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Spirit of 76

I went out with Michelle today as she navigated a few stores for some Christmas shopping. It was more of a “what’s in it for me,” thing. We ended up looking for an item that is scarce for some reason. Those sun shields for car windshields. I need one.

I’m just not inclined to spend the money on an expensive under quilt, and I read on hammockforums.net the metallic reflectors work fairly well, and are light. Finding one of those things is difficult in the middle of December, but it can be done. Bargain aisle at Home Depot. I’m going to experiment this week.

So here was the exercise for this shopping trip. Attempt to pick out resupply and calculate costs. The general advice is that most thru-hikers will pick up on how to get a resupply done in odd locations within the first month. I might have proved them wrong.

At Dollar Tree you can find the foil packs of tuna and chicken for, get this, one dollar. There are also Shamwows (camp towel) and nylon socks.

At Walgreen’s you can put together a feast. It will be slightly more expensive than what you would find at Walmart, but in the words of Zach “The Badger”, if you see a Walmart on your thru-hike you’re in a big fancy city. You can also purchase rain gear at Walgreen’s, in the form of vinyl ponchos. That solves many problems. Sewing kits, insoles, meds, a variety of soap, blister items, and magazines. They sell the big cans of Foster’s Beer, so there’s a pot for your cook kit, and don’t forget the can of cat food to use as a stove. If you are on a thru-hike Walgreen’s is a smaller version of Walmart, minus the tube top attired hoochies. Everybody in Walgreen’s dresses appropriately.

Home Depot. Where do I begin? I will say you cannot purchase a great deal for the food bag here, mostly chips and candy bars. That being said, you could find the items necessary to fabricate a new pack, replace a tent with a tarp, and build a stove and cook kit. I was reminded of the guy who attempted to thru-hike the AT a few years ago using rebar as hiking poles. Not sure if he made it. Instead of rebar go for the wood dowels. They’re pretty inexpensive. Go one step further and find some bamboo in the garden center. Did I mention they sell Tyvek at Home Depot? They do. No need to steal it from construction sites in the middle of the night folks when you can have brand new, unsoiled, Tyvek to use as a ground sheet. Tyvek can also be used to make a rain suit, or poncho. Isn’t that all Dry Ducks are? I’m looking at my Frogg Toggs and I think it may be made of construction material.

I know what you’re thinking. No Walmart? We just don’t shop there. Ethics. Not wanting to be exposed to the retired stripper convention. Whatever. No Walmart.


We have 76 days left. In that amount of time I should have the tarp situation resolved, the insulation problem figured out, and a new pair of shoes broken in. What I learned today was shocking. We will be eating like nerds who play video games all day. No fresh produce. No servings of lean beef. A lot of salt and sugar. A healthy dose of peanut butter. Did I mention that everybody has a store brand of hazel nut spread? That’s what I’m saying. Hazel nut and cocoa spreads are the measure of wealth, and tonight I am Bill Gates.




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