I submitted an entry to Kurgo to get $5,000 to assist Star and I in our AT thru hike, what I didn’t know and just found out, is there is outsider voting!
PLEASE HELP US OUT BY VOTING FOR US! Click HERE
I’m floundering! First off I’m living in NH which means I’m under more than three feet of snow after this past “storm”! Yesterday was day 50 in my count down and there are still so many things to do! It seems like each time I dig myself out I just get buried again.
To give you an idea of what is still ahead of me for my trip planning.
Need to finish purchasing my gear.
Big ticket items: Tent ($450) and Backpack ($250)
Smaller items but still necessary: Stove ($35), Sleeping bag liner ($60), footwear ($150), base layers ($110).
The price of my gear is up there. But I am also doing my best to buy light weight. I want my pack weight to remain under 35 pounds once food and water are added. This is a challenging game, every item adds up. You don’t realize just how much you’re carrying until you have no where left in your pack to squeeze that one last item. 35 pounds may not sound like much, and for a day it’s not, but imagine carrying a small child for 2,189 miles through snow, rain, heat, and bugs. Doesn’t sound like much fun does it! Bonus for me, my 35 pound “child” will not squirm or complain, they’ll leave that up to me. The weight of my pack is a REALLY big deal for me. I need to do everything in my power to protect my knee so I can enjoy my hike and reduce the chance of reinjuring myself.
My life for the next 5-7 months will be lived out of this pack, it will include only what I need (or deem a serious treat).
Gear: 5 lbs 9.9 oz.
-Pack: 4 lbs. 15 oz.
-Pack cover: 4 oz.
-Water Bladder: 2 oz.
-Stuff sacks: 4 oz.
-Bear Bag: 0.9 oz.
Base: 4 lbs 15.1 oz.
-Tent: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
-Footprint: 3.8 oz.
-Sleeping bag: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
-Sleeping pad: 1 lbs. 1 oz.
-Sleeping bag liner: 4.6 oz.
-Pillow: 5.8 oz.
-Knee cushion: 2.9 oz.
Kitchen: 1 lbs. 5 oz.
-Stove: 3 oz.
-Fuel: 6 oz.
-Pots: 9.5 oz.
-Spoon: 0.8 oz.
-Cozy: 1.7 oz.
Necessities: 1 lbs. 13.5 oz.
-Water Filter: 7.8 oz.
-Headlamp: 3 oz.
-Batteries: 5 oz.
-First aid: 4 oz.
-Inhaler: 1 oz.
-Cord: 4 oz.
-Trowel: 0.6 oz.
-TP: 2 oz.
-Lady Cup: 1.5 oz.
-Pstyle: 0.6 oz.
Clothing: 5 lbs. 5 oz.
-Bra: 7.8 oz.
-Shorts: 5 oz.
-Socks (3 pair): 6.9 oz.
-Base bottom: 7 oz.
-Base top: 8 oz.
-Shirt: 4.2 oz.
-Pants: 1 lbs
-Warm layer: 13.5 oz.
-Down jacket: 11.2 oz.
-Buff: 2.9 oz.
-Hat: 3 oz.
-Camp shoes: 3.7 oz.
-Hiking Shoes: 11.8 oz.
-iPhone: 4.6 oz.
-iPod: 0.8 oz.
-Paperwhite: 7.8 oz.
-Chargers: 0.5 oz.
This long list of items is only part of the planning! I still have Star’s pack to figure out and all the logistics of package drops and meal planning. This is a huge undertaking – only made more challenging by my stubbornness to provide my dog with the best!
I am so thrilled to have SPONSORSHIP and SUPPORT from some amazing companies, THE HONEST KITCHEN, RUFFWEAR, GOOD TO GO, and CROSSFIT BONA FIDE!
If YOU would like to support my journey (click the blue links) you can do so either through Amazon where you can pick out specific items from my “wish list” (remember last time we learned the links don’t work from phones)
OR feel free to send MONETORY support via PayPal! You are able to send money directly to me with just my email – this makes life easier! Feel free to attach a note with your address so I can send you a note from my journey!
NO POST WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT SOME PICTURES!!!
I did it… I watched WILD!
I’m unsure how to sum up my concept of the movie, so I will do my best. I’d been trying to set up a time to go with friends. Things just kept getting pushed out and pushed out and suddenly we were looking at a single show time on the last day in a local theater and it meant I HAD to go and I was going solo.
