The Big Hike: Introduction

Billy here. After getting limber on the surf mission we spent all day in Shannon’s kitchen dehydrating veggies and packing for our exodus tomorrow. A few of you asked for pictures of everything we are taking, so we posted up our backpacking gear lists in a new page at the bottom of the blog and took pictures of our gear all laid out, as well as the first seventeen days worth of food. Since a backpacker uses about 4,000 calories a day, we had to plan for a (figurative) ton of food. We got some figures from other backpackers online: a general 2 pounds of food per person per day. So what you see (minus the 7 heads of broccoli and 2 bulbs of garlic in the dehyrator) is about 64 pounds of food. This will plump up when we cook them and add water. We got almost everything in bulk, including nuts and dried fruit to mix up our own trail mix. We have 10 pounds of trail mix, almost 5 pounds of granola, almost 6 pounds of grains, almost 9 pounds worth of bars among other things such as sprouting seeds, nuts, peas, powdered cheese and milk.

My total base weight for my backpack is 18 pounds. A bit on the heavier side for my taste, but I am carrying a backpacking guitar and a solar panel so we can charge the iphone to make this blog! After food and water, my aim is to be carrying less than 34 pounds, which is 25% of my body weight. Probably will be making last minute adjustments and will know more by the time we finish the Oregon section of our hike: from Eagle Creek to Crater Lake.

I want to thank Matthew and Chelsea for donating the iphone so we can take pictures and make this blog happen, Lyndi, Emily and Julian for rides and delivering packages, Mary Frances for being, Jane and Maren for letting us borrow their surf board so both Spence and I can surf together at the same time, Stephen for sharing roguish knowledge, inspiration and laughter, Shannon for letting us use her dehydrator and kitchen and being awesome, all the folks at the Daily and the F & B for their support and love, and all the other folks who have been encouraging along the way, especially Emily, whose generosity and openness is mad ridiculous.

spence here:   FOOD! is mostly what i think about when hiking.  (bars bars bars! we love them!) i also tend to think about my people, past and present. i think about my career, or lack of one, and what i want to be when i grow up. i think about my family and how they would love to see what i am seeing and how can i show them and tell them! how can i let them know i wouldn’t be the person i am today without the adventures we have shared together growing up.  also i think about bears. and beer. i also marvel at how old timers could have possibly traveled by foot or hoof and wagon all the time, moving west to the great unknown, mostly without a trail and definitely without conveniently packaged food.  i hope to feel more connected to the world, and that my small existence is as important as all creatures existence, big or small.

anyway, today was all about the food and the gear.  i managed to cut some weight off my pack, so my base is about 16 pounds without food or water.  i had to let some things go… like an extra pair of shoes, 2 books, the candle lantern, my thermos, my green “beach bobcat” hoodie and extra shorts. perhaps these things will be missed, but perhaps not after climbing uphill all day on my 14th mile. perhaps i will have wished i didn’t drag along the bana-grams, but i can’t imagine it–the game is pretty much  my favorite way to celebrate down time.

thank you to so many of you who have helped this summer come to fruition. after years of listening to me and my wondering what it could be like, i’m actually going to hike now.  next post will be from the trail!

4 thoughts on “The Big Hike: Introduction

  1. Thanks for calling us just minutes from your departure…dad and I wish both of you the very best adventure…love, and kisses

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