Monday May 9, 2016
The trail was spectacular. I would definitely do it again. It was a total of 76.2 official trail miles. We started the trail at Oconee State Park and ended at Table Rock State Park. That enabled us to do the easier section of the trail first while our packs were full of all the food we would consume for the week. Plus it allowed us to work out some of the muscle soreness we would acquire during this trip without killing our selves in the very beginning.
Things I learned along the trail.
Peeing in the woods is very messy. I did find one system that worked for me without being too messy and I am sure the more I do it the better I will get, but it is a tough learning curve.
I liked my running skirt with built-in underwear the best. I could move the underwear to the side and place my pibella (female urination device) and go. No TP needed and very mess free as long as you got the FUD positioned right. Which is key! Plus the skirt kept everything hidden, no girlie parts exposed. And the pibella is light, only 1.5 oz. Now the stinker was if it was cold and I need to wear pants. I had a couple of accidents when trying to go with the pants on. With the running skirt on I could just pull pants on and off without having to show my girlie parts to anyone who happened along on the trail, but was tricky trying to pee. I would have to pull the pants part way down then move my underwear to the side and get the FUD in place and some times I couldn’t get it in the correct position and I would dribble pee down my leg, which is very uncomfortable and gross. So I was trying to think of a way to make this better and I think I am going to try wearing tights and cutting a small hole in the crotch where I can just pull everything to the side. I will let you know how this goes.
Tents get very dirty when it rains! It really stinks having to pack up a muddy and wet tent. I have heard how packing up a dirty wet tent sucks and I was a little prepared. I brought a pair of disposable latex gloves for this occasion. I just wished I had a ground cloth under the tent. They are much easier to fold up than a tent. So next time I think I will use a ground cloth.
You burn a lot of calories while hiking and if I had more food I would have eaten more. I didn’t go hungry but I would have liked to eat more for more energy. Most of my meals were easy to rehydrated and I was happy with them.
I had one pair of gloves and they didn’t keep my hands warm enough. I wished I had brought my mittens. If it is really going to be cold I think I will bring both gloves and mittens. Gloves to wear while I pack up my gear and mittens to wear while I hike.
Things in my pack that I did not use.
I brought 2 pair of underwear and didn’t wear either pair. I had the underwear in my running skirt and didn’t need the underwear to wear with my pants, because I could just wear the pants under the running skirt. I still think I will bring one pair in the future, but definitely not two.
I didn’t use my rain gear, but I would never leave that behind. Unless I was hiking in very warm weather I may leave the rain pants behind.
My total pack weight was around twenty pounds with my food and water. You can check out the link below to see what I took with me.
I carried all my own gear except for the tent, which Jim carried. We could share much of the gear so we split it up. While Jim carried the tent, I carried the cook system, first aid kit, and water filter.
On our way home Jim stopped at an outfitter we saw along the way and Jim found a tent that he thought would be more comfortable than ours. It was an 8 man tent that you could just walk right into. You don’t have to contort the body this way and that way just to get in and out of the thing. I’m just glad he is the one who carries the tent. I wasn’t going to carry this monstrosity!