We had a fun time and discovered some important gear still missing. I definitely grew increasingly excited as we approached since I've so rarely had proper outdoors experiences since being a kid hiking with my dad and friends. I got to test the ENO hammock which was so easy to get set up and will undoubtedly be a good option on warmer evenings. I've been in a constant state of awe at how far technology has come since my childhood experiences hiking on the AT. Greg's tent was a snap and while he had some reservations about the size, I think we'll be happy it's bigger rather than smaller over a month of using it. Beyond that, Korch showed expert fire-making and cooking skills, we had a lot of fun messing with the tactical tomahawk, and enjoyed hanging a bit with Mike and Elyse (and Mike's dog Beau) who must've stayed up much later than our old teacher bodies can handle. We were up, packed, and fed by 8:30 and decided not to wait for Mike and Elyse. It was probably good to venture out to the Daniel Boone National Forest alone to simulate the trip. We didn't press it, and we got a feel for the weight of the packs, water usage, cooking, and pacing. We both agreed we're not interested in necessarily pushing our pace and mileage too high. We'd both rather enjoy the scenery, stop regularly for pictures, recording, and silliness, and just to really savor the experience.
Anyway, it was good fun and we made a lot of important discoveries that were good to make before departure. Pics and audio below.