Getting Everything Ready…

Over the last couple weeks I have been dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s, in my own little way.  I purchased David ‘AWOL’ Millers 2014 Northbound Guidebook ( $15 or something ridiculously cheap.  This was exciting because I can map out the first miles, elevation change, where the shelters are, and decide ultimately if I want to start at the approach trail, or 1 mile north of Springer, and loop back South to Springer Mountain, then doubling back on my way north.  I have had people tell me not to do the approach trail, as it is difficult and there is no reason to hurt yourself on a part of the trail that does not count.  I believe I am going to go wherever the nice people of the hostel take me!  Either way, I figure I will be starting out slow (10 miles and under per day) to avoid injury. 

I have a Nikon Coolpix AW110 camera ( that I have purchased several battery packs for.  This camera is waterproof/shock proof and I recently tested it out a Superbowl party (It’s superbowl proof).  I have a 64 gb memory card for it.  This will be my main way of taking photos and videos.  My phone will be used sparingly, and this will be a good way to have something as a backup in the event it’s raining and I am just staring at raw beauty that I would like to save and share.  Also it has a lot more space, and I take LOTS of pictures, so get ready :). 

I am still looking for a spare battery charger that can charge my iPhone 4-5 full charges before it dies, something that will charge itself while charging, and something that might be able to charge more than 1 item (my camera).  I’m assuming I will go 4-5 days without electricity, and longer.  If anyone has any suggestions that would be terrific!!  The other items I am still missing are a down winter jacket (AZ does not have any of what I want in supply at REI) I am looking at western mountaineering ghost whisperer, sierra designs gnar hoody, and also an Arcteryx Cerium LT hoody.  This will double as my pillow when it is not cold, and essentially just good to have around at camp when it’s freezing.  I have a 40 degree Marmott sleeping bag, and I am THINKING about purchasing a good 20 degree down bag for the start and finish of the trail (It will be COLD March in the mountains of Georgia and TN).  I have a +20 degree synthetic bag liner for my 40 degree bag, but I am not sure if that will be enough, as I have tested it at the bottom of the Grand Canyon recently and was a little cold when it hit the 20s at night. 

So that’s it!  Other than that I have been biding my time, I will put my 2 weeks notice in at work this Friday (YIKES! that went fast!), saving money, and cooking SO MUCH FOOD!  In fact as I’m typing I have some ribs, twice baked mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables with a balsamic glaze in the works.  Image (I don’t mess around, I LIKE TO EAT), and I won’t get this good of food for a while.  My last day of work is Feb 21, and I have planned a little going away party up in Flagstaff, AZ Feb 22 (It will also be my 30th birthday at midnight) for a little high altitude drinking/going away party.  Then it’s time to sober up, get everything packed and leave Feb 25.  So far the plan is to hike with my dog early in the morning of Feb 25, get him wicked tired, and drive to Colorado to stay with my friend Rachel.  After that, I am either heading up to Chicago to see some friends, of just straight to MA. 

I should have about a week gap staying at my parents house where I can see some friends from where I grew up, get the last of my gear (my friend Matt works at an outfitter, and is offering discounts), and I will embark March 9 for Georgia.  I just found out I have an old Fraternity brother living in Blacksburg VA, about 20 miles from the trail.  This is where I am sending my first drop box.  He said I can stay and depending on where I am when Trail Days starts, he might come with and give me a ride to and from.  Not bad!  Getting very excited!  Can’t wait to share this experience with all of you.


About shwayze23jbj
Live for the outdoors

12 Responses to Getting Everything Ready…

  1. Kristin says:

    Woohoo!!! We are heading out next Friday (the 14th) for the start of our hike. It’s crazy how much prep work has gone into this hike. Good luck with your last few weeks! 😀

  2. Matthew says:

    Have you thought about using some sort of folding solar panel that you can just drape over your backpack while hiking to charge your stuff?

  3. Revid says:

    I just did a bunch of research on external batteries. I went with this one –

    It does not sound like it will fit your needs though.

    I found these two resources very helpful:

    • shwayze23 says:

      Thank you so much! You are pretty knowledgeable and I appreciate your guidance. Those links helped out a lot, especially with the part about the wall connector. I was unaware that was a game changer. Thanks for the help!

    • shwayze23 says:

      Which charging cable did you use for the easyacc powerbank?

      • Revid says:

        you know, I have not tested it out enough. I thought the first time I charged it from being dead it took an extra long time. I am still experimenting. I thought if I used my Ipad brick it would be enough, I think it outputs over 2 amps. Maybe the usb cable i plugged into ipad brick was not sufficient.

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