As I sat there in the theater watching Cheryl Strayed, aka Reese Witherspoon, scream into the wilderness, I understood what was going through her mind, and I recognized what is in store for me in the months to come. As the pain of memories overwhelmed her, pushing her to come to terms with herself, with her life, tears ran freely down my cheeks. The trail changes you – I haven’t gotten there yet but I know. It’s true, many of the people who head to the trail have a reason. I know I do.
I’m so grateful for the people I have met in my life. Those who ask me to look inward at myself, to really question who I am and what I am about. It is easy to answer the generic questions about why I’m involved in the work I do. I work with kids because I want to make a difference and I want to learn from them and appreciate their youthful energy and innocence. We forget as adults how to take pleasure by letting our emotions run wild. The youthful exuberance over success, the frustration of being ignored by peers, the joy of discovering something new, these things fuel me and remind me to see things through their young eyes. These are the easy things to answer. The tough one. Why am I hiking? To escape. To grow. To gain respect for myself. To be self reliant. To challenge myself. To trust myself. To live a dream.
I will be challenging myself on so many different levels, Physically, mentally and emotionally. When most people ask what inspired me to hike the AT I give the safe answer, I tore my ACL a year and a half ago and I wanted a goal to work towards. Usually this is greeted with gasps of awe and gentle encouragement to be careful and have fun. It is an easy answer with a strong effect. Rarely do I tell the other part of “why”. That I needed to escape. I’d lost too many things in a short period of time and I needed an out.
1) The loss of my dear friend and “little big brother,” Paul, to a brain tumor after a year long battle.
2) The end of a serious relationship, one which helped support me when things with Paul were at their worst. One where I was firmly reminded that it’s okay to ask for help, especially when there are people who want to give it.
3) Lastly, the icing on the cake, the loss of my mobility, the knee injury was a physical blow but also an emotional one. I found myself in a state of depression, happiest when closed in my room watching movies and snuggling with my dog.
So this is “why” I am hiking the AT. I want the time the trail will provide to look inside and understand where I am going. I want to come back from the trail understanding how to move beyond my history without burying it. I want to share my knowledge and experiences with the youth, so full of their own pure energy.
I have exposed myself to the world. There is no more hiding behind simple answers and half truths. I have a journey ahead of me and it starts now!
Thank you THE HONEST KITCHEN for your sponsorship!!! Star was very excited to receive yet another package just for her! (Skiddy Kitty really wanted in on it but he was denied).
So far Star is winning the Sponsorship gig! She has received two sponsorships and I have only gained one… Thank you “Good to Go” for your support of my journey!
Again MY WISH LIST can be found at Amazon.com under Erin AT Tuveson or follow the link below (P.S. you cannot do these from a mobile device).
To anyone who is checking in to see if I got the sponsorship I have sad news
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:
You hit the end of the holidays, Christmas is over, New Years is over, and the Valentine’s candy is already gracing the shelves of the super market, all the anxiety and stress of getting through the “major” holidays is over, for a couple months. And yet I have somehow managed to increase my stress level to record highs!
This whole journey of hiking the AT is no small potatoes, so I decided to enter myself in a contest for an opportunity to win a HUGE sponsorship package for my thru hike. The contest seemed simple enough, make a video explaining: why you are thru hiking the AT, why you want the sponsorship, and why would you hike ALL 2189 miles! (Here is where I apologize for not keeping up with blogging but I was buried under an assignment) As simple as these questions seem I was at a loss. I know why I want to hike the AT and I know why I want the sponsorship (who DOESN’T want a sponsorship?!!!) but HOW do I put this into words without boring the viewer. I spent days upon days coming up with a theme, a common thread to carry you through all 90 seconds of video. With a less than 24 hours to shoot, assemble and post the rush was on — wonderful people stepped in to help with shooting the video and helping me overcome my technological ineptitude in assembling it. At this point it has been sent in for review IF it makes it through the first batch of selection it will be posted tomorrow for viewer VOTING!
(Here is my shameless plug) PLEASE CHECK IN TOMORROW FOR AN UPDATED BLOG POST WITH A LINK TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE WHERE YOU CAN VOTE FOR A FAVORITE VIDEO (PICK ME! PICK ME! and share with friends)
To unwind from this I took a day. A day to get the camera out and just play! So after much time spent indoors working on a laptop (which almost grew wings multiple times) I went to the beach. Here is a photo story of the day – and I know they ALL look the same to you – but Star was enjoying herself as was I, so who’s to complain.