I’m definitely learning a lot about myself as I progress along the trail. There are a wide variety of things hikers do to keep themselves comfortable and motivated to keep pushing on to Maine. I’ve seen ukuleles, she-wee’s (google those if you don’t know what they are), a twin size mattress sleeping pad, headphones, z-seat butt pads, and a host of other things to bring a little sunshine to a hiker’s day.
I am absolutely no exception to the rule when it comes to adding little things to make life more enjoyable. I’ve added a z-seat, wireless headphones, and a red-bulbed headlamp (just to name a few things) to my pack to make the miles easier to bear.
My equipment is still evolving and from what I gather talking to other hikers, their gear is too. Testing out different things for a period of time tells you what works best for you. I’ve learned that camp shoes are essential but Teva’s, while sturdy and comfortable, weigh three times as much as the Xero sandals that have found their way into my pack.
Occasionally along the trail people from the local area setup what is called Trail Magic. This is where locals pass out goodies to hikers like Coca-Cola or Powerade or snacks or something to brighten a hiker’s day. I’ve encountered this phenomenon a couple of times now and believe me, it is more appreciated than you could ever imagine! After hiking up and down mountains for hours, to suddenly round a corner and bump into someone passing out sweets is truly enchanting.
I stayed at a campground one night south of Damascus. I had the luxury of a McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder for dinner and I picked up a few cans of Pepsi to round out my evening. I admit I drank two right away and put the third in my pack for later. The next day, I promptly forgot it was there (my plan was to have it with breakfast) and starting trekking north again. Two nights later, while rummaging in my pack for my sleeping pad, I stumble upon this unopened can of Pepsi. I’m not sure if this counts as trail magic or not, but a can of Pepsi never tasted so good!
I’m still enjoying putting miles behind me. After taking a little more time off the trail to let my foot finish healing, I’m back in my stride and have set my sights on the goal of Katahdin. I know what i need to do to finish. I know what i need to be comfortable. Now to make the miles and continue my adventure!