the good badger tag

The Good Badger on Camping Gear TV

camping gear tv and the good badger

You’ve heard a lot about The Dusty Camel and Ian Mangiardi, both on this site and in Appalachian Trials.  Ian played a huge role in my thru-hike preparation, and ultimately, the book.  For this I am forever grateful.

But the catalyst to all of the AT goodwill began even before Ian took the reigns of Zach’s pre-trail therapist.  It was Josh Turner of Camping Gear TV who got the ball rolling, not only by putting me in touch with Ian, but also introducing me to many of the sponsors of his show (including Hi Tec, Eureka!, and Innate Gear).

The good folks of Camping Gear TV have dealt another bout of good fortune to the Good Badger (three goods, one sentence – the grammar equivalent of two girls, one cup.).  They decided to let me talk about living in the woods for a half year.  On video.  And they posted it.

If you’re into the outdoors in any capacity, I highly recommend subscribing to Camping Gear TV (either through RSS, Facebook, YouTube and/or Twitter accounts).  If REI and Santa made a superbaby, this superbaby would be Camping Gear TV.  In other words, they give you awesome camping equipment for freeGet some.

- Side Note of Awesomeness -

Guess which book recently got a positive endorsement from Tim Ferriss (read the comments), author of New York Times NUMBER 1 Best-Selling The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body?  Hint: I wrote it.  The cover is currently getting a slight makeover.

Appalachian Trials Available On Kindle!

Appalachian Trials: "Hi, I wrote a book"

After months of writing, editing, formatting, fighting with myself and others (mostly myself), and designing, the day has finally arrived….

Appalachian Trials is here!!!

Assuming “here” means “available in e-book form”

So the print version is still a little ways away (days, not weeks), but the Kindle Version of Appalachian Trials is up & active:

APPALACHIAN TRIALS on KINDLE

Reasons to buy the Kindle (e-book) Version Read more

Get YOUR NAME in MY BOOK: And More Delicious Appalachian Trials Info

Get YOUR NAME in Appalachian Trials

Hi team,

So, my Appalachian Trail book, is finished (official launch coming soon).

Well, almost…

I have every page written, except for the last.

That’s where YOUR NAME goes.  Only your name.

Yes, I’m serious.  No, I’m not drunk.

Imagine flipping through the final pages of this soon-to-be-released Appalachian Trail super-book, and the last thing you see – the reader’s final impression – is your nameThat’s what’s happening.

I’m going to auction off the last page of my book on eBay.  The highest bidder wins their name, and their name only, on the last page of the soon-to-be-announced-release-of-Zach-Davis’-first-book-Appalachian Trials.  It’s easy as that.  I will start the auction at $0.05 with no reserve.

100% of the proceeds will go to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (eBay takes their cut because they’re capitalists*)

* – “9.0% of the item’s total cost to buyer with a maximum charge of $100.00.” (Every penny that eBay doesn’t take from Zach will go straight to the ATC).

Here’s how you can get YOUR NAME on the last page of Appalachian Trials:

  1. Go to this link to view the auction page
  2. Bid to get your name in the last page of Appalachian Trials
  3. The auction will end on January 31st, 2012 at 10:00 AM CST.  When it does, the high bidder wins their name in the last page of my book (sorry for sounding like a broken record).
  4. That’s it.

Some notes about the promotion:

  • As you know by now, I get a good chuckle out of potty humor, but I won’t put a dirty word on the last page of the book.  Sorry, I don’t believe that your name is “Farty McBallSlap“.
  • Appalachian Trials will be released both as a print and e-book.  Your name goes in both.  One name, two formats.
  • I have contacted the ATC about this promotion (still waiting to hear back).  Those who know me already know that I wouldn’t ever try to pull a Bernie Madeoff on anyone.  For those who don’t know me, know that at the conclusion of this promotion, the ATC will be expecting a check from me.  If I would try to pull a fast one, they would very quickly make this public and then Zach would be forced to live under a bridge for the rest of time.

