Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blogging and Journals from the trail

Blogging and stuff....

With so much technology out there I'm having quite the time deciding on which sweet electronic devices to carry.... lots of options and lots of weight.  There are three ways I plan to communicate and each one has it's own ups and downs.

The cellphone is pretty much the only piece of tech I have to take.  It's a backup for maps, I can type journal entries on it, I can take pictures, listen to music, email and pretty much anything else I can think of.  The only downside is that I will need service, lots of service.  As for journal entries, I'll basically be using it for typing journal/blog entries and and recording, dare I say, PODCASTS!!!! wahoooooo!!!!!!

Pretty much going to take video of everything I see.  I'm going to work this bad boy until full SD cards are falling out of my pockets.  What will I do with all of the video footage, who the heck knows... There will be a lot of it.  Maybe someone will do something cool with it when I die like that Robin Williams movie "The Final Cut".

Good ole pen and paper.
This is my go to method for keeping a journal.  Only problem?  I have bad handwriting.  Throw in a little notepad and the fact I'll be writing while prone most nights and we're screwed.  Well anyone that tries to read it is screwed.  My 2 or 3 notebooks from the PCT look more like a 7 year old kids life store, in penmanship, grammar and word choice.

Welcome to Blogger....

If you have managed to go back this far in the blog congrats.  I left this up to show the original about me page and one of the many reasons I decided to hike the CDT.  Enjoy...

This is new to me, I've always wanted to create a blog but have never had a reason to make one. Well, the time has come to make one for myself! As some of you know I’ve recently decided to hike the Continental Divide Trail this summer.  It’s one of our great country’s multiple long trails spanning the continental divide (Rocky Mountains). While there are several routes to take, the idea is that you hike from the Mexican border in New Mexico through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and finish at the Canadian border in Montana.  Depending on the route and side trips it’s anywhere from 2800-3500 miles. You might ask, “Why the hell would someone want to do this?”… let me explain.

Backpacking is a love/hate relationship for me, I love the places it takes me and hate the hiking.  Let’s face it, I’m lazy and hiking everyday is a lot of work.  I grew up backpacking and continued to hike throughout my life.  Eventually in 2008, I hiked the 2600 mile Pacific Crest Trail through California, Oregon and Washington.  You might have recently heard of this trail, it’s kind of popular right now…  A year ago a friend flew out west and we hiked the John Muir Trail.  I think that was the moment I realized that the CDT was calling.  So with the permission of my loving wife and to the dismay of my current employer I decided to go for a hike.

Hiking doesn’t require a blog, honestly it doesn’t require much of anything.  While hiking the PCT and JMT I kept a journal, I attempted to keep a log on and failed.  I’m going to put in about 76x the effort this time around and keep this thing updated.  The real reason for this blog is all in the title, Backpacking to Beat Obesity.  Not that catchy of a title but it gets the point across.  While sitting around enjoying St. Patrick’s Day in Reno, I glanced up to catch a train of mobility scooters meandering through the crowds.  It was at that moment I realized I needed to shed light on this terrible problem. What better way to do this than to promote long distance hiking as a weight loss option!  I lost 60lbs on my last hike, most hikers will lose anywhere from 15 - 50+ pounds because they are burning 3500-6000 calories a day.
This link pretty much sums things up:

Obesity is a growing problem and only getting worse.  Adults, children, dogs, cats - everyone is affected by it.  Annual healthcare costs associated with obesity are about $200 billion and about $153 billion in lost work productivity and that’s just the two big ones.  Assuming it costs $10,000 to buy gear and hike for 5 months (an overestimate) just the healthcare costs are enough to support 20 million thru hikes.
My goal is to raise awareness about obesity and spread the word about hiking and its benefits. Anyone anywhere can get out and take a hike, whether it’s a mile or 3000 miles.  Every step someone takes put us one step closer to ending this national problem.  How can you help?  Easy: tell someone you care about that might have a problem with obesity to get out there and take a hike.  Better yet, go with them!  My goal is to raise $6000 ($2 per mile) to help supplement this hike.  All money left over at the end will be donated to “The Campaign to End Obesity”.  Feel free to support a section or even a state!  There is a button on the right hand side if you are interested.

Get out there and start hiking!

Joshua Matzke