Out into the woods, on a whim.

There’s something so, primal, about the idea of packing my bag and suddenly taking off into the woods. I’ve recently grown quite fond of day hiking, and currently trail running. Looking for a way to combine these two interests, I found fastpacking.

To make sure I’m ready for my first trip, a few things need to happen. These may seem like arbitrary numbers, but they make sense in my head. I need to be capable of running 12 miles on two back to back days. This feat will give me confidence in my body’s ability to recover. Next, I need to be able to run 16 miles in one go. Both of these tasks should be performed comfortably before I make my first trip.

Gearwise, I’ve got a bit of work to do. I need a pack – I’m looking at the Osprey Talon 22, Camelbak Rim Runner, Camelbak Alpine Explorer, and REI Trail 25. They’re all fairly light and very affordable. I’m about to pick up the MSR Pocket Rocket, a small 3oz stove, and a little LED flashlight. I’m currently using a Hennessy Hammock as my sleeping system.

And where the hell am I planning to go? I want my first trip to be a single overnight, covering at least 40 miles total. That leads me to the 4C Trail in the Davy Crockett National Forest, which comes out to exactly 20 miles each way. Considering that I have hiked just under 20 miles in a day before, I feel that with a mix of running, this distance won’t be as challenging as I’d like. That being said, my other option is the Huntsville to Richards section of the Lonestar Trail, and back – a total distance of 70 miles. Bumping up from 20 miles to 35 miles a day, however, seems a bit daunting.