Reasons Why This Promotion is Worth Your Bid

  1. I had to write 40,000 words to get my name in it.  You can accomplish the same thing with ~39,998 fewer words.  That’s a good deal.
  2. High upside.  I’m pretty confident that we’ve got a winner on our hands here (really).  Getting your name in a book that could potentially be popular within this very beautiful niche, is an exciting proposition.
  3. It’s ridiculous.  Your name would stand alone on the last page of Appalachian Trials.  I haven’t taken the time to research if this has ever been done before, but considering most books go through traditional publishers, and traditional is Latin for boring, I’m guessing not.  (Side note: Appalachian Trials is currently scheduled to be released under Good Badger Publishing (aka self-published).  If in the future a traditional publisher wants to give me a cruise ship full of cash for the rights, I won’t let the last page with your name on it fall by the wayside.  It’s there for the long haul.)
  4. It’s funny.  Is it not?
  5. It’s for a good cause.  Did I mention that 100% of the proceeds goes toward the ATC (the wonderful volunteers and workers who maintain our beautiful 2,181 mile path of wonder, mystery and love)?
  6. Good Advertising.  I will announce the winner of this contest on this website.  Ultimately when someone reads the book and searches “Appalachian Trials + [your name]” the post announcing your victory will be what shows up in Google.  They will see that your donation went to the ATC.  In addition, I will let the winner write a short statement and link to the website/cause of their choice.  That’s right.  In-book advertising.  What is that worth to you/your company?  (*Note*  No URLs in the book itself, only in the victorious post, which will still be seen by a lot of people.  Also, I’ve had people ask if they can pool their money together and then make a fake name- YES.  I love the creativity.  Just no potty words, offensive phrases, or competing products.)

So, go check out the eBay bid, throw a couple dollars at the idea of your name being on the book, share the promotion with others (like this page, retweet it, e-mail friends, shout it at strangers) so we can help raise more money for this worthy organization.  And then probably consider checking out Appalachian Trials.

Last note- I will announce the winner on this site and the Good Badger Facebook Page.  I suggest “liking” it so I can let you know when you win YOUR NAME on the last page of Appalachian Trials.

Questions? E-mail me at theGoodBadger[at]gmail[dot]com.

Here is the link to the auction page.

 

 

The Virginia Blues Look Awfully Green To Me

Trivia question:

Which state along the Appalachian Trail accounts for the greatest number of miles?

Answer: Virginia

Of the 2,181 miles that make up the Appalachian Trail, Virginia claims 550 of these, just over one quarter of the entire trail. And for this reason, in addition to the repetitive scenery throughout the state, the term Virginia Blues is commonly used to describe the situation whereby a hiker experiences an emotional low- an unusually long stretch of diminished spirits while passing through the Old Dominion.

The Virginia Blues were something I spent a good deal of energy worrying about prior to leaving for the trail. How would I handle 550 miles of repetition? If playing the same song over and over again is a tactic used against POWs, would this stretch cause a similar bout of insanity? A large portion of people who drop off the trail do so in Virginia. Would I fall into this group?

It looks like I’ve answered that question: hell no.

Granted I still have 250 miles of Virginia remaining, but in my humble opinion, the concept of the Virginia Blues has nothing to do with scenery…

When first embarking on the trail, everything about the adventure is exciting. It’s new. It’s invigorating. Even the hard times, although challenging, supply an element of surprise. You always come away from the experience feeling stronger than you did before. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Every day presented a new challenge, a new terrain, a new group of hikers- every day presented a new experience.

By the time a hiker has reached Virginia, he/she has already set up his/her tent in heavy hail, slept through rapid lightning storms, gone extended stretches without a shower or clean clothes, and most likely dumped a half flask of whiskey all over the bottom of his pack (The Bourbon Blues), multiple times. The setbacks are beginning to lose their subtle charm.

And although the views from the mountain tops are every bit as beautiful, they too have entered into the routine. What once was breath taking, now seems to just make you short on breath.

There is no such thing as the Virginia Blues. What is interpreted as the Virginia Blues is merely the end of the honeymoon phase. It has less to do with state lines, and more to do with state of mind.

I came prepared for this. I’ve had my fair share of extended adventures in the past: from studying in London to moving to San Diego while knowing no one. If you’ve been in a long term relationship, gone away to school, or started a new job, you’ve likely experienced this feeling yourself. Eventually the initial excitement fades. It’s human nature.

Those who attribute their blues to the state of Virginia, are misplacing the blame. Although there is some truth to the expression “the green tunnel” which describes the thick overhang of dense tree coverage throughout much of the state, Virginia is not significantly more repetitive than any of the scenery in Georgia, North Carolina, or Tennessee. McAfee Knob/Dragon’s Tooth (near Catawba, VA) has been one of the best day hikes on the trail thus far. A couple weeks ago, I got to hang out with wild ponies for Christ’s Sake. PONIES!! If that gives you the blues, then we can never be friends.

