I've been asking myself: Do I have the right to throw some stuff into a backpack and go off by myself for a 3-6month vacation in the woods?
What makes me think I'm so special?
Then, again, if I'm not that special, it shouldn't make that much difference to the world if I'm gone for a few months.
So I'll keep on planning it anyway. With as little expense as possible. One thing I do want to do, and maybe one of the reasons I want to hike the Appalachian Trail, is to make a statement: it's not just for affluent folks who can buy all the highest-tech, state-of-the-art, featherweight equipment to make it easy to go out and play at living a spartan lifestyle.
I want to need to depend on myself, my creativity, my ingenuity, my resourcefulness, my stubbornness, my endurance.
"Grandma" Emma Gatewood was the first female to thru-hike the AT all in one end-to-end trip. She was 67 at the time (back in the 1950's.) She sewed up a denim duffel bag, into which she threw a change of clothes, a raincoat, a wool Army blanket, a plastic shower curtain for emergency shelter, and some crackers, beef jerky, and cheese. Then she waved good-bye to her family and set out hiking in U.S. Keds.
She made it.