Well here we are. 2012. It seams nearly everyone had a shitty 2011 and was more than anxious for it to turn to 2012. The holidays are over, the stress has mostly been lifted, and i have some major Thank-You's i owe to some important people. My friends and family are amazing. First off, i had a lot of anxiety over gear, the cost of gear, and what i still need(ed), while trying to save weight, and ect.... My family and friends did more than they will probably realize in supporting me with the gifts and gift cards i received for Christmas. I am embarrassed to to tell you how much i got in REI gift-cards, because i don't deserve it. This is going to go SO far towards keeping me comfortable on the trail, and if i am comfortable, then i will be happier, and it will just make the hike that much more enjoyable. I now only need a few main components and my basic gear should be relatively set.
Some other things i received from my amazing girlfriend Erica were the Solio Bolt solar charger. This thing is amazing and is even engineered to know it is charging an apple product like my iPhone. I should have no problem keeping my iPhone charged the entire trip. My iPhone will be of multiple uses, taking pictures, small videos, music, audio books, a backup gps, all my maps will be on there as well for back up.
I got an amazing Swiss Army pocket knife from Erica as well. So many functions, i want to track how many i actually use while i am on the trail. It is sort of big and bulky, but will make up for it's weight in usefulness and entertainment really.
My brother gifted me a pair of my favorite hiking shoes to get me started. I am still working on a shoe sponsor, but i am planning on getting at least one more pair before i leave and will worry about the other pairs i will need once i am on the trail.
Like i said, the gift card love really was amazing. I know gift cards can sort of seem impersonal, but in the case of planning for a through hike, you couldn't ask for anything better. I was able to get most of my toiletries and a snake bite kit and some other cool things with a Wal-Mart gift card. 50 bucks of stuff added up quick, but now i have most of the soap and toiletries for the entire trail. Thank you so much for that Phil Goltz.
I know i am leaving out some things and some people, but i really do appreciate all the love, support and overall excitement people have when hearing about my hike. There has been a lot less skepticism about my choice to hike for 6 months straight than I had anticipated, and I am grateful. Thank you all so much.