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21 January 2015

Hiking Goals for 2015

almost just wrote 2014 up there.. whoops.

It's not secret my plan is to hike the Appalachian Trail next year and while I'm still 13ish months away (goal is to leave end of February/beginning of March 2016) I really need to start planning now!

I'd like to set some goals for myself over the next year to start purchasing gear, reaching out to potential sponsors, and hopefully getting in some practice hikes nearby.

But here's the thing... if you haven't figured it out yet I'm not really much of a hiker- I've gone on hikes in the past, and done several camping trips over the years but I've literally never backpacked before. Ever. Which might seem strange since this the thing I have my heart set on - it feels right though. So we are going to get through it. I already know REI will be my best friend with their return/exchange policy. Planning to buy a lot of stuff through them (and they have a cash back program!)

If you are hiker/backpacker/outdoors person and have any suggestions for gear I might need, brands, sponsors- ANYTHING, please let me know. Any and all help is much appreciated!!

  • start researching backpacks, sleeping bags and tents -these will all be key items for my hike, and pricey. I want to go to stores in Jan/Feb to try them out, walk around, carry the weight of 25-30 lbs
almost positive I'm going with this bad boy for my tent..
  • buy a stove, pot and utensils. checkity check, just bought them!
  • boots! this month is all about the shoes, and socks I will be wearing for 5-6 months. I need to decide I want to go with the traditional boot or a hiking sneaker
  • clothes goes along with this, the first few months and the last few months will be chilly. I need good under layers, a warm light weight jacket, and accessories. But then I need to think about the warm months, the best shorts that will limit or eliminate chaffing completely and the most supportive comfortable bra ever. plus underwear. you have to think about the details!
  • I need to figure out what I want to eat- this sounds a bit early but I think this will be my best bet for sponsors, food companies that might donate products meaning I won't to buy them.
  • I'd also like to purchase at least one big item this month- either bedding, a pack or my tent. 
  • start emailing those sponsors- by this time the 2015's have most like hit the trail. Now it's my turn to get in with the sponsors for next year!
  • if possible purchase another big item
  • purchase last big item if possible
  • go for a mini-hike, take a weekend Saturday- Sunday and test gear
  • email email email for sponsors!
  • start tracking down and figuring out misc. gear
  • mini-hike (maybe one with crappy weather- no use trying out the wet gear if it's not actually raining)
  • map out hike- figure out estimates for stops, re-gearing, do I want a bump box/ mailing food or buying?
  • four day weekend hike. birthday? Could be a fun adventure with friends..
  • meal plans- should I dehydrate and cook my own things or purchase?- check in on sponsors!
  • four day weekend hike- the end is in sight...
  • purchase plan ticket to Georgia! ahh!
  • cold weather hike? we will see how the weather is...
  • harass those sponsors!
  • final gear lists- beg for anything not yet purchased for the holidays! gift cards gift cards!
January 2016:
  • purchase those last odds and ends
  • find someone to sublet my apartment/watch the cats
  • visit with family and friends becausec it might be a while before I see them..
February 2016:
  • Final bag checks, confirm flights, hotel stay and transport to the start and ...
March 2016: HIKE! 

and that is that- my goals and plan to try and get this all done! I'm already crazy excited, way to nervous and scared I'm going to run out of time. 
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  1. You need to hike a lot more than you have planned up there to get into shape/break in those boots. I have the gear, and some experience if you want to go on a hike some time. . . forget it i'm emailing you. HA!

  2. Oh wow this is a huge and awesome goal! I can't wait to hear more about it!

  3. Good luck on this awesome goal! My friend recently got into hiking and is trying to convince me to hike Zion National Park in Utah with her this summer. Not quite as BIG as yours, but she says the best part of hiking are the breathtaking views. I'll have to keep track of this list and use it in my own ways to prepare :)

  4. you go girl!! That sounds so awesome! I hope it all works out for you! Can't wait to hear the details as they come to you! So exciting!

  5. I can't wait to follow your adventure. I love hiking!

  6. This is such an amazing goal! I can't wait to read about all your progress! I did a 22.26 mile hike in one day and I thought that was a task, but I see it is nothing in comparison to what you are planning to do! I am preparing my post for tomorrows Friday Favorites and have linked this post! Good luck with everything!!

  7. What an exciting and ambitious goal! I have a friend who hiked the AT and it kicked off a wanderlust lifestyle of traveling, backpacking, and occasionally working for a couple years. I've always wanted to do part of it, especially now that I live out in the flat state of Illinois.

  8. That sounds amazing! I can only hope my trip does the same for me. and hey- you can always a take a few days off and just do a section the trail. it's a big one!

  9. Thanks for the Friday love! I really need to get out there and do some more hikes to prepare for this big one- all tips/advice is very welcomed!