AT17 - Getting there - Day 1 - Ease Please

Joey Camps AT Thru Hike 2017 Trip Report

The goal of the hike was to have fun, experience some beauty, and ultimately see what my body could do!

The self-supported record for the AT is set by Heather "Anish" Anderson at 54days 7hours 48mins
The supported record for the AT is set by Karl Meltzer at 45days 22hours 38mins

I will be traveling as a self-supported hiker, which means:

Walk into and out of resupply towns to purchase or pick up prepacked and mailed supplies.
Hike as a backpacker, carrying all food and equipment between resupply towns.
Follow the official AT route, no detours, road walks or alternates of any kind.
Do not have anyone follow, or provide support in a prearranged manner.
Do not get into a vehicle for any reason during the attempt.
Honestly and thoroughly document the attempt.
Practice Leave-No-Trace ethics.

I will be carrying a SPOT Trace and my Iphone for pictures and video, to document my trip.

Gear List:
Pa’lante FKT Proto-type Pack
SOL Escape Bivy
Thermarest Thermal Mummy +20F
NeoAir Xlite ¾ pad
Mountain Hardware Ultra lite Rain Jacket
SPOT Trace
Buck Knife (first mail drop)
Nail Clipper (first mail drop)
1oz Bottle of Bleach
60gal Garbage bag (emergency poncho, bivy footprint, overnight tarp, ground sheet)
Apple Nano and Headphones
2L Camelback Bladder
Charging Cube
Auxiliary Battery
Surgical Needle (first mail drop)
Duct Tape
Insect Bite Wipe
CC, Drivers, Health Insurance
Fire Starter block
3 AAA batteries

So here we go...

Getting There:
I flew into Portland, ME.  Stayed with my friend Finn.  We drove up to Baxter 8/3 and camped at the Katahdin Springs Campsite.  Checked-in with the ranger that night and went to bed early.
We woke at 3:30am and climbed up Katahdin together.

Day 1: 8/4  0-48.3 Potaywdjo Spring Lean-to
At the summit of Katahdin, Finn took my picture.  I waited for a whole minute, which turned out to be 6:05am.  I asked him to wait a few minutes, so that I could descend alone and not be distracted nor paced.  I got down to camp, grabbed my pack and took off.  It rained on and off very lightly all morning.  I was moving well, but the pack was certainly heavy with 65 items.  At the last minute Finn convinced me to add 5 more items as he did not think I had enough.  I should have trusted my judgment.  An item is roughly 330Kals.  I had cliff bars 250Kal, Ramen 380Kal, Poptarts 410Kal, Nut mixes 320Kal (two handfuls) and gummy candy 350Kal.  I set my watch to chime every hour and eat one item.  That keeps a steady flow of nutrition and by sticking to the one an hour, helps me from over eating in a hunger fit.  I usually have three to five in the last hour for dinner and often skip the first or second hour of a day. It makes it really easy when doing resupplies at different stores.  Just count to 20 items for how many days.  Up north it was roughly 40 miles per day, but after Vermont it was 50 miles per day.  So if I had 75 miles to next resupply, I would just get 30 items.  Simple.  Also, I would add in snacks at store, but how much I carried was 20 items per day.  So that would be 6,600Kal per day, but often adding a couple thousand at a resupply.

            I moved well through the middle of the day and thought for sure I would get around 50 miles, which, was my goal for day one.  In the afternoon, I got hit by a 15 minute rain shower but the rest of the day was dry.  As the sun was setting, I felt fairly satisfied with the day and decided I would just stop at 48.3 miles and stay in the shelter.  I ate my dinner walking the last mile.  Brushed my teeth and hit the shelter at 8:30pm.  I will be honest, if I ever get to camp before finishing dinner and brushing my teeth, I get pissed at myself.  No wasting time!  There was one other guy already asleep.  I threw out my pad, bivy, mummy and it was legs up on the wall.  Untied shoes, take off socks and let dry the feet.  Massaged in Burts Bee’s Peppermint Foot lotion.  Then massage lower leg, upper leg and glutes, always trying for towards the heart.  This is standard end of day protocol.  Some relaxing breathes and then feet down and asleep.  No wasting time!


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