Sunday, January 09, 2011

Un-Supplied / Un-Supported Hike - 600+ miles along the AT

I have been looking over some of my old "Posts" and it seems that I haven't added anything for almost a year.

The Topic in the Title box - Un-supplied / Un-Supported Hike - 600+ miles along the AT - is something I think about a lot.

For several years my recurring cancer has not allowed me to get into a real fitness program. I don't know if I am out growing the cancer or if it has decided to take a vacation. Early in 2010 I was feeling better then I had for a long time and I asked my doctors if I could get back into a fitness program. They thought that would be a good idea. In April I rejoined a club I had belonged to several years ago

I had 36 training sessions or twice a week for four months. The first week of August I was working out on a "Dome" thing and my left foot slipped off the edge. I hurt my left foot and had to stop my program. I went to a foot doctor. No broken bones but I hurt something around the first join back of my big toe. I had what the doctor called a fallen arch and tendentious. He had a set of prescription orthotics made for me. He actually had one Hard set and 3 Soft sets made. The Soft sets worked OK in the shoes I was using but my shoes were to small for the Hard Set. I had an old but new pair of Golite Shoes that have a wide toe box. I was able to wear the Hard set in Golite Shoes after a break in period. The break in period was slow but I can now wear them all day. The orthotics made a big difference but their was still some pain in my toe joint. The pain has been very slow to go away. It is much better now but not completely gone.

Last night I bought a new pair of The North Face - Hedgehog trail shoes. I had to get them a half size larger then I normally wear. They seem to be working OK with the Hard orthotics. I have worn the Hedgehog style trail shoe for several years or one like if but without the Gore-Tex liner.

I am not really thinking about a Un-Supplied / Un-Supported Hike at this time. I am going to work on a possible gear list for a really light hike on the AT and will try for a Spring starting date. Between now and then I will be back in my fitness program and see how things progress.


Blogger mkirk said...

Bill, good to see your posts again. Your ideas are always an inspiration to me, especially as I gear up for another fast pack this summer.

Sunday, January 09, 2011 7:36:00 PM  
Blogger gardenville said...


Thanks for your comment.

I was 70 on my last birthday and for a lot of folks that isn't that old yet. I still have hopes of being able to get back averaging 20 to 25 miles a day. That then is my short term fitness goal. Doing that with a SUL- Gear List goes without saying.

I am having a new look at everything I carry to see where I can drop a few more ounces. I am lucky that I have a lot of time for things like that.

My winter weather here in South Texas is also close to what I might find on the Southern part of the AT in early to mid spring. I can test my gear around here now in about same temperature range so I should not get any surprises while hiking.

Sunday, January 09, 2011 9:05:00 PM  
Blogger shelbel said...

I also missed your posts and am happy to see you back... Can't wait to see what new stuff you will come up with. Good luck with your training program.

Sunday, January 09, 2011 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know me and I don't know you. But I follow your blog. Fight the good fight. Keep up the good work. You're an inspiration in many ways whether your gear or your perserverance as a human. Know it isn't in vein. 600 mile AT trek or not - keep planning, keep working, keep trying.

Monday, January 10, 2011 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Sky said...

What ever you end up doing, go ALL IN.

Monday, January 10, 2011 4:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Philip Werner said...

Glad to see you're posting again. I've always been in awe of you ingenuity, and hope to see more out of the box ideas come out of your shop. Seventy is the new fifty! You have lots of mileage left and I'm confident you'll get back on the trail with us again soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger gardenville said...


I really appreciate all the nice comments and well wishes.

I spent a little time this afternoon playing with different sock combinations and creative shoe lacing with my orthotics in my new hiking shoes. I ended up with a liner sock and a Wright (double) sock for the left shoe and just a Wright (double) sock for the right. The shoe laces for the right shoe are more or less a standard lacing. For the left shoe I kept the laces lose for the first three eyelets then tied a knot. Then I laced the remained of the eyelets sort of tight and closed with a double knot. Lacing my shoes that way allowed the lower part of the shoes to be a bit lose where my foot is still a little sore.

For clothing I had on one and a half layers below the waist and 3 light layers above. Topped that off with a wool hat and a pair of liner gloves.

Now I was ready for a walk. I took a 2 mile walk around my neighborhood. That went so well that I walked another 2 miles. Not to bad, 4 miles in a light rain and wind with a temperature around 52 degrees (F). I want to get up to 10 miles every other day and then start walking with a light pack.

Monday, January 10, 2011 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger samh said...

Keep at it, Bill.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 4:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see a new post by you. I've found your blog very inspiring as someone experimenting in DIY ultralight stuff myself.

I wish you a speedy recovery so you can hit up some trails soon!

Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:09:00 AM  

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