All posts by Steve Adams

I originally registered on this site prior to hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2014. The two-volume memoir of that epic journey is now available on amazon.com. Carpe diem!

Equipment and too many choices

I’ve already bought quite a bit of equipment for my March trip, as I own literally nothing that would pass as useful on the trail.  Given that I also know absolutely nothing about hiking either, I found my way to a nearby shop that seemed to have the type of stuff that I will need.  However, after swiftly setting me up with boots, which are Asolo Fugitive GTX boots, the proprietor gave me the best advice he could by telling me that, while he had everything I would need on the hike, I’d be best served by doing my own research and finding out what would suit me.
With no reference point from past experience, I wondered how I was going to follow this excellent advice.  Nonetheless, I threw myself into the project and started by Googling “best hiking gear.”  After finding a bunch of dud sites, I found www.outdoorgearlab.com, which seemed to give me a bunch of items with comparisons and best buys, editors picks etc.  I’m not terribly sure how unbiased these reviews are and what part advertising may play in the final outcome, but it all seemed fairly solid to my untrained eye.  There were video reviews of many of the items and I tried to think what would be important to me and thus was able to use my own filter system (common sense) to find what should work. Continue reading Equipment and too many choices

Enthusiasms

I’ve been plagued by enthusiasms all my life.

I was going to learn to play the piano, I was going to have a book published, I was going to learn Japanese and I was going to really improve at golf. There are some who have noticed my penchant for collecting wives as something along the lines of an enthusiasm, though voices in that direction have stilled since they met my current wife.

The piano playing is mediocre, at best, the first 27,000 words of my novel form less than a light pamphlet, while my Japanese simply allows me to sit in the back of a cab in Tokyo and request the driver to return me to my hotel, not exactly the Gettysburg Address. To be fair, I do say it so perfectly that the driver does a quick double-take in the mirror and starts to berate me furiously while I just raise my shoulders and look bemused. The less said about my golf, the better.

The point of this is that, throughout my life, I’ve started things and rarely actually carried them through and, at this gestation period of my great adventure, I’ve been reflecting upon that rather trickily self-aware truth.

I really don’t want this hike to be an enthusiasm that flickers briefly, though brightly, then fades away. One obviously materialistic reason is that I’ve spent, or will spend, about $2500 on new kit and clothes that has pretty much no other purpose than to help me to achieve my goal. However, the Appalachian Trail is a dream that was always an unlikely goal but, with circumstances aligning, has suddenly catapulted itself into the forefront of my life. The fact that my wonderful wife is my biggest supporter in the endeavor is another terrific blessing. The trail is staring me in the face like an insolent challenge and I really don’t want to get out of the way. It is deliciously real, tantalizingly attainable and so imminent I can almost imagine those first few steps.

I want everybody to feel how I feel right now, if only once in their lives. I’m excited, a little scared and very ready for this.

No, this isn’t an enthusiasm, it is my time to follow through on a dream.

First contact with wildlife

Now that the blog is up and running, I thought I’d better actually do a short hike to start to wear in my new boots.  Everything is new, never having hiked before, so I’m a little like a new boy at school.  Hopefully, I’ve chosen well, though the early evidence isn’t entirely encouraging.

I looked around my local area and, recognizing that Florida lacks a anything ressembling a hill, I set my modests sights at Little Manatee River Loop, which winds through the forest for just over 6 miles.  I took a small backpack, plenty of water and some nuts and cranberries to tide me over for a couple of hours.  It was only in the lates 50’s, early 60’s, so very comfortable. Continue reading First contact with wildlife

My great adventure

Thanks for checking out this site.  It is intended to track the preparation, execution and culmination of the greatest adventure I will likely ever have in my life.  It is something I’ve yearned to do for about 20 years and, now that the first step is just over two months away, I am buying gear, exercising, reading and, hopefully, writing something that will be a record of the trip.

Even though I’m British, I’d heard vaguely of the Appalachian Trail, yet Bill Bryson’s “Walk in the Woods” was the first book I’d read on the subject.  That really sparked my initial interest, but it was moving to America in 2005 that really brought it into focus and my Kindle now has about 20 other books, some good, some awful, that cover the same subject. Continue reading My great adventure