I was terrified to hike with a fully-packed pack for the first time. I carefully researched each item and feel emotionally attached to everything I'm shoving in my Osprey Aura65. I anticipated struggling through my first hike with a full pack and came to terms with the fact that I would likely need to eliminate gear before the AT. Without food and water, my pack weighs 22 pounds. Initially, I wasn't sure how to feel about this number and how it would feel to carry it up and down mountains. I was DELIGHTED to hear the little munchkin I nanny for is 27 pounds! So basically my Appalachian Trail training began 10 months ago when I started carrying the little one around. Knowing this piece of information was crucial to keeping a positive attitude going into this hike.
Another essential component to hiking success is correctly packing your backpack. I would consider myself a great packer, but I had no idea there is an art to organizing a backpack. Fortunately for me, Danielle is a phenomenal backpack packer and magically made my pack feel 10 pounds lighter than it did when I packed it.
For our shakedown hike, Danielle and I trekked up Sugarloaf Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The trail was only about 6 miles, but had challenging sections and covered all different types of terrain, making it the perfect hike to get a feel for our packs. It was a gorgeous spring day- the sun broke through the clouds just as we reached the summit. Mother Nature was totally giving us the encouragement we need before we entering the big leagues next week. And you guys, I didn't feel like dying! My pack actually felt great. HUGE relief I won't have to part with any of my beloved items yet...
We have nearly reached 80% of our $6,540 fundraising goal! We are so grateful for the incredible support for such an important cause. If you have not yet donated and would like to do so, click here.