I’ve been very busy with planning and purchasing the last week or so, running errands, getting multiple packages delivered daily, looking at maps and readjusting distances etc.
Today I decided that I had accumulated the things I wanted/needed to bring with me, so I decided to put them all in my pack so I could do a proper test “run” (AKA walk). And well, the pack weighed 18 kilos…
I was honestly counting on it weighing less. Yes, I have been practicing with 18 kg (so I guess yay me for inadvertently estimating the exact weight?…), but that was kind of on the assumption that I was exaggerating the weight, seeing as I not only had 3 litres of water, but a 3 kg heavy book and a 5 kg heavy dumbell in there, which would be replaced by mostly clothing, a bit of tech and some toiletries, which surely cannot weigh as much. Right? Wrong.
And I actually do feel like I’m packing light. I am going to be away for about a month, after all. I don’t think there’s all that much wiggle room. I may not end up using my first aid kit, but it would suck to need it and not have it, same with a coat. I may leave a few more items of clothing out and just accept that I’ll have to wash t-shirts, socks and underwear more often. And I may also leave the hammock.
It was a good idea in theory but if I’m being honest, the chance that I’ll be able to calm down enough to not only put up a hammock but to sleep in it if I get lost somewhere is close to zero. I’d probably just keep walking. It’s only 600 grams, but every little counts, right?…
When I told my partner about my disappointment that my pack weighed 18 kg he said “the good news is you’ve been practicing for this”. Well, yes, kinda, but also kinda not. I’ve not walked more (in a day) than 20 km with that pack, and I have 6 days of 30+ with it. So it’s definitely going to be challenging.
I haven’t gone for many practice walks lately either as we’ve been hit with another heatwave and I didn’t think it was wise to go walking 20+ km in 30+ degrees when I didn’t really have to and risk having a bad reaction. Chances are pretty good I will not have 30+ days in September. But because of this I feel like I’m not nearly as prepared, walking-wise, as I would have liked to be. Though I guess there is some truth to the idea that you just have to start walking, and it’ll hurt in the beginning but you’ll get used to it. We’ll see how I feel Sunday night/Monday morning..
Route planning-wise I’m as prepared as I can be, though, I think. I have made myself a spreadsheet with all distances, start and end points, where I’m staying, addresses, phone numbers, cost… And I have made screen shots of each map segment and messaged to myself, including Google’s turn-by-turn walking instructions, and I’m printing these out also in case my phone kicks it (sorry trees!). In case you hadn’t noticed already, I am a little bit anxious/not super spontaneous. But then again who wants to be super spontaneous with 18 kg on their back??
If any experienced hikers are reading this, I appreciate any advice you have, whether it be in relation to packing for this kind of trip, essentials, walking or route planning – I’m all ears. <3