Now that I have my gear in order and my pack loaded, I think it is time for a shakedown hike. “What’s a shakedown?” It’s a test run. Plain and simple. Here’s what I’m doing
Thursday morning I’m going to Green Lane Park. An amazing place surrounded by great trails, fishing, and recreational activities. They also have a tent camping area. I will load my pack just as if I was going to step out onto the AT. Then I’ll do a test run.
I’m going to start Thursday with the Green Lane Park Trail Loop. 12.5 Miles around the entire lake. I’ll do the entire trail with a full pack of gear, food, and water. When I’m done, I’ll hike to my camp site and set everything up just as if I were at a shelter. This will give me a chance to work with my gear after a long day on my feet. I’ll be able to figure out if I brought the right kind of food and the right amount. I’ll get more practice making camp and then I’ll sleep with my sleep system for the first time outside.
It’s a lot. Can I really do all of those miles? I think I can. 10 days ago, I did 7.5 miles at Valley Forge without stopping. It took me 2 hours and 40 minutes. My thought is if I do five miles. Stop for lunch and to rest. Then pick up and do another five miles, I bet I could do that in under 8 hours. Same thing with 12.5! I’ve never woken up like I will on the AT and said “All I have to do today is walk from here to there. Nothing else” I’m confident I can do it.
It’s time for me to put everything to the test. My mind. My gear. My body. My pack weight is right where I wanted it to be. Check out my post tomorrow to see everything I’m taking with me as I break down my pack. I’m going to push this old man around the lake and see what I haven’t thought of already. See what shouldn’t be stowed where and hope to hell there isn’t anything obvious I forgot!!
Watch Facebook and Instagram for updates during the hike. I’m thinking about trying out a Facebook live broadcast Thursday from the camp site. Could be fun!
I’ll see you on the trail!
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