How long will it take?
I expect it will take until the end of the year to complete the trail. I am able to hike 2-4 days a week and I average 12-15 miles a day.
How will I get food, water, and supplies?
Some parts of the Arizona Trail have no reliable sources of water. In those areas, I will be putting out caches of water before I start my hike. Some of those caches will also include food. My husband will be supporting my hike in the southern part of the state, and my dad is coming from Chicago to help me out in northern Arizona.
What am I going to eat?
(The first question my Italian grandmother asked me)
I will be cooking and dehydrating my own meals prior to the beginning of the trip for dinners. For lunches and breakfasts I will be eating Bumble Bars, jerky, trail mix, and other snacks. I will need to eat often as I will be burning 4000+ calories per day.
What strategies am I using to accommodate my fibromyalgia on my hike?
In the training phase, I am ramping up the weight carried, length, and difficulty of my training hikes very slowly. I started training early in order to strengthen my body to prepare for this journey. I researched my gear to find the lightest tent, sleeping bag, etc. that would do the job. During the hike, I plan to keep the weight of my pack as light as I can by paying careful attention to everything that goes into my backpack. I will be taking rest days every 4-5 days. I am planning to cache food so that I will not have to carry many days of food through remote areas.
What am I going to do about the parts of the trail that aren’t finished?
The Arizona Trail is 90% complete- there are 57 miles of trail that have yet to be built. I will be bushwhacking (traveling without a trail), following flagging tape, and using dirt roads to get through these areas. My GPS unit and map and compass skills will be especially helpful where there is no trail.
What does my husband think about me hiking across
I am very fortunate that my husband Brian is extremely supportive of my doing this hike. He will be helping me with resupply, putting up my trail journals, and holding down the fort at home. I will be carrying a SPOT satellite device in case of emergency, which eases his mind a lot.
Why am I going alone, anyway?
I have almost always hiked alone. I love that all I have to worry about is my own pace and how far I want to go.
What will I do in case of an emergency?
Not only is my safety of the utmost importance, I also want my husband and family to know that I am ok. My brain and outdoors experience is the #1 thing I will rely on to keep me safe and out of trouble. However, I have several things that will help should I fall, twist an ankle and not be able to get myself to a road, run out of water, etc.There is a new device out called SPOT that I will be using which has a 911 button that dispatches emergency responders if I am in a search and rescue situation. SPOT transmits a signal with my GPS coordinates so S&R knows where to find me. The neat thing about this device is that there are also buttons that say "help" (if I am in a situation that is bad, but not 911 bad and I need someone to meet me), and an "OK" button. The OK button sends my husband and my parents an e-mail that says that I am ok and gives them a Google Map with my exact location. So when I'm on the trail, I will be able to check in. There is also a tracking feature available that leaves "cookie crumbs" to show my husband where I am traveling. I will also be carrying bear spray, a concentrated pepper spray that can be used on unruly animals or humans.