McAfee Knob

No Tunnel Here

So what can an aspiring thru-hiker do to avoid these so called Virginia Blues? I don’t know if there’s one way to answer that, but this is what has helped me:

Every time the trail begins to feel routine or lacking stimulation, I think about what my alternative would be: sixty hour work weeks, undue stress, and the realization that my free time would likely be spent on a long hike. Quickly perspective is regained, the smile returns, and the temporary cloud of routine is lifted. If that doesn’t work, I meditate, I write, I listen to an audiobook (or the new Fleet Foxes album – so good). If that doesn’t work I get my ass to town and watch a few hours of bad tv, eat some bad food, and observe the many depressed people that populate these towns*.   (*please see comments below)

The tunnel suddenly looks a lot brighter.

Appalachian Trail Magic and Trail Angels

(Warning: this post is long.  If you’re pressed for time, skip to the last section to get the best bang for your buck.)

This is Bruce. 

Appalachian Trail Magic | Bruce

Bruce.

Bruce is not your average dude. Bruce, is a trail angel

Trail Angel: a person who delivers trail magic. 

Trail Magic: a random act of kindness uniquely provided to long distance hikers (mostly the Appalachian Trail) whereby an individual delivers a good deed to a hiker in need; most commonly in the form of food, beverage, and/or transportation. Trail Magic has a knack of occurring when a hiker’s spirits are approaching the danger zone. Pure serendipity. (source: Zachopedia

After the day’s largest ascent immediately followed by a steep downward shimmy- I could feel my legs beginning to signal fatigue. We were already on mile #12, and with it still being the first week of the trail, I was ready for the day to be over.  Unfortunately we still had three miles to our intended destination. In relation to 2,181 miles, three seems almost too insignificant to mention.  When your legs feel like jello + fire, however, three miles is nothing short of an eternity. 

As occurs from time to time- the trail calls for you to cross the occasional country road before proceeding back into the woods- and back onto the next ascent. As I raised my slouched head to find the trail inlet on road’s other side- I noticed something in my path: an older gentleman, his sedan pulled off into the ditch, some lawn chairs, and a couple of storage tubs. The only visual stimulus I had seen for the previous three days were smelly hikers, tents, and woods. Needless to say, the sheer newness of this scene immediately grabbed my attention- especially in the middle of no where Georgia. 

Appalachian Trail Magic | Bruce Image

To a hiker, this sight = heaven

As I walked closer- I finally grasped what was before me: FUCK YA TRAIL MAGIC.  Bruce, our trail descendant from heaven, had taken a few days to provide the masses of thru-hikers (since it was still the first week, even the wanna-be hikers have yet to drop out), with pop (soda for you weirdos), beer, cookies, fruit, water, and trash bags (try carrying all of your own garbage with you for a three day span, and you’ll understand how beautiful this really is). 

As I’ve mentioned in the past – the whole concept of the AT is built upon the highs and lows.  Just when you’re reaching your peak misery level, something will happen to remind you of life’s simple beauties.  This might range from the sun breaking from behind the clouds on a cold, windy day, to cookies and beer (I prefer the latter). 

Trail magic acts as a quick shot of life energy to help an irritable hiker get through a challenging day. 

Chillin with Bruce the Trail Angel

Laying back is the only option after eating 18 cream cookies

I assure you, trail magic gets even more elaborate. 

Last week, we had been warned that a cold front was rapidly approaching (which turned out to be our coldest trail day to date).  To someone who hasn’t spent much time sleeping outside, it may be hard to grasp the degree of how bitter this information is.  To help gain some perspective, it’s sort of like being told, “you’re probably going to get kidney stones tonight.“  Needless to say, our moods were soured. 

And then right on cue, approximately three miles prior to arriving at our intended shelter for the night, we encounter this: 

Trail Magic | Grits

From left to right: Mehap, Whoop, Road Dog, Grits

Grits (pictured to the right), a former thru-hiker himself, took an entire week’s vacation to cook burgers, hot dogs, and supply fruit, pop, and beer for all thru-hikers that came across his food circus.  Not only did he stuff our large group full of warm food and beverage (+47 points on a cold day, as demonstrated by Whoops highly contracted posture), but he also shed a good deal of valuable trail information regarding the upcoming towns and terrain.  Nourishment for the mind, body, and soul.  Mostly just the body though. 

(Side note: Grits is a great guy and big fan of Big Agnes tents.  If I were an employee of Big Agnes – I would definitely supply him with more quality Big Agnes gear so he can continue his angel like behavior for frigid hikers.) 

