So, as some of you warned me Arizona can get wintery, and it is here. Ahead of me is the high desert with altitudes of 7000 ft, and those altitudes gets snow. (I HATE snow)
I essentially have three choices:
1. Winterize my pack and continue on. The area up ahead gets nasty snow storms, but the snow then melts. With proper gear and trusting I can get out of any potential storms I should be ok.
2. It might be time to turn due south. I am so in-love with walking through Arizona and New Mexico that I am fighting this option with all my being. I really do not want to turn south until after New Mexico.
3. I have a few potential options to hole up for a couple of months and then continue on. This is do-able because I am already figuring that the walk will take 2 years so I don’t have to be in New York until May 2015.
While option number three sounds attractive I am worried that I might lose credibility with any potential corporate sponsors. I have walked just short of 350 miles and it is too early for me to take such a serious break.
At this point I am going to work on option 1 – winterize my pack and continue on. Folks, I do know there is snow and very cold weather up ahead, and I do know what that feels like. I was raised in N. Europe and have experienced extreme winter weather many times. I also know that freezing can be extremely painful and even deadly. So please do not underestimate me. I do know what I am doing, and I can always, always jump a bus and head south if I need to. I will not risk anything related to getting caught in the elements, and will not venture out in to desolate areas.
There are some things I will need in order to do this, and I will spend the next few days working to get those things!
Here is what I need:
A solid 2-person, 3 season tent. The tent has to be modern, built to withstand some weather, light weight and very important quick for one person to set up.
A sleeping bag – built for a big person and rated down to minus 40 degrees.
Winter Boots – Size 9.5.
Rain Clothes – it can be as simple as a rain poncho.
Winter clothes – I can do this in a few different ways, the cheapest and most effective is layering. I would need some additional pants and sweaters to layer on top of each other. Then the rain poncho could protect me if it starts to rain or snow. I also need some extra thick socks and a pair of gloves.
A nice jacket
Missing from my pack at the moment are also additional canisters of propane – My stove uses the not so common Giga Power Snow Peaks canisters.