October 2011

Appalachian Trail Nutrition Guide: 7 Tips to Avoiding Post-Trail Weight Gain

how to avoid post appalachian trail weight gain

[Editors note: Although this post is geared toward those who plan on hiking the AT or who have recently finished, the truth is, this information is applicable to anyone looking to lose a couple of pounds. This is sound nutritional advice from someone who knows what they are talking about (clearly not a reference to myself).]

Remember the advice we got from Appalachian Trail legend, Miss Janet? Well in that post, we tackled the 2nd issue she brought up: Post-Appalachian Trail Depression (which I’ll be covering in more depth in the upcoming Badger Book).

Today, it’s time to confront the other:

How do thru-hikers avoid gaining weight after the Appalachian Trail?

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[Guest Post] Reunited and it Feels So Good

[editor's note] I am hesitant to post the following essay from good friend Jack Borgo only because I hate to be the second best writer on my own website. I spent the previous weekend in my old stomping grounds, Madison, WI, to watch my football team disembowel the #8 team in the country, and more importantly, to catch up with old friends. Jack was the first person that I met up with. Little did I know he was leveraging my friendship merely to further his writing career. Just kidding. Not really. In all sincerity, Jack, thank you for the kind words. Your enthusiasm for the great outdoors was an inspiration in my undertaking. And, please, keep writing.

Jack Borgo

Jack.

Last weekend I was reunited with one of my closest friends, Zach Davis (aka “Badger” to his trail-mates, “Good Badger” to his readers and “Undeliverable Address” to child-support collectors), at our former education/inebriation grounds at the University of Wisconsin. Though excited for 48 hours of bad beer and worse decisions, I was also pensive.

I knew and loved the pre-trail Zach Davis; a perpetually witty, easy-going Chicago sports fanatic who preferred a coffee-shop and laptop to “wilderness”. This Zach was so ill-equipped for time in the woods that if you asked me to list his Top Skills Essential to Survival in Nature, “an affinity for bandanas” would have been #1. Despite this outdoorsy ineptitude, when Zach told me that he had decided to hike the A.T., I knew his determination and love of exploration meant inevitable success.

However these conversations, coupled with postings on his blog, were also unnerving. For 5+ months Zach would trade his Apple for the Appalachian, baristas for bears. He was embarking on a potentially transformative journey…did the beginning of Badger mean the end of Zach?

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Filling in the Gaps: Badger’s Appalachian Trail Omissions (part 2)

filling in the gaps: badger's appalachian trail omissions

In the first edition of Filling in the Gaps, you learned how Google took a big dump on my heart.

In this edition, you will learn how a mosquito took a big dump inside my head.

For those who have followed along closely with Badger’s journey up the Appalachian Trail, you already know that I battled some pretty debilitating health issues (as many thru-hikers do). In June, I went to the hospital just outside of Duncannon, PA. The doctor ran some blood tests. They all came back negative. She suggested that because the previous week had consistently been reaching into triple digit temperatures, I was suffering from dehydration. She told me to “drink more water and avoid hiking during the afternoon.” I did the first and ignored the second as intense fatigue had me sleeping 10 hours a day.

Three weeks later, not only were the headaches still persistent, they had gotten worse and my vision was starting to blur. Back to the hospital. This time, along with a series of blood tests, I had a CT scan as I was now concerned that perhaps I had a brain tumor. Thankfully, all tests again came back negative. This doctor was more adamant about my symptoms being related to dehydration. He told me to start consuming more sodium and to intake an electrolyte supplement as regularly as possible.

This time it worked.

For a while.

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