Life on the trail will be one featuring a lot of deprivation.
Deprivation of water during the long desert stretches where reliable water sources can be 20 miles apart.
Deprivation of food when the insatiable hiker hunger kicks which cannot be satisfied by all the dehydrated food and trail-mix in your light-weight backpack.
Deprivation of all telecommunications because you have chosen to hike a trail in the wilderness and miles away from the closest town.
What I think I will miss most is hot showers. Even after an overnight hiking camping trip, the first thing I want to do (besides down a cold Coca-Cola) is take a long hot shower to feel clean again. However, on the trail the opportunity of taking showers will probably only be once a week. Already I am dreading going to sleep each night with my skin feeling slightly sticky from sweat and my hair feeling greasy.
I expect that the lack of showers will be especially difficult to adjust to in the first section of the hike which starts off in the Mojave desert. Any initial skin tans will reveal themselves to actually be a layer of dirt on our skin. Our feet will probably be the only part of our bodies we will attempt to clean each night as a way to prevent blisters. Let’s not even get into how much we will smell – there is a reason thru-hikers call themselves “hiker trash!”
The closest thing to a shower on trail might be bathing in streams (downstream from anyone collecting water!) or baby wipe “shower”. Even then, we all know that those are poor substitutions for the real thing – the feeling of a steady stream of hot water from head to toe scouring away days of dirt and sweat and leaving your skin tingling. After that, then do you feel like a civilized person again.
Needless to say, my motivation for hiking quickly to town will be stemming from a desire of a cleansing shower!
These thoughts brought to you by Lora