Appalachian Trail Magic | Grits and Big Agnes

Grits Loves Big Agnes

Of course, not all trail magic is as glamorous as Grits’ food circus.  Sometimes, this good deed is as simple as a garbage bag propped on a rock along the trail, filled with trail essentials (e.g. Ramen, oatmeal, dried fruit, etc.).  Although in comparison to a hot meal and High Life, dried goods may seem second rate.  Don’t let the relative comparison fool you; a hiker still very much appreciates these seemingly simple acts. For someone who has under budgeted four days worth of food, 900 extra calories from the mystery garbage bag may very well be the difference between hiking hungry and hiking perfectly satiated. 

Random Trail Magic 

Trail Magic  

After the long and hot ascent to the summit of Max Patch, I come across a group of people enjoying a picnic.  From a distance, nothing of this scene seems out of the ordinary.  As I draw closer, however, I realize many of these faces are of familiar thru-hikers, including Whoop.  One of the only two people amongst the group that I don’t recognize, interrupts their conversation, looks up at me and says, “hey thru-hiker…would you like some pizza, beer, or champagne?”.  Almost instictively, I respond with, “you just said all of my favorite words.”  My only other option was to cry.

Kathy and Robert were celebrating their 40th anniversary the only way proud parents of a thru-hiker knows how- in case you didn’t guess, trail magic

Taste Science: Pizza + Beer + Hiking > Pizza + Beer + Not Hiking

Appalachian Trail Magic 2011

Happy Anniversary Team

I save the best for last. 

Scenario

It’s 6:30 pm.  The sun is already getting close to tucking away behind the mountains.  We had just completed mile #19 in order to get away from another hiker who has consistently and independantly scared the bajesus out of numerous fellow thru-hikers with his erratic and fugitive-like behavior (demanding pictures of him be deleted, keeping his contents locked inside of his backpack, eye color: black, etc.).   I kid you not when I say this guy is by far and away the most widely talked about individual on the trail this year.  Apparently giving off serial killer vibes is good publicity.

Just as we drop our packs in a state of complete exhaustion (but mostly relief to have escaped) and start to mentally prepare for our short 4 mile jaunt into Franklin, NC the following morning, there, in the distance, heading toward the very same shelter is none other than Captain Crazy himself.  I had hiked an extra six miles already to avoid becoming the sequel to Deliverance.  

At this point, we realized there were two options: 

1) Force a few extra calories into our system, ignore the our body’s signals of over-exhaustion, and go the extra four miles into Franklin. 

or 

2) Fall victim to RapeMurder 

…. 

So, as we’re hiking back to Franklin, Badger, Whoop, and Road Dog (who has formed the third head of our hiking trio of late), unpleasantly discover that the majority of these four miles are uphill.  For those who have never tried hiking uphill with 30 lbs on your back, after already expending all of the day’s energy, you can experience this pain for yourself by having someone push a fully stacked library bookshelf on your defenseless body.  And the bookshelf shall remain there for two hours.  And then you must birth octoplets.  Five of these octoplets must go onto be offensive linemen in the NFL. 

Two hours of hyper-misery later, we arrived to our destination, the highway - but we’re still 12 miles outside of Franklin.   It was now time to find a hitch into town.  Again, there were a few problems: 

1)  There were three of us.  Three people + three packs is simply too much matter for most vehicles. 

2)  It’s dark.  Not only has the traffic flow dropped drastically, but cars usually can’t see you until it’s too late to pull over. 

3)  We’re too tired to get up from the lone patch off grass which sits about 30 yards off the road. 

There we are, easily the three most pathetic guys on earth at that exact moment, hopelessly waiving our thumbs at the rare occurence of a car racing by.  None of us get cell service, and quite frankly there’s not enough bloodflow left in our brains to brainstorm options. 

Then arrives Jeff. 

Out of nowhere a hatchback sedan bypasses all the parking spaces in the lot, and pulled his car directly in front of us the small patch of grass we had sprawled out across.  A gentleman in his late 20s/early 30s steps out of his small car. 

“Hey guys.” 

(Whoop, Road Dog, and Badger share a general sense of confusion.) 

Jeff chuckles to himself, “You guys sure look tired.  How far did you hike today?” 

“23 miles.” 

Whooaaa.  That’s crazy!  You guys are insane.  That’s way too far!”

We offer a mixed bag of chuckles and shrugs.  Too tired for anything more.

