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

  • Zeastburn

    You can roll your fleece jacket up and stuff it in the hood of your sleeping bag. Makes a warm soft pillow that you can breath through if you sleep face down. Wrapping the arms around your ears keeps them nice and toasty all night.

    Then when you wake up you have a fleece warmed by your body heat.

  • Randy

    Awesome Post! Thanks. Brought me back to some of my longer backpacking trips.

  • It’s only been three weeks? So only 79 more days until my illustrations come to life. If you don’t find the kitty friends soon, let me know, I have connections.

  • Roar! Loving this. Glad to know the reality has lived up to the dream 🙂

  • Michele

    You are amazing. What an incredible post. Thanks for updating us on your journey. And what beauty all around you. You go!!

  • Kelsie

    It started off with your normal humor, and then it got deep. I like it. 🙂

  • Andy

    its nice when you can take shiting in the rain off your packet list

  • Andy

    bucket list

  • Sarah_Says

    I have just come across this blog, and started reading from the beginning – i have to say, after reading this entry, i felt the need to comment!
    What an amazing post! To appreciate clean water, a hot shower – its these things most of us take for granted every day.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us all.