Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Random trail prep - a busy real life week

Took another trip from the NC beach to Maryland for a family party and to take care of car issues after my son's '97 Mazda died.  There wasn't much time for hiking but I did 'break in' my new Asics gel trail running shoes on an 8.8 mile out-and-back hike over Bob's Hill and on to Cat Rock in the Catoctin Mountains of north central Maryland.  The links above are courtesy of Summit Post where I maintain a page under my trail name, Seeks It.  There you can find some pics of some of my other adventures.

Another note on gear.  As long as the temperature is reasonable, I'll be hiking in shorts.  I have a great pair of lightweight 100% nylon Columbia Titanium cargo shorts (sorry, but it looks like they're no longer making these--bought them about four years ago).  I really prefer having lots of pocket space, so cargo shorts are ideal.  I keep my camera, cell phone, and other personal effects in plastic zip lock bags in the pockets as well as a half liter of water.  By properly arranging these I don't have any problems with chafing.

A note on temperature regulation:  Being skinny as a rail (6' 2" and under 150 pounds) I need to pay close attention to this.  I prefer to start out warmly dressed and shed layers on ascents when I'm on the verge of sweating, then add layers as soon as I begin to cool down on descents.  This constant adjusting is a real pain in the butt, but important for me.   Also ... I've started my "AT beard" in anticipation of winter conditions for the first few months of my thru-hike.  I think male AT thru hikers grow their beards more as a status symbol than out of necessity.  A quarter-ounce disposable hand razor in the backpack or a more robust unit mailed to supply drops and used only when in town (then mailed on) are easy solutions to stay clean shaven.  When summer comes, I may 86 the beard--we'll see.  Here I am with the first two weeks of 'fuzz':  Call it the "Before" shot:

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