Final Preparation and Planning
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 10:46 pm

The past few days have been a flurry of activity as I made the final preparations for the Continental Divide Trail.

Planning the Continental Divide Trail

To an extent, this feels like the hike I’ve prepared for the least, in terms of planning. Some of that is because I did a fair amount of planning in 2020, which didn’t need to be updated. But it’s also because after about 6,000 miles on long distance trails, I’m fairly confident in my ability to just figure it out as I go along.


With a reasonably good idea of what to expect for New Mexico, and other states too far ahead for effective immediate planning now, I didn’t have much planning left to do. The most important was deciding where I needed to send food boxes.

I settled on sending a box to Doc Campbell’s Post, along the Gila River Alternate, which I took to the post office today. I’ll also need to send a box to Pie Town (located north of Doc Campbell’s). That box I’ll prepare while in Silver City (south of Doc Campbell’s). I think the rest of New Mexico I can resupply without needing to send boxes ahead, but that’s not a decision I need to make right now.

I also needed to decide what to do about snow gear. I’m slightly optimistic that there won’t be a lot of snow when I get to Colorado. But in the event there is, I boxed up my microspikes and will have them sent to Chama, NM if it turns out necessary. (In that case, I will also likely need an ice axe, which I’ll get in Chama.)

In the north, I’ll need my bear can. Like on the Pacific Crest Trail, I’ll have it loaded with food and sent ahead to where I need it. Where and when, I’ll determine later.

Final Preparation

On Tuesday last week, I made my final run to REI, to pick up a new water filter, trekking poles, and hiking shirt. REI was out of the size of boots I needed, so I ordered new boots online; they arrived on Thursday. I also stopped at a WalMart to get part of my initial food supply.

On Saturday, I picked up the remainder of my initial food supply, which now includes a giant bag of trail mix, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. I’m hoping this’ll allow for a slightly more healthy trail diet if I can replace some snickers and clif bars with nuts. The hard part will be working the trail mix into my food routine.

Today, I went to the post office to send off a box to Doc Campbell’s Post, and stopped at a food store to get more snacks to fill my bear can with.

This evening was a flurry of activity. I packed my pack. (Having a gear list to serve as a checklist to make sure that everything really is packed is a great stress reliever.) I packed my bear can. And I took care of some last-minute business.

Tomorrow, I get on an airplane and fly to Tucson. I’ll spend a couple of days acclimatizing, and then take a bus to Lordsburg, NM, the first trail town on the CDT. Then, next Monday, I start hiking!

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