Sunday, August 25, 2013

From Tracker to Trekker

About 5 months ago I called a friend and mentioned that I was beginning to think about making a 600-mile pilgrimage on foot. Without inquiry about what it was or why, he asked one question: “Have you started a tracker?” I was sort of taken aback. ‘What do you care if I made a tracker’, I thought. But I answered in the affirmative. “Welp, that settles it. You’re going. So you had better tell me about it,” he laughed.  

My friend knew me well enough to know that if I was serious about doing this there would already be a multi-tabbed spreadsheet tracking everything from my itinerary to way-stops and the all-important packing list. And so it began.

I’ll be carrying everything I need for 40 days on my back. There will be no porters or sherpas, no wheelie bags and no shipping my bag ahead. I’m far from a pack rat but go ahead and try piling up everything you use in the course of normal living over 40 days and see if you’d be willing to schlep it 600 miles. Exactly. Necessity has taken on a new definition.

And so the list has been winnowed over and over. My fully-packed pack (without water) weighs in at just under 22 pounds. The general rule of thumb is that the ideal weight is 10% of your body weight. Translation: FAIL. I’m WAY over ideal, but I’ve done practice hikes with more weight than this and I wear it comfortably. I’ll let the road and experience tell me what I can pitch or give away to others; while some items will become lighter along the way (shampoo/conditioner/and my supply of ibuprofen for starters).

The kit basically includes 2 changes of clothes, rain gear, sleeping bag, medical supplies for everything from blisters to the ability to kill God-knows-what with antibiotics. All of that has made its way into my pack, while a limited supply of both sleep aid and 5hr Energy is in a separate bag for the overnight flight and 24hr blitz of Paris. More on how I plan to dominate the City of Lights soon…

Finally, as for the monogrammed technical backpack, abundance of pink, and the Vineyard Vines bag for the plane….be who you are, no matter where you are, right? #owningit

1 comment:

  1. That's a good looking kit, pilgrim! I think you're headed to SJPP today or tomorrow. Good luck, my friend. Buen Camino! Ultreia!