Reigning in Chaos

So how does one organize for and leave on a long distance multiple month long 2650+ mile continuous backpacking adventure, ensure that their house, collegiate children, dog, two fish, new avocado tree, Jacuzzi, lawn and bills are taken care of and more importantly survive your absence?  Likewise how can you actually enjoy the adventure with the above mentioned concerns and responsibilities? Not sure, but we are doing our best to reign in Chaos. Luckily our friends tell us we have good responsible kids…and we do (those of you who are parents know what we’re talking about when we say our “friends tell us”), we have on-line and automatic bill pay, and AWESOME neighbors, friends and family who have offered to oversee and assist us in fulfilling this adventure.

We have enlisted the help of a friend of ours who will house/dog/fish sit till both kids are home for the summer from their respective colleges…and will pop in time to time during our absence for “spot audits”.

Our neighbors on both sides, as well as our friends Brian and Jody, will also be there to help coordinate the mailing of re-supply packages, and the handling of any “oh shits” our kids may encounter in our absence (illness, home and yard care/repair, car troubles, etc…).  Some have even entertained the thought of joining us, or at least meeting us on the trail from time to time.

We have one more major home project to complete, of which we may leave till we are back from this adventure seeing it’s taken this long to complete…what’s another 5 months right?

Currently we are working on completing our meal packaging for distribution into resupply boxes. We’ve done two week trips, but coordinating 5 months worth of logistics is quite daunting. Looking at other people’s current and previous PCT thru-hikers blogs is helpful and at the same time intimidating. Have we ordered enough dehydrated food? Will we pack enough calories? Have we approximated our re-supply box pick up dates and locations correctly? When will we really need new socks, underwear, shirts, shoes, toothpaste, our micro spikes, duct tape, moleskin, KT tape, toilet paper, G2, Via coffee, the list goes on and on. Then comes the decision of what do we really NEED to carry with us besides food and water. Are there things we think we need but in fact do/will not? We suspect so, and most likely will learn to truly define our actual needs, fairly quickly I hope. With that being said, I (Dee) tend to over pack (an actual understatement) as I like having the ability to cover and account for any and all possible situations and needs, but then that would require a UHaul trailer and that is NOT practical. While I am not incapable of carrying a 70 lbs pack, to do so would be silly. Decisions. Decisions.

Even though we are finally getting some much needed rain, California’s current drought conditions may require us to cache water in strategic locations, as we don’t want to rely on the numerous “trail angels” (nor should we) to ensure our proper hydration, especially seeing that we are leaving nearly a month ahead of the “herd” that will set off on the PCT from the southern terminus near Campo, California in late April after the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO) at lake Morena…and if we in fact don’t need all the water we’ve cached, then all the better for the “herd”.

We have been taking some trial runs with the Delorme InReach SE, and are deciding whether we are going to carry Halfmile’s maps in “hard copy” or “electronic version”. Maybe both. We kind of like having the ability to hold maps in our grubby little hands, however being able to enlarge them for our “over 50” eyes for more thorough perusal in the field electronically via “smart phone”, as well as reducing items to carry would be nice too. Week one on the PCT may help with the decision.


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10 Responses to Reigning in Chaos

  1. yayoubetcha says:

    I have printed a test copy of Halfmile’s maps. I printed it 4-up. That’s four maps on one side, and four on the other. It is entirely legible, but I also have a small magnifying lens (less than 1/3 oz, flat style) too. I will have Halfmile’s maps on my smart-phone, and the “App” will aid too.

    I never rely on technology. The maps will be my primary navigation aid. It is nice to get eight maps on one piece of paper.

  2. If there is a Trader Joe’s near you … you may want to check out their instant coffee all-in-one packets that have coffee, cream, sugar in one Via size packet. Last time I checked they were $2 for eight servings.

  3. Kristi says:

    Consideration……you could trim approx. 400 miles from your trek, by hikin’ your way to “The Mitten” instead. Just sayin’. 😉. Safe travels!

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