Hold on one second.”  (Jeff goes to his car to get something.  He starts passing us business cards.)  “Here, take these.  My name is Jeff.  I live in Waynseboro, VA, which as you probably know, is right on the trail.  My wife says that I’m ‘allowed to’ take in one group of hikers each year.  You’re the first group I’ve come across and seem like a good group, so definitely let me know when you’re in town.” 

This is awesome.  Awesome in the way of future events though.  Our current situation was still broken so we couldn’t yet fully appreciate how awesome this was.  And then right on cue…. 

“I’m guessing you guys are looking to get into Franklin, right?  I just came from that direction.  Boy, I wish I didn’t have all that junk in the back of my car.”   

There was a lot of stuff (from a guy’s perspective, definitely not “junk” though): a kayak, a fully packed backpack, cables, and misc. boxes.

With that said, we wished so too.  

At this point, it was apparent that Jeff was seriously perturbed by the dilemma that lay infront of him- as was clearly demonstrated by the intense head scratching.

You know what, let’s see if we can’t make this work.” 

I don’t know how, but Jeff made it work.  He took what was already a very small car with a very large amount of “junk”, tied some things to the roof, waved a magic wand, did a tribal Indian dance, and voila- we piled our bags and extra-smelly bodies into the perfect Tetris shape needed to fit our total mass into the car.  There wasn’t a square inch of available space left in the car.  It smelt as if port-o-poty was hosting a burnt hair convention.  I’m guessing he has since torched the car.

It was at this point, it occurred to me… 

“Wait, didn’t you say you just came from this direction?  Where were you headed?” 

“The other way, but that’s fine.  Don’t worry about it.  I was just going to go camp somewhere closer to Asheville. I have a flight to catch tomorrow morning.” 

“Are you sure?” 

Enthusiastically, “Yeah! I love helping hikers.  Not a problem.” 

Not only did Jeff take us to our motel in Franklin (a half hour out of his way, after getting lost a couple of times due to not knowing his way around the area), he waited for us to check into our room so he could join us for dinner. 

As any decent human beings who have just received the world’s largest series of favors would, we insisted upon buying Jeff’s meal.  When the waiter arrived to our table, Jeff immediately announced our meals were going on separate checks.

You guys need to save that money for beer.”  He was right.  He’s so wise.

At 6:30pm we were living with the very real fear of MurderRape.  By 9:30pm we were eating burgers the size of our head, slathered in pimento cheese, and BBQ sauce, drinking cheap pitchers of extra cold beer, and having passionate conversations about frisbee golf and sociopaths with our new friend, Jeff

We all got a tad drunk, Jeff included.  To err on the side of not getting a DUI, Jeff sheepishly asked if he could crash on the floor of our motel.  We were negative 94 in the favor department so not only did we oblige, but we forced him to have his own bed (also we were tired enough that we could have easily slept on a mattress made of chainsaws, sandpaper, and Draino). 

Jeff’s flight was extra early the following morning, much earlier than three exhausted bodies were going to wake up.  By the time the first person finally arose, there was no trace of Jeff to be found.  We wondered if perhaps Jeff was some sort of exhaustion induced delusion, a hiker’s mirage.  Then, when I walk into the bathroom, this is what I see:

 

Even Angles Like Whiskey

Even Angles Like Whiskey

How fitting the term trail angel is.

How Not to Dry Your Socks

Hey team. It’s night number four- it’s 45 degrees inside my tent (I can see my breath), AT&T is granting me 3 seconds of service per hour, and I just pooped in a privy. If that’s not the perfect equation for a trail update- I don’t know what is.

I’m going to keep it brief because typing on my iPhone prompts intense Zach rage and it even more so it requires me to have my torso outside of my sleeping bag (AKA my anti-hypothermia zone).

Lots of trail info to share- but only two quick notes for you today.

1 – So on the AT it’s very customary that you are granted a “trail name”. John got his on day 2, Whoop. When he passes people he makes a high pitched, Chris Berman-esque, “WHHOOOOP” sound to notify others of his presence. I get to hear this several times a day. The best part about this is that he introduces himself as the actual sound effect instead of the word. This is what transpires during almost every introduction:

“I’m WHHOOOP”
“Woot?”
“No, WHHOOOOP!”
“Woot?”
x 4 more times
“With a “P”"
“Oh. Hi Whoop.”

