Hike your own Hike will only ever mean what you want it to mean.
What does the phrase “Hike your own hike” actually mean? Well I believe it to mean whatever you need it to in those moments it is needed most. There has been some talk in various podcasts and blogs lately that HYOH is the new YOLO of the outdoors. One of the comments made that I agree with is that people use HYOH to get away with stuff that they might not normally get away with. A good example is Person 1:”Hey man your dog just pooped on the trail” Person 2: ” Hike your own hike”… It reminds me of a couple of phrases I used to hear a lot a kid “To each their own” or “It is what it is”. Both of those phrases really do not mean anything other than person saying them had nothing better to say to explain the situation or respond back with. Sure you can argue that it they do mean something however your meaning of the phrase and mine could be considerably different. (more…)
From time to time I have Outdoor gear giveaways on the blog, and hopefully there will be more in the near future. That said, there are a lot more out there that you may want to take advantage of. To help with that I am working with The Outdoor Adventure on a site to keep track of them all and easily enter or submit your giveaway. http://www.OutdoorGearGiveaways.com (more…)
Your only as strong as your weakest piece of gear.
No matter how much you research and test gear without fail something in your kit will fail. For me they happened to fail nearly back to back and within the first few days of my trip. I had tested the gear several times before ever setting out on the AT. (more…)
The 2013 #omniten box and its contents.
It was an average Friday. I woke up made coffee and began to work on a few projects before lunch. The dogs started to bark which means that either the mail had been delivered or there was someone walking their dog. I opened the front door to get the mail and there it was. A non exciting unexpected brown box. I looked at the mailing labels and it was from Columbia Sportswear. I opened the outer box and inside was……. There it was a box with the #omniten logo.
Alone in my living room I did a little happy dance. The dogs looked at me funny but hey I am sure me doing a happy dance in my living room is the least weird thing a dog to witnesses in their lifetime. I stood there almost to excited to open the box and carefully and slowly opened it. Inside was my official letter welcoming me to the 2013 Spring #omniten crew. Also inside was a fantastic assortment of gear provided for me to test and try out. (more…)
In the coming weeks I am going to take some time and talk about each one of these items in depth but I wanted to share with you this list of things I learned about and from the Appalachian Trail. They are in no particular order and one does not have a more valuable lesson than the others. Each one of these have their own particular lesson and reason for learning them.
- Your only as strong as your weakest piece of gear.
- Hike your own Hike will only ever mean what you want it to mean.
- Tiny Reflective dots sewn into a shirt will really keep you warm even in the coldest of times.
- The AT is the Disney World of hiking trails.
- Community is everywhere you just have to look.
- Give people enough time and they will surprise you.
- Music can and will PUMP YOU UP.
- It is the simple things pizza included.
- Even when your tent is flooded and your gear is wet you can still be positive and happy.
- Getting lost is not always a bad thing.
I could see clearly now.
I have spent the past two days hanging out and doing lots of thinking and soul searching to find the right answer. The best way to describe how I came across my answer is standing atop a mountain watching as the clouds cleared and the sun came out I was at the moment content with everything. I am happy I have gone on this adventure and had learned many things about myself, humanity, and life.
A wise man one said:”Forrest Gump: [running] I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.
[he stops and turns around]
Young Man Running: Quiet, quiet! He’s gonna say something!
Forrest Gump: [pause] I’m pretty tired… I think I’ll go home now.”
I was not gone nearly that long but even during the several weeks I had been it felt as if months had passed. The trail has its own time, its own community and so much more. Those of you who have been on such adventures will understand and the rest of you who have not I suggest you give it a try even if its only for a few weeks. It will change you forever.
I will be heading back home to Kansas on the next flight to begin another chapter in my life. What is next you ask? This adventure has put a spark into my fire of adventure and I can guarantee you that this is only the beginning. I will be hitting the John Muir Trail in July and turning my AT thru-hike into an AT section hike. I also plan on doing more around where I live locally to help promote many of the great trails that we have in Missouri and Kansas.
It is only the beginning and the mountains called I answered. They will forever continue to call and I shall continue to answer.
This morning I got up and said goodby to some of the folks who where headed out. Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon hanging out with Icarus who was handing out trail magic beer to people coming off the trail. It was extremely fun to watch. It was hard to tell who was more excited the people receiving the beer or Icarus giving them out.
My friend arrived around 2 and we hopped in the car and I will be staying with them to make my final decision of either heading home or getting back on the trail. We stopped on the way home at the Tallulah Gorge to look around.
Going to rest up. More Tomorrow
Today was a rough day. I sent some messages to a few friends down in the Atlanta area and one of them has agreed to come and get me to see if leaving the trail for a few days will get me back into the game and to hopefully continue to rest my body. I have not talked about this much in my posts but one of the effects of having gone through a experimental chemo regiment is that some of the drugs pumped into my system to kill the cancer might have adverse effects later on in life that are still unknown.
One of the effects that I saw while undergoing treatments was that of massive pain in my joints so much so that during Boy Scout camp one year a golf cart was provided by a generous donation for the week of camp. This would allow me to enjoy the week and not have to walk / hike all over the place to get to activities. The funny thing about the week was that it rained a lot that summer causing the whole camp to be turned into a giant mud pit. If you have ever driven a standard golf cart you know it has very little weight and very little traction. Lots of pushing and sliding happened that week. I still had a great time.
With that said I have been in quite a bit of pain and my body has become a force unable to ignore or stop listening to. It could be because of the chemo, my weight, the stress of hiking nearly 200 miles, or all of the above. I have not made a decision to 100% leave the trail as of yet however the more I give it thought the more section hiking the AT becomes more appealing. If anything it will motivate me to get into better shape than I already am and be able to tackle another section another day.
I understand what I am doing is incredibly hard both physically and mentally and that if wasn’t so hard everyone one would be doing it. I however have to look after my body and listen to it even more so than most people because of my past. I do not intend on this being an end of my adventuring. If I do choose to leave I see this simply as another chapter in a much larger adventure story that is far from complete.
I would like thank everyone who has been cheering me on with positive thoughts and wonderful encouragement. It has meant a lot and I appreciate all of you and your positive words greatly.