The Climb to Katahdin History:
Lindsay and I met in 2009 and began dating shortly thereafter. Lindsay was pursuing her bachelors degree in art at Louisiana State University while I was working jobs that had nothing to do with my Entertainment Technology degree that I earned at Baton Rouge Community College a few years before. One night we sat down and watched National Geographic's Appalachian Trail Documentary. Half way through the film, we looked at each other and could sense each others' sparks as inspiration and excitement began flowing through our minds and our hearts. "Why haven't we thought about this before!?", we asked ourselves. The dream was born. We planned to wait until Lindsay graduated in a year and began saving money and researching the Trail. The larger the dream grew, the less we could figure out how we'd leave our 3 year-old Catahoula dog, Chaser. What are the logistics of having a dog on the Appalachian Trail? None of the films we watched answered a lot of the questions we had and instead left an even bigger question; could I answer them if I made a film?
Even larger the dream grew. Family and friends didn't completely understand, but that's to be expected of such a goal being put together in Louisiana where there is virtually no talk of the A.T. "What do you mean you are gonna bring a big ole camera, your dog, and your girlfriend to woods and live in the mountains for six straight months?" Yeah, it sounded pretty crazy. But, we felt that with proper preparation, anything was possible. Including thruhiking the Appalachian Trail.
The months leading up to our decided start date of April 1st, 2012, we had no less than three dehydrators on at all times. We made about 6 months worth of deer and wild pig jerky and deydrated fruits, ground meat, chicken, vegetables, bread, and cooked pasta. We then prepackaged an assortment of meals, each one including a breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks, flavored drink packet(or instant coffee), ibuprofen, vitamin C, and fish oil. We vacuumed sealed about 325 meals. We took those rations and separated them into 42 maildrops to send to ourselves along the Trail in towns along the way. That's preparation.
Aside from immense food prep we did, I also researched cameras and the equipment to go along with it. There was a lot to keep in mind. Weight, size, batteries, memory cards, and creating a rig were all things that I had time to prepare for. Not to mention the wild idea about letting Chaser serve as a "camera dog". Yep. Chaser was a strong dog built for the Trail and few things slowed him down. An action camera that weighed only a few ounces wouldn't affect him a bit. After a few tries, the dog cam backpack was set and we were ready to go.
We set up our blog that followed all the steps of these processes and planned to keep up with it along the Trail to keep our friends, family, and supporters updated on our progress.
April 1st, 2012 came and we put our first steps on the beautiful, enchanting, and sometimes unforgiving Appalachian Trail. There, in Georgia, the story begins for The Climb to Katahdin.