So, we have been researching gear for our AT trip for a long time, and gradually buying things when they’ve been on sale or we had discount coupons. Going as light-weight as possible with our gear is not cheap, so it was important to us to wait for the sales.
Since we are currently staying with my Mom in Wisconsin, we knew we wanted to get a camping/hiking trip in before the winter hit – mainly to test out our gear.
October 16th we headed down to Devil’s Lake State Park for a 3-day trip. Devil’s Lake is about 3 miles south of Baraboo, Wisconsin, and is the biggest state park in Wisconsin. Unbeknownst to me, it is known for its 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs, which may sound very nice and pretty, but believe me it was some serious boulder-climbing. Which of course was excellent training for the AT. We even had to take our packs off at one point and scoot them on in front of us in order to squeeze through a tight boulder crevice. These bluffs were created by a glacier during the last ice age about 12,000 years ago; in fact, some of the trails coincide and merge with the famous Wisconsin Ice Age Trail.
We wanted to simulate the AT as much as possible, so we took EVERY single piece of gear that we would be taking on the AT with us. Another goal was to use as much gear as possible to make sure everything worked and we felt comfortable with it.
I’m not going to do full gear reviews on anything yet, because frankly there’s too much gear to do all at once! But everything, for the most part, worked great. It was good to use everything, as it made us really think about things – and possibly think of a few tweaks we wanted to do before heading out on our real AT trip (blog post to follow on the tweaks).
Here’s a video from our trip:
That’s all for now! Happy Trails! — Jen & Greg
Thank you so much for keeping jesse and me in the loop. You guys are in our thoughts???
Thanks for following along Jeane. Hope all is well on the river.
im so excited for your big trip. i bet it was a piece of mind to try equipment out. living vicariously thru u and looking forward to following the trip!
Thanks so much Rebecca!!
An aptly-named lake for a brief field test. 🙂 Looks like a nice spot, too. Rock on!
It is a beautiful spot, and one of the few not-flat spots around where we are living in Wisconsin.
It’s so funny, even though I have *zero* intention to ever hike the AT (or any other trail for that matter!), I’m strangely intrigued by all the gear and genuinely look forward to hearing more, especially about what didn’t work as well as you’d expected and what you ultimately replace things with. I’m sure the trail sometimes seems strangely far away as you plow through mountains of snow at the moment, but it’ll be here before you know it and I’m enjoying being part of your journey!
I love that you’re so intrigued, Arden!! It does seem far away, but will be here quickly at the same time. I continually vacillate between “when will it ever get here?” to “OMG there’s still so much I need to think about and organize and test!”
Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Can’t wait for the final adventure.
We appreciate you following along. Only 70 days until the main event.
Terrific video! I look forward to the follow-up on the gear.
Thanks Jeni! (and thanks for the reminder to work on the follow-up!).