My friend who was going to transcribe my script for me didn't think I was serious about this until I asked her when she wanted to pick up my computer. She'll be keeping it safe until my return.
Anyway, I am serious and I wanted to share some of what I've done so far.
I have purchased:
1 Digital Camera, a relatively cheap one.
1 Digital voice recorder, also cheap, yet both together were still a tidy sum out of my budget.
1 Sleeping bag, a 20 degree Mummy bag for those cold mountain nights.
1 3 man tent. I could not find a decent one-man tent for a reasonable price. Why not go a step or two up and be more comfortable?
1 Backpack. I paid more for this than the other two, and frankly, more than I wanted, but it's comfortable (I wore it on the bus ride home) and it's the most important part of hiking.
1 pair boots. Actually the most important thing, even moreso than the backpack. These aren't the best boots, but they were the best I can afford until I get my last paycheck from my employer.
What I still need: Probably more than anything else is money. I have some left and will get one more paycheck as noted, which will be around $500, but won't arrive for another week and a half assuming they direct deposit it, which I really hope they will, but there's bus fare to the trail, food and probably a few things I've forgotten at the moment, like an emergency cellphone, map, matches, a flashlight/lantern, batteries etc.
Barring more money, I need food. I was thinking of a trail mix, consisting of any Chex cereal, dried fruit, nuts, M&M's and basically anything that won't take up room, doesn't need to be cooked and is lightweight. The premade stuff is too expensive and unnecessary.
Let's see, I also need clothing. I hate to buy stuff that will become too big for me as I slim down, but I don't have a decent pair of jeans. Shirts I'm really okay with, and socks and underwear. Once I get the last check it will be spent on jeans and food, and we'll see how long it lasts.
I plan to look for day work while I'm on the trail. No guarantees there, but it may provide some spending money.
There is a possibility I may need to pay to camp, though from what I've read I'd have to go off the trail to have to pay.
Anyway, having a bit of spending cash isn't a bad idea anywhere I go.
I'm not begging. If you want to send something other than money I'll post addresses of places I'll be passing through.
Anyway, that's the plan. I've put some effort into it just getting ready, and speaking of getting ready, I'll be hiking around Raleigh in the preceding days, an hour at a time, until I break in the boots and the backpack. And it's hot here at the moment, so that will definitely test me.
I'll post any updates until I drop my computer off.