One Week and Counting...
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:40 pm

One week from today, on the two-year anniversary of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike, I will disappear into the California wilderness, my first overnight hike since I completed the Long Trail last summer, and hopefully, my longest (in distance) yet. So far, this week has been about getting the last bit of equipment and supplies before I ship out.

Sunday evening, I bought 18 days worth of food from Walmart, to add to the four days of food I still had left over from my Long Trail hike. This extra food is going into mail drops to three locations on the trail: Mt. Laguna (mile 42), Warner Springs (mile 110), and Kennedy Meadows (mile 702).

Tuesday saw a trip to the post office to pick up boxes for the Laguna and Warner Springs drops. (The Kennedy Meadows resupply will be in my bear canister.)

Not finding everything I wanted at Walmart (seriously: why is it so hard to find regular-sized Snickers bars? I don’t want the “fun” sized ones!), I ordered two 48-count boxes of Snickers and three 12-count boxes of Clif bars from Amazon, and then organized my food, filling up the Mt. Laguna box and putting everything else in easily accessible piles. (I also finally had the idea to put red pepper flakes into my macaroni and cheese bags, so I’ll at least have a nice spicy treat for a short while.)

Over the past few months, I’ve been going back and forth on whether to use my battery pack from the AT, or to get something new. Looking at battery packs is somewhat annoying, because different companies have the same basic capacities with different random assortments of features. (Please, someone, can I have a build-my-own-battery-pack construction kit?) But, I decided to look again yesterday as a distraction from something else, and I managed to stumble across a battery pack with a (seemingly) unique feature: dual power input plugs, for rapid charging.

So now, thanks to the magic of “free” Amazon Prime one-day shipping, I have a Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger, one third larger than my previous battery, and which should charge to capacity faster. I also got a new Anker wall charger with four USB ports, so I will be able to charge my battery, phone, watch, and if necessary, headlamp, all at the same time. I get the feeling I’m going to be spending less time in town on the PCT than on the AT, so I’d like to be able to get the most out of whatever time I have with a power outlet.

Today, I made (hopefully) a final run to REI to pick up liner socks, a sturdier food bag with a ring I can keep a carabiner permanently attached to, and a new set of poles.

Now, I’m just waiting on the last of my food shipment from Amazon (which should get here tomorrow), and I’ll have everything I need. Thursday evening will likely be a flurry of packing so I can get the two boxes going to southern California in the mail on Friday. (I feel like I’m pushing it awfully closely; I might make a run to the post office Thursday morning to give the Mt. Laguna box an extra day to get there, since I need it the soonest.