As for me, I decided to go a bit more incognito: “Badger”. “the Good Badger” got Zach and John a bunch of sweet gear- I figured I’d be doing a disservice going in any other direction. I already met a lady, Emily from Maui, who’s a fan of the Good Badger (she was impressed by my ability to bear proof tents). Emily doesn’t have a trail name yet so if you guys can come up with something based on the complete lack of information I’ve provided- she would be immensely grateful.

2 – Last night we got into a small crossing town and decided to treat ourselves to a night of luxury by sleeping 5 people inside a 2 bed cabin. Honestly- I’ve never appreciated the little things more – ever, ever, ever. Last night’s hot shower was the most satisfying 8 minutes of my life (yes, I’ve considered everything).

But I digress….

We had free laundry service (Blood Mountain Cabins are amazing). Apparently I was too excited to get back into clean clothes because when I went to pick up my laundry, my socks were not yet dry. I had been walking around in sweaty, dirty socks the previous 3 days- so I was okay taking them back slightly damp as long as they were clean…

The next morning- the socks are still damp (apparently 35 degrees and darkness makes for bad drying conditions). In need of getting ready to prep for the day’s 11 mile hike- I consult my Seinfeld problem solving skills database and decide to toss them in the oven for a minute at the lowest possible heat.

I step into the bathroom to quickly take advantage of a not freezing cold toilet seat and the smell of a weeks worth of camper feces, and by the time I get out, there’s smoke coming from the oven. This is the result…

20110325-081754.jpg

Today’s lesson is that Hi-Tec socks are no match for a Low-Tec brain.

I will have some actual AT related content for you in the next post…

Oh by the way- this trail thing kicks a whole lot of ass.

How to Eat Like a King on the Appalachian Trail


Nature will do all that it can to restrict your ability to eat like the rightful monarch that you are.  That’s why in this lengthy 35 second video not only do you learn how to eat like a king, but you learn what a beetle/dinosaur looks like in the process.

Just so you know eating like a king on the Appalachian Trail isn’t as easy as what’s demonstrated in this video.  This particular skill requires years of meditation and heightened beetle/dinosaur attracting skills.  I trained with a monk based out of Cincinnati, considered one of the top 4 beetle attractors in all of Western Ohio, and in that time I obtained the skills necessary for the advanced tactics you’ve just witnessed.  This video is not CGI and this beetle/dinosaur is not a paid actor, this is real life drama unfolding before your very eyes.  Some call it a miracle.  Others aren’t paying close enough attention.

I know what you’re saying to yourself: “but his beard is so rustic that it could drive a monster truck through the fiery gates of hell and not slow down as it plowed over rage infested demons.”  I agree with you.  Good point.

Point/Counter-Point: Anxiety vs. Adventure ft. The Dusty Camel

The Good Badger & The Dusty Camel | Anxiety versus Adventure
For those who read the Good Badger regularly, you’ve probably noticed that I deal a good amount of grief to my poor, poor, Jewish mother. On top of the constant state of near self-defecation I have placed upon her with my upcoming journey, I also take every opportunity I get to take jabs at her highly anxious nature (see: the first part of this very same sentence).

Well, a little known fact about coming from someone else’s insides, is you tend to take some of their DNA with you in the process (I was a biology professor in another lifetime).   As much as I try to deny it, I have acquired many of the same high-alert qualities from my poor, poor, Jewish mother.  My playful jabs at her are 1) my sick way of expressing love and 2) what Freud refers to as “projection”.

I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to dull the over-active flight or flight response portion of my brain.  If 2,200 miles of disease, bears, and snow/lightning storms doesn’t finally finish the job, there’s no hope for me.

That’s why I’m very excited to have my friend, Ian Mangiardi, help co-author this post.  Ian is the founder of The Dusty Camel (the Good Badger’s trail posts will be syndicated here), a website dedicated to all-things backpacking with an emphasis on gear reviews. Ian has also successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, and is preparing for his 2011 trek up the Pacific Crest Trail.  Ian is a true adventurer.

For the last few weeks, Ian and I have been exchanging e-mails in where he is saddled with the task of repeatedly talking me off of AT ledge. Instead of hoarding all of his wisdom to myself, we agreed to make this discourse more public.

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7 Appalachian Trail Facts You Probably Don’t Know (But Should)

Appalachian Trail Facts

The title for today’s post is derived from the things that I’ve learned during my preparation (H) for the Appalachian Trail.  It’s very possible you already knew all seven of these facts.  I just didn’t think, “7 things you already knew” was as grabby.

I know present to you:

7 Appalachian Trail Facts You Probably Don’t Know (but should)

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