Ponder the path of your feet: then all your ways will be sure. ~Proverbs 4:25-27
I am starting to hike the Arizona Trail in a couple of days. Normally a thru-hike this time of year would not be possible for me, but I am a newly retired teacher. So as my son’s friend said to me, “The world is your oyster.” Pretty cool when you think of life in that light. Lots of choices.
I have decided to break this 800 mile trail into two parts, hike northbound in April from Mexico to Pine at the Mongollon Rim (460 miles) during the wildflower season and hike the second half, 340 miles southbound from the the Utah/Arizona border during fall color season in the late fall. This schedule was recommended in the guidebook for the Arizona Trail. Plus, it fits nicely to getting me back home in a few weeks for some spring skiing.
Lucky me, I am meeting and starting the trail with Leslie, trail name Tour Guide. She is hiking the entire trail, then after finishing the trail, she is spending some time bike packing. Leslie and her husband, Keith are fine human beings, athletes, and trail angels. Just last year, Why Not and I were spoiled rotten during our stay at their home in Banff while hiking the Great Divide Trail. Here is one of my favorite photos I took of Tour Guide just outside of my hometown, Tehachapi in 2012.
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What is the Arizona Trail
The Arizona Trail (AZT) is a rugged and beautifully wild long-distance trail stretching from the borders of Mexico to Utah. Traversing 800 miles, it climbs up and over southern Arizona’s signature sky islands, weaves through extraordinary desert landscapes and mountains, and travels over Arizona’s high country, all before it passes through the iconic Grand Canyon.
The Arizona Trail has it’s own vocabulary and organization. It is divided into sections called Passages and trail towns are called Gateway Communities. From all my reading and the AZT Facebook page, there are friendly hiker support systems with rides to and from towns and some stocking of important water caches. I am really looking forward to experiencing this trail community and Arizona trail life.
Prepping for a longer hike takes a bit of organization. I have of late become a creature that makes to-do lists. Not just a basic brief list, long detailed lists. Sounds weird, but it works fantastic and takes the stress of remembering all the little things to be done off me and puts it right onto the paper. I used this strategy for my Arizona Trail planning for food, gear, and logistics. I also created a Google Drive folder that houses maps, itineraries, contact information, links, water sources, town information etc. I save the individual files for offline use and also share the folder with family members.
There is a plethora of information on this trail that is well-done. Here are the main resources I am using.
GPS – Guthook Atlas App This will be my main source of info for navigation, water sources, and town information.
Guidebook – Your Complete Guide to the Arizona Trail (Kindle Version)
Maps – Join the Arizona Trail Association to get full access to maps and a databook- Arizona Trail Website
The Arizona Trail Association’s website – This website is very organized and is packed with valuable trail data.
Arizona Trail Class of 2019 Facebook page – Get ready… this is a very active group that are quick to respond online with questions, reports, and requests.
There are many small gateway communities along the way, which makes for less big food hauls. I am sending food resupply boxes to the following towns: Patagonia, Vail, Oracle, Kearny, and Roosevelt.
I changed up a couple of things for this trail because of heat and possible water carries. I am bringing an umbrella (full size for more protection), extra 2 liter platypus for water, changing my Neoair Xtherm for my NeoAirlite (night temps will be warmer), leaving my big camera behind (using my new iPhone XR with a Moment lens attached), and using a titanium pot/mug with a small stove.
My base weight (all gear without water and food) is around 11 pounds.
Here are the details.
