Friday, August 12, 2016

Long Distance Hiking 101

In my continuing obsession with everything hiking, the A.T. and gear, I came across an actual class that you can take called Thru-Hiking 101 by Liz Thomas.  I saw the syllabus and I copied it for some future need.   It's really just an outline, but as I looked at it today, I decided that I could work my way through the topics and write posts dealing with most of them.  And that is just what I'm going to do.  

This won't be a Course per se, but will be a continuing series that will keep me busy as I wait for our time to hit the trail.  It will be a welcome retreat from my constant gear shaving, gear envy and hike planning. (but in its own way, is just that, hike planning)  

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert, but I do have some experience.  All information stated here is my opinion, based on my knowledge, skills, experience and pompous attitude.  Your mileage may vary.  Hike your own hike, etc, etc, etc...

I reserve the right to make shit up if I don't know all the facts.  

If you want to take the actual course and have $200 burning a hole in your pack, you can do so here.  

These articles will have no connection to her class other than the names of the topics that I will write about. 
This is the edited outline of what I think I might write about.  Most likely in the order shown, but prone to flexibility like everything else.

LD-01: Refining the Dream
What is long distance hiking?
Choosing the right trek
Finding the time and money
Understanding your "why"
Rallying your team

LD-02: Making It Real
The importance of planning
Physical fitness
Calculate your budget
Set the home front to autopilot

LD-03: Route Planning
Think about permits
Decide when you'll start
Plan your hard-stop end date
Decide where you'll start
Getting to and from the trailhead
Roughing out your itinerary

LD-04: Resupplies
The role of food on an LD-hike
Food rules for Long Distance Hikers
Decide on a resupply strategy
Grocery store resupplies
Mail drops
Bounce boxes
Using friends and family
The hybrid resupply spectrum

LD-05: Gear
Letting go of perfection
Joe's rules of gear
What's in my pack?
You don't need everything all the time
Start with the Big 4
Other key decisions
Fancy isn't always better. But sometimes it is.
Do your research

LD-06: Life on the Trail
What's it really like out there?
Eating and drinking
Making camp
Tricks for the long haul
Trail etiquette
Safety basics
Safety for women
Special concerns for older hikers

LD-07: More Life on the Trail
Staying smart around sex, drugs, and rock and roll
Common thru-hiker medical issues
Staying motivated
Making friends on the trail
Keeping in touch with loved ones

LD-08: Hike Your Own Hike
What "hike your own hike" means
Further resources

EarthTone and LoGear

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