Preparations are in full throttle!!

Got to do another training hike last weekend. Walked around 20km with a friend on an actual trail! Jaagpad; which is part of the Kromme Rijnpad and runs from Odijk to Utrecht. It is just beautiful this time of year! Everything is blossoming this early spring, flora and fauna alike. Lots of nature to relish on in between the hail/snow/rain!!

This time I did have the right socks on, so only one blister which I didn’t even feel the day after. No muscle aches or tendon problems this time, so progress!! I am also training 3-4 days a week at the gym to get my general fitness up. Lots of cardio and durability training. Some muscle workouts as well, since packing season is about to start!

My gear list is slowly coming together!

The Big 4:

Sleeping mat just came in 3 days ago. Decided on the Therm-a-rest Xtherm small. Just 1.25m; but with my backpack at my feet I kill three birds with one stone; good insulation, a place for my pack and it’ll lift my tired feet up after a long days walk to reduce swelling and tiredness. Will practice this system in the summer, hope it’ll work!

Will order my backpack in 2 weeks so a friend can bring it from the USA… Cannot wait to see the thing in real life! And try it out off course!!

Am working to upgrade my tent… Update will follow soon!

Decided on taking a quilt instead of a sleeping bag. It’s custom designed in the USA and way cheaper than you can buy in Europe. Also it is made for -16C with a waterproof layer… Unfortunately they take around 12 weeks to make… But if it’ll do the job, it is worth the wait!!

Clothing is all coming together and with the weather suddenly turning cold, I can test the layers immediately! Now got my merino wool base- and top-layer. Thermal and hiking pants. Shoes, socks and gaiters. Next on my list: insoles and raining pants… Still pondering wether or not to get goretex rainpants… Very very lightweight and durable, but expensive… I’ll put it on my whish list, for if I have money to spare at the end…

Food and Water. Water system is all but thought out. Cooking system is getting there… Decided to switch from a MSR pocket rocket to the Jetboil FlashLite. A pocket rocket is very small and light, but bad to cook with in windy circumstances and not very efficient. The jetboil flashlite is a little more expensive, but very efficient, reliable and durable. It’s on the heavier side, but very compact and you don’t need an extra pan, which cancels out the increase in weight… Pro’s outweigh the con’s for me!

Thanks to Elroy I get to try out different flavors and kinds of freeze dried meals. Just to see what will work for me. Great in calories and light in weight!
Also made my first attempt at homemade energy bars. Which turned out to be surprisingly easy and very tasty!! Made mine with cranberries and goji berries, hmm!! Find the recipe here.

Overwelmed by all the reactions I’ve received. Thank you Happy SunlightSarah, Arthur, Elroy, Aranka&Wouter, Deyan, Ronald and Connie for getting me another big step closer to realizing this dream!!

14% raised… This translates to me being able to hike until mile marker 401! I can already imagine the excitement of the first stretch! Crossing Warner Springs and Idyllwild… Crossing the first mountain San Jacinto… The realization that it will be hard and grinding on mind and body… But my spirit will soar!!

2262 miles to go! First goal; another 400 miles to get me to the top of Mount Whitney, one of the day trips outside of the trail I really want to hike! Starting at the base around 4 am, to make a sunrise summit climb… The view is truly epic… Would not want to miss that for the world!!