Thursday, May 5, 2016

Planning for my Appalachian Trail Hike

This summer I plan to hike about half of the Appalachian Trail (AT) that goes from Georgia to Maine. I will be leaving Seattle on a red eye flight with Delta Airline on June 5th using 15,500 Delta frequent flyer miles.


On June 6th I will meet up with Gary Holliday, a Loreto Bay friend. He and his wife, Heidi, have hiked around the Loreto, BCS, MX area and last summer they joined me in Peru for a trek to Choquequirao in the Sacred Valley area just west of Machu Picchu. I will get into Atlanta at 7am and Gary does not arrive until 2:30 PM so I will be able to relax in the United Board room thanks to a coupon I received when I signed up for another United Visa credit card.

Gary and Heidi jumping over Cusco, Peru


The Hiker Hostel folks will pick us up at the North Springs MARTA station and take us to their hostel for the night and the following morning shuttle us up to Springer Mountain, the start of the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail that ends at Mt. Katahdin, Maine. Gary and I plan to hike this year to Harpers Ferry, a distance of 1,026 miles—-about a 2 month journey.


In 2008, I had completed the Pacific Crest Trail and have been considering doing the Appalachian and the Continental Divide Trails ever since. Gary and I had been talking about hiking the AT during our hikes together in Loreto and this year our talks have become a reality.

Start of Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada about 2560 miles long.

End of Pacific Crest Trail.

There are lots of websites that provide a range of information for the AT hiker including an AT Planner where I was able to create various hiking scenarios and read hiker journals—

There was also lots of information about AT shelters, off trail hostels and hotels, and water sources.

My Backpack

  • Oz. My base backpack weight is now 13.35 lbs and consists of the following:
  • 32.0 REI Kilo 20 degree sleeping bag
  • 27.0 Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack
  • 27.0 Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent
  • 24.5 Black bag: gloves, towel,mosquito head net, suncream, soap, H202
  • 17.5 Capiline long johns, Capilene LS shirt, pr. socks
  • 14.0 Western Mountaineering down Flight Jacket
  • 14.0 Red bag: bandaids, medicine, flashlight, Steripen, whistle, mirror
  • 12.0 Therm-a-Rest Neo Air XLite Sleeping Pad, Regular
  • 8.7 Snowpeak 600 ml cup, matches, spoon, bowl, alcohol stove
  • 8.3 Frog Togs rain pants
  • 7.9 Nikon Camera
  • 6.0 Outdoor Research rain jacket
  • 4.0 Long Sleeve Golite Wisp Windshirt
  • 3.4 Water bottles with duct tape, empty
  • 3.0 Maps and guides
  • 2.5 Sunglasses and case
  • 1.7 Hat, fleece

When I add 5 days of expendables, the pack weighs another 7 lbs. with food at about 20 oz per day, cooking alcohol, and TP. A quart of water adds another 2 lbs.

Total pack weight including food and water is about 22 lbs.

What I am wearing:


  • 5.0 Bandana, hat, watch, compass, knife
  • 13.0 Black Diamond Trek poles
  • 19.2. Long Pants Ex-Officio, underwear and Tee shirt
  • 20.0. Merrill shoes, dirtygirl gaiters, socks
  • 23.2. Mini iPad, cell phone and charger

Total wear weight is 5.0 lbs

2016 Destination is Harper's Ferry, West Virginia 1,013 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia.


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