Badger tag

Three Weeks

They say it takes three weeks of repetitive action before a habit develops. Last Sunday marked my third week on the Appalachian Trail. If the saying is true, then I have developed the following habits:

  • My natural state is walking.
  • Hiking poles feel as if they’re extensions of my arms.
  • I consume the same amount of calories as a buffalo.
  • I am incapable of getting full.
  • My “bedroom” smells like the inside of a guy’s high school locker room.
  • My diet consists of almond butter, trail mix, snickers, pop tarts, cookies, Clif Bars, beef jerky, summer sausage, and Gatorade.
  • I poop in the woods.
  • I hitchhike.
  • I sleep without a pillow.
  • I often put on damp/sweaty clothes in the morning.
  • The sun determines my sleep schedule.
  • I shower twice a week. On the off days, I rub my stinky spots with a baby wipe or two. Some days, I’m too tired for any form of hygiene (which are the days I actually need it most).
  • I chafe (except for when I remember to use Enzo’s Chamois Cream).
  • I hang all of my food in a tree at night.
  • I sleep with a knife no further than 12 inches from my face.
  • I am in constant awe of the beauty around me (keep in mind- I just came from southern California).
  • “Shaving” has left my vocabulary.
  • I see myself in a mirror at most twice a week.
  • Regardless of temperature, I break a sweat by at least 9am every day (usually earlier).
  • I am less consumed by the ongoing barrage of my own thoughts.
  • I am used to, and borderline expecting, everything to be dirty all of the time. Food included (muddy, sweaty hands go straight into the trail mix bag with zero hesitation or consideration).
  • I consume anywhere from five to eight liters of water per day. Eight liters of water is insane.
  • I have very little stress in life, and the stress that does occur is deserved.
  • I am used to my legs being covered in bug bites.
  • I itch.  All the time.
  • I can sleep with a stranger no more than eight inches on either side of me.
  • My water source is whatever stream is closest to me.
  • I appreciate toilets.
  • I appreciate a warm meal.
  • I appreciate clean clothes.
  • I appreciate a clean body.
  • I appreciate running water.
  • I appreciate a stranger’s willingness to give.
  • I appreciate good health.
  • I appreciate.

Wayah Bald