By now, you all know I’m all about FIRSTS! This will be the first time I’ve hiked in the desert and the first time I’ve been on a trail longer than 10 days. Pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone will be good for me; banishing my preconceived notions of desert and gaining much needed experiences are my goals.
Start at the Mexico border and spend the month of March hiking north.
1. Elevation and temperature changes
Arizona is flat right? WRONG! Here’s a teaser profile for the first day.
I’m a mountain girl, I don’t like to carry the weight of water (2.2 pounds per liter), nor think of water sources, or worry about the quality of water . . . and I’m a thirsty gal. My body demands plenty to drink.
3. Lions, Tigers and Bears – Oh My!
Good thing these aren’t a concern, but what about . . .
6. THE border
For the most part, I’ll be using my standard kit. However, anticipating heavier weight with my water needs, I’ve eliminated a few comfort items (i.e. stove), and replaced 1 liter water bottles with 2 liter containers.
Water & Filtration:
- For Sleeping: Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Tights, Smartwool NTS Long-Sleeve Shirt, Merino Socks, Buff
- For Rotation: Smartwool Toe Socks x2, Smartwool Lightweight Socks x2, underwear x1
- For Layering: Polar Fleece Beanie, Smartwool Glove Liners, Visor, Buff
- Camera (Sony Cybershot DSC RX-100) with ez Share WiFi Card
- DeLorme InReach SE
- Phone (Motorola Droid Maxx)
- Suntactics 5 Solar Charger
- New Trent External Battery (most likely with leave in bounce bucket*)
- USB Cable, Wall Charger & Ear Buds
- Lotion & Sunscreen
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste & Floss
- Stainless Steel Deodorant Bar
- Medications & Vitamins***
- Eyeglass Cleaner (1/day)***
- Daily facial/body wipes, dried (1/day)***
- Wet Anti-Bacterial Wipes (1-2/day)***
- Poo Bag (Trowel, Bidet Bottle, Dr. Bonner soap, disposable glove & dried wipe x1/day***)
- First Aid Kit (including Leukotape, gauze, needle, tweezers, etc)
- Medications (including Benadryl, antibiotics for bacterial infections, etc.)
- Mosquito Repellent & Net (may bounce after first week or two*)
- Emergency Blanket & Rain Skirt (may bounce after first week or two*)
- Mini Bic Lighter & Fire Starter
- Maps & Compass
*I’ll have access to a support vehicle occasionally which will be carrying my bounce box (see below for contents).
**As an Ambassador for Gossamer Gear I was provided the Mariposa backpack. All other Gossamer Gear items were purchased by me. I choose to use Gossamer Gear products because they work for me.
***Not considered as base weight since they’ll be consumed and replaced at each resupply point.
I’m mostly bringing my standard rations, with a few tweaks to account for going stoveless, and plan to supplement with perishable items as we pass through towns along the way. Of course, we’ll be gorging with yummy food in towns when the opportunity presents.
- Granola, cold and dry (instead of oatmeal)
- Coffee, instant (dissolves and tastes fine in cold water)
- Hummus* and Doctor Krackers
- Sweet Potato/Black Bean/Quinoa Salad*
- Turkey/Rice/Vege Teriyaki*
- Fiesta Chicken Salad*
- Pasta with Sauce*
- Trader Joe’s Superfood Pilaf**
- Trader Joe’s Spelt Risotto**
- Trader Joe’s Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange**
- Sweet Potato Mash* and Leather*
- Mixed Berry Leather*
- Pudding with Chia Seeds
- Hard Candy
*Homemade and dehydrated. Will rehydrate with cold water and let the sun provide the heat. (For recipes & tips see this link)
**Dehydrated; will rehydrate with cold water and let the sun provide the heat.
- NUUN tablets (electrolytes)
- Crystal Light (flavors nasty water)
3. Resupply Boxes
I’ll resupply about every 50-100 miles. What’s in my boxes?
- Food & Other Consumables (i.e. wipes)
- Town-Use Items (i.e. shampoo and laundry soap)
- Maps for the next section
4. Bounce Box
Since I’ll have the luxury of meeting up with a friend’s vehicle occasionally, I’m treating it as my bounce box. As a newbie in the desert and on a multi-week trail, this will provide me with the opportunity for a bit of trial and error.
What’s in my box?
- Extra Shirt (haven’t decided whether I’ll bring my merino wool or wind/sun shirt)
- Extra Pants (I’m between sizes and it’ll be nice to switch out)
- Darn Tough Socks (in case I’m having issues in the desert with my Smartwool layers)
- Tyvek Ground Cover (in case the Polycro doesn’t work in the desert as a ground cover)
- First aid kit replacement items
- Mattress repair kit
- Sawyer Mini (since I have an extra, why not?)
Ready for a Peek at the Arizona Trail?
- Passage – The Arizona Trail uses Passage to divide the trail into 43 sections (the much more familiar term).
- Stewards – Many volunteers look over the Passages, providing contact information and assistance as you pass through their area.