Storm Before the Calm: Heading Out in Less than a Week

Like the two weeks before any big hike, these have been crazy. Without artistry or brevity, here is what’s been happening to make the big hike happen:


  • Canyoning trip in Hakuba. Absolutely necessary to prepare for any big hike. Pictures may be forthcoming.
  • Backpacking in a valley below Yari-gatake. Hot Springs flowing directly into the river, a view of the ridge/peaks I’ll be hiking from NEXT WEEK.
  • Finished my last paper of the semester.
  • 3.5 hours of futsal, also essential before a big hike
  • Trail running and swimming and Jelly Fish attack
  • Most final gear purchases (list forthcoming)
  • Read entire Hammer guide to nutrition for endurance athletes – highly reccomended
  • Meal planning: recipes and shopping list
  • First batch of Chris’s Carbo-Gel w/ Green Tea…so good when it hits your lips
  • Made some sweet tyvek chaps
  • Made some muffins
  • Route finalized, estimated time: 26 days, rough estimated distance: 400-450 km

As you can see, I am not quite paragon of focus. Still left to do:

  • Pack 60 zip-lock bags with meals, prepare packages to mail
  • Make more power bars and energy gel
  • Buy some titanium tent pegs
  • Double check packing list
  • Keep practicing setting up the tarp until its second nature
  • Make a hotel reservation on the over night before I start the trip
  • Quality time with the lady friend
  • A bunch of little things that I am forgetting
  • Another 2 hrs of futsal
  • Get drunk one or two times

Wish me luck! I hope to get a couple posts up about my food, route, and gear before I head out. I’ll be holding off on any gear reviews until I get back, see how it all holds up. I’m getting really pumped, a bit nervous, and can’t wait to get on the trail.


About hamilton

Walking, Walking!
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5 Responses to Storm Before the Calm: Heading Out in Less than a Week

  1. Joe says:

    I am in awe at how much more organising you have to accomplish than me and my wee 7-day trip that seems like an overnighter compared to your epic! But I know what you mean, so many little jobs and problems that need your attention just before you leave. “Have I got enough ibuprofen? Where did I put safety pins? I still have to fix this or that. Should I take more food?”.

    Good luck! Looking forward to following your adventure.

    • hamilton says:

      There’s nothing to awe at, it’s just like what you’re doing but 4 times in a row. It really helped to think of it as a series of smaller trips, and once your bagging your food (I’m going with freezer bag cooking as well) bagging 4 of the same meal is not much more difficult than bagging 1.

      I would say the trickiest thing for me so far has been converting to lightweight over the course of 2 or so months. But, this trip has really been motivating me to change may way of thinking and planning, so I think it has worked well, although it has certainly been (and will continue to be) a crash course!

      And luckily, where I’m going, there are mountain huts most of the way where I can buy cup ramen if I don’t have enough grub. Of course, its $5 a cup, but at least I won’t be miserable if I screw up! So in this sense, I think you are the one who deserves a hat tip, going where there are far fewer safety nets.

      I’m going to follow your lead and put up a food post soon, our breakfasts are very similar…

  2. Mami says:

    Oooh, you’re not going to blog as you go? Bummer. I guess you’re not going to have access to computer or electricity for a while . . . At least bring a notebook or something so you can record your thoughts and events as they come. I look forward to getting updates once you’re done. Wishing you a safe hike. Mami

    • hamilton says:

      I’m not sure if I’m going to blog much or not. If I’m really in the mood I will, but if I think I’d rather not worry about it till I’m done, I’ll keep updates to where I’m at and my mortal condition (still alive!).

      But, I’ll have plenty of notebooks along the way to keep notes, and I can video diary on my new camera…

      There will be plenty of updates when I’m done, I’m looking forward to figuring out how to share the journey in a creative way. But, that will have to wait until I make the hike!

  3. Maz says:

    I’m furiously dealing with the final stages of the TMB planning. Flights, train to Les Houches, kit, whether to leave a change of clothes somewhere, first hotel (much like you), food – it’s all good fun though and, in lieu of the trip itself, keeps the excitement going. I’ll post on all this shortly, but the thing about the TMB is that it’s going to be easy enough as we’ll be staying in refuges so no tent, bag or mat required and food will be no doubt easily available. It’s going to be superb walking but I fancy a more adventurous challenge next year if Mrs M and the newborn will let me head off for 2 weeks!!

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