Scott Jurek just began his attempt on taking down the supported Appalachian Trail record and I’m excited of the possibility of seeing both records fall in one year. I’m fascinated by what he is doing and have infinite respect for the man. I want to clarify some of the questions I’ve been asked and exactly why I chose to go unsupported. The unsupported record is an entirely different game than supported. For me it is infinitely more appealing to go for the unsupported record but I can fully appreciate and admire the supported record. I’ve been in awe at what Jen Pharr Davis accomplished out there and would be thrilled to see Scott Jurek do it even faster. I think it takes two different types of people to break each record, which is why no single person holds both records for any of the long trails in the United States. Continue reading Unsupported versus supported thru-hike
This summer I am going to be attempting to break the unsupported Appalachian Trail record. I have been asked a lot of questions about my trip and wanted to clear up exactly what I am doing by addressing some of those common questions here.
What exactly are you doing?
Self-supported Appalachian Trail record thru hike attempt. It is done backpacker style without a support crew. I will resupply in towns and pick up packages I mailed to myself but cannot have prearranged support from friends or family nor will I be able to accept rides into towns.
How far is it?
It is a 2185 mile long trail that passes through 14 states. Continue reading Appalachian Trail record attempt FAQ
Asics Top Impact Shorts
I’m super stoked about some new pieces of ultralight backpacking gear I got in the last few days. At 2.19 ounces, the Asics Top Impact shorts were the biggest drop from my gear weight in months. They’re incredibly comfortable but with their minimalist design, tend to be a little revealing. So far they’re the lightest shorts I could find and weigh in at little more than a Snickers bar. I guess I’ll just have to get used to all the ladies checking out my sexy white thighs. Continue reading Final ultralight backpacking gear modifications
There have been a lot of questions about my diet on my 40 mile/day fastpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail. I choose to not cook, saving me the weight of cooking supplies, the headache of a less versatile food bag, and the time spent cooking. But there’s a huge misconception that the food I carry is somehow heavier than dehydrated meals. So I want to share my method of creating a food list for a trip, address some common misconceptions, and list some methods that can be used at quick resupplies along the way. The list is tailored to a fastpacking trip on the AT with ample opportunities for healthy meals but the method of analysis can be applied to any backpacking diet.
Update: Explanation for these food choices and the purpose they serve posted here: http://graysoncobb.com/2015/04/26/explaining-the-backpackers-diet/
I am in the process of compiling a google doc listing most potential foods for any given trip. I list cal/gram, then protein, fat, carbs, and sodium by fraction. Unfortunately this list does not include harder to calculate homemade items and dried fruits because of inaccurate nutrition data. What mostly creates a high caloric density food is fat content. With fat dishing out 9 cal/g and protein and carbs lagging behind at 4 cal/g, a high fat snack is going to be higher than a sugary one. With that said, surviving on swigs of oil simply isn’t practical or healthy so we need carbs and protein in our diet. The primary benefit of this spreadsheet then is to tease out the foods that have significant amounts of water or undigestible nutrients hidden in them. Anything that sits below 4 cal/g has something in it that isn’t providing energy and probably has a denser alternative.