Three Weeks on the AT

Having trekked 223 miles in my first three weeks, I’ve experienced 12” of rain, 2” snow, sleet, freezing rain and hail. I’ve walked through thunder and lightning in all of the above types of precipitation. Endured single digits, teens and twenty degree temperatures! The best part of it all was that I was prepared and ready. At the end of the day, I was also comfortable. My only negatives are, I missed some spectacular views, Klingmans dome was too icy to see and I still hate putting on wet underware, shirt, socks and shoes first thing in the morning!

Lucky & Catmando!

A good friend of mine asked if I was surprised by the weather? I told him I wasn’t and I prepared for every contingency I could think of. I hiked over nine miles in crampons and felt safe! I know Mother Nature will throw more at me, but I’m ready for it and it’s all part of the journey. I can’t control the weather so I’m just going with the flow.

When I finally get a good day, I’m rewarded with amazing views!!

The other nifty thing is meeting up with fellow bloggers and You- tubers that you followed! You meet cool hikers and think you’ll never see them again and boom they roll into camp!

Trek trail correspondent Frozen with Catmando!

Trek blogger Artemis & Catmando

Equipment overview thus far.. I went with a dri down 19 degree bag with a liner, have never been cold! Decided on cold UA long underware- again a win for an early start. Puffy jacket from REI keeps me warm at days end!

My biggest prehike struggle was finding the perfect hiking shoe for me, I bought and extensively tried five popular brands. The standout for me was Altra. I strongly advocate buying and minimally hiking with a full pack at least two times 10-15 miles with each shoe, take notes to help evaluate what works for you. For me the Altras were standouts.

So far everything has performed well except my Altras, they prematurely developed a hole on the right side of my toe box, the fine folks at Altra, no questions asked, ( bless your heart Mamie T.- exceptional service representative)!!! Mamie forwarded me a new pair of timps on the trail at Standing bear! To me it’s worth buying quality gear – those companies stand behind their products! Thanks Altra!!

Another shout out to my trail mentor MavErick class of 2018, for a solid shakedown that helped me with gear decisions! If you’re planning a hike next year, message me after I finish and I can help you too! It’s what hikers do!

Here’s my pack, supporting Paws Of War Florida with every step I take! You can also help by donating on their Facebook page

Paws of War Florida.

Helping both ends of the leash!

Happy trails from Catmando!

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