Backpack, Shelter, Sleeping
- BACKPACK | Gossamer Gear Gorilla (size small pack, medium belt, I am 5’2″, 130 pounds, fits half size bear canister) (review)
- SHELTER | Gossamer Gear The One (review)
- STAKES | MSR Tent Stakes (review)
- SLEEPING BAG | Zpacks 5 degree/standard width/ medium length
- SLEEPING PAD | NeoAir Xlite
- WATER FILTER | Sawyer Squeeze (review)
- WATER BOTTLE | 2 Smart Water Bottles
- EXTRA WATER | 2 liter platypus
- ESSENTIAL OILS | (Lavender, Peppermint, Helichrysum and Melaleuca)
- KNIFE | Swiss Army Classic Knife
- LIGHTER | BIC Mini
- TAPE | Cuben fiber tape (repairs most anything)
- BAND-AIDS | Waterproof Tough Strips Band-aids (blister prevention & care)
- MISC. | Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Vicodin, small match book, extra pair of contacts, large safety pin, extra velcro for attaching gaiters
- TROWEL | TheTentLab The Deuce
- WIPES | Wet Ones baby wipes unscented 20 pack
- HAND SANITIZER | Purell 1 ounce
- TOILET PAPER BAG | Ziplock Bag (DIY how to)
- LOTION | Neutrogenia Hand Cream
- SUNSCREEN | Sawyer Sunscreen
- LIP BALM | Dermatone Lip Balm
- SOAP | Dr. Bronner’s Organic Liquid Soap
- HAIR | LOUISE MAELYS Folding Travel Hair Brush with Mirror
- SATELLITE COMMUNICATOR | Garmin inReach Mini (review)
- PHONE | iPhone XR with charger cord and headphones with Moment Wide Lens
- CHARGER | Anker PowerCore 13000 Compact
- HEADLAMP | Nitecore NU20 360 Lumens Rechargeable Lightweight Rechargeable (review)
- USB PLUG IN | AUKEY USB Wall Charger, ULTRA COMPACT Dual Port
- RAIN JACKET | Arc’teryx Norvan SL Hoody
- WIND JACKET | Patagonia Houdini Jacket (review)
- GLOVES | PossumDown Lightweight Brushtail Possum Merino Wool Blend Gloves
- MITTS | REI Co-op Minimalist GTX Mittens
- DOWN JACKET | Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Down Jacket (review)
- SLEEP SHIRT | Echo Hoody (review)
- TIGHTS | Align Tight
- EXTRA SOCKS | Injinji Sport Original Weight Mini-Crew (review)
- SLEEP SOCKS | Thorlos Padded Crew Sock
- SHIRT | Prana Hooded Button Up Shirt
- PANTS | Prana Monarch Convertible Pant
- SUN GLOVES | Outdoor Research Sungloves (review)
- GAITERS | Dirty Girl
- SHOES | La Sportiva Bushido Trail-Running (review)
- INSOLES | Spenco Total Support Max Shoe Insoles
- SOCKS | Injinji Sport Original Weight Mini-Crew (review)
- SCARF | Original Buff Headwear (review)
- HAT | Trucker
- UNDERWEAR | Patagonia Active Hipster
- SPORTS BRA | Patagonia Barely Bra
- SUNGLASSES | Smith ChromaPop
- HIKING POLES | Fizan Compact
- BANDANA | Cotton
- READING GLASSES | Pince Nex Style Reading Glasses (review)
- EYE MASK | Natural Silk Sleep Mask (review)
- UMBRELLA | Chrome Umbrella
- FOAM SIT PAD | Montbell Foam Pad
- CAMP SHOES | Wokova Feather Sandal
- STORAGE BAGS | Ziploc Bags Variety Pack
- PACK LINER | Large unscented heavy duty trash bag
- SMALL CONTAINERS | Mini Dropper Bottles, Micro Dropper Bottle Set, 1/2 ounce pot with lid, Pill pouches
- ODOR PROOF SACK | LOKSAK – OPKSAK Storage Bag
Readers often ask how I put together my healthy gluten and dairy free trail dinners. Preparation is some work, but on trail I love that they only need boiling water to cook and are delicious and nutritious.
Here is what I do before I hit the trail.
After that is all done I line up all the breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners to load into resupply boxes and/or my pack.
I have been using this system for years and it works for our family.
I am looking forward to sharing this trail with you.
The post Off to Hike the Arizona Trail ~ Planning, Gear & Food appeared first on Lady on a Rock.