Monday, June 30, 2014

News From the 100 Mile Wilderness

Southbounders are quite different than Northbounders. Stands to reason. Those who left Georgia, some in early February, are not seeing Katahdin, a distant view, but attainable in 4 days. Southbounders are nursing knees, leaving trash, lightening monstrous loads.

I have to hand it to these southbounders, though. The toughest trail, roots from hell, mosquitoes chomping on you despite multiple layers of 100 % deet.

I've seen groups geared up just for the 100 Mile Wilderness. Some from Quebec, some boy scout groups, some couples. Its been on their bucket list.

Now in case you're wondering, like I was as a northbounder in 2002, why there are Roads in a Wilderness, they informed me its not really a wilderness, that's only marketing.
Well, works for me.

Anyways, met and chatted with Skywalker, or Bill Walker, multiple thru hiker and famed author.
He was 3 miles from Chairback Lean-To, I was heading down to my private dry camp, two miles in the opposite direction, in rain....sopping wet. You Appalachian Trailers know how that is. No one wants to back track.

Friends in Millinocket are telling everyone to keep an eye out for Brawny, the ridgerunner, so its been fun being called by name by total strangers.
But, seriously, are there any strangers among AT hikers? Maybe only friends who've never met, yet.

Happy Trails

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Hand Crank Weather Radio

While off the grid, I'm testing this hand crank weather radio. It also has a solar panel, which seems to be keeping everything up and running.
It was a gift for Mother's day, perfect for the current adventure, living off the grid for 10 days at a time. Amazingly, internet and electricity are hard to come by even when I return to civilization to resupply. Right now I'm writing this at a McDonalds.

The volume is low on the radio, and seems to wear the battery down much quicker than the light. For this reason, I seldom use that function. It does have an antenna, which helps with reception back in the woods.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Video of Abandoned Gear on AT

Live action with a new ridge runner! I take these photos as a learning activity, showing what people buy and carry on their first week on the Appalachian Trail.

One thing I noticed, alot of bar soap and weapons abandoned. Good! No one needs a Bear Grills machete on the AT.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Abandoned Gear Alert

As the ridge runner, one of my jobs is to pack out gear left alongside the trail and in trail shelters. I am stationed at this time just 14 miles south of Katahdin. Thru hikers are realizing, apparently, they do no need a Bear Grills machete, an ax, a dozen stuff sacks, and heavy waterproof assortment of plastic containers (use zip lock baggies).
Also being abandoned, bars of soap (thankyou) bath salts, sling shot, cordage, dried beans, hats, and serious jack knives.

Clothing and even 8 packages of Ramen noodles, quarters and heavy metal rings, a 2014 data book, torn rainpants.
I post this list to help other hikers re-evaluate their packs, and for goodness sakes, don't let an outfitter sell you this stuff for a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail.

The first couple nights on a thru hike are the shake down. Hikers congregate, compare notes and bruises, pack weights and foods. Some plan to get through the 100 mile with out a resupply by local merchants offering such for fees. You can do this, embrace the challenge.

Give yourself 7 to 10 days of travel time. The serious hunger doesn't set in the first week. You'll be in Monson before you know it.

Just a few notes, from my side of the fence to save you some money and aggravation.