blurb about the AT even though it’s not in the contest!!!

And here is my serious nature as I go through the emotions of the news I received at 2:30am this morning:

The shock!!!

The shock!!!

The contemplation

The contemplation

The Vengeance!!

The Vengeance!!

The acceptance!!!

The acceptance!!!


Leave a comment

Words of wisdom!

I was woken this morning by a horde of snuggling critters! Within the cries of joy which filled the room my sleepy mind realized there was wisdom to share!

IMG_5559-0.JPG
My very astute and outgoing cat, Skiddy Kitty, would like to fill you in.

Welcome to AUTUMN!

As the cold air takes over it is important to dress for the weather!

IMG_1675.JPG

It is also holiday season and being in fashion is a must!

IMG_5561.JPG

Sometimes you just need to put aside your differences and appreciate what others have to offer.

IMG_5558.JPG

IMG_5560.JPG

And the answer to any important question (especially in the outdoor world):

IMG_5557.JPG

DRINK WATER!!!
•you have a headache… Drink water!
•you’re tired… Drink water!
•you’re hungry… Drink water!
•you don’t know what to do with yourself… Drink water!

Wishing you an awesome an informative autumn!