David Smith

My name is David AKA Wazo. I'm a planning 2021 PCT thru-hike starting in mid-April. Prior to the PTC, I plan to spend 4 to 5 weeks on the AT going NOBO from Roan Mountain, TN. My initial plan was a AT thru-hike. When the PTCA announced they were issuing permits for 2021, I could not resist. I live in Phoenix with my husband and our pet snail, Junior Ranger. I like to backpack, hike, road bike, read, and get up every morning to watch the sun come up from our perch 22 floors above Central Phoenix. I volunteer for a homeless program and, most recently, giving COVID injections at a mass immunization site. Thanks for checking out my blog.

Posts

All Systems Go and How I Became Wazo

All Systems Go and How I Became Wazo

The past few weeks have been horribly stressful.  I was found to have an “unusual” cyst or something in my pancreas that was concerning for

Mar 4, 2021 : David Smith
When Life F*cks with Your Thru-Hiking Plans

When Life F*cks with Your Thru-Hiking Plans

In what now seems like a lifetime ago but actually was just several weeks ago, I gleefully wrote about my bicoastal backpacking plans for 2021.  Five

Feb 18, 2021 : David Smith
Health and Safety – Things Every Backpacker Should Consider

Health and Safety – Things Every Backpacker Should Consider

So I rarely make posts and list my educational and professional credentials even when I see some of the most ridiculous posts about medical issues in

Feb 9, 2021 : David Smith
Flying with Backpacking Gear

Flying with Backpacking Gear

Many thru-hikers fly to a local airport before they start out on the trail.  Some NOBOers on the PCT fly to San Diego.  Many AT thru-hikers fly to

Jan 21, 2021 : David Smith
My Ultimate Year of Backpacking – A Transcontinental Shift

My Ultimate Year of Backpacking – A Transcontinental Shift

Back when life was normal, before COVID was a reality, I entered the PCTA lottery hoping to snag a PCT thru-hiking permit.  My number was something

Jan 20, 2021 : David Smith
Highlights of My 1986 Gear List – Big 3 weight = 12+ pounds

Highlights of My 1986 Gear List – Big 3 weight = 12+ pounds

I never thought I was a hoarder until recently.  I also did not think I was overly sentimental until a few days ago when I was cleaning out a closet

Jan 19, 2021 : David Smith
Complications in Planning a 2021 Thru-Hike – COVID and Now the AT or the PCT Question

Complications in Planning a 2021 Thru-Hike – COVID and Now the AT or the PCT Question

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I had dropped plans for 2020 thru-hikes of the AT and AZT due to COVID and then extensive fire damage to the AZT

Jan 11, 2021 : David Smith
We All Have Demons, Get Ready to Face Them or Your Pre-Hike Reading List

We All Have Demons, Get Ready to Face Them or Your Pre-Hike Reading List

Why Are You Hiking the AT? - the question we can't fully answer. The most common question that is asked of anyone before they leave for a thru-hike

Jan 8, 2021 : David Smith
My January 4th Resolution – Minus 10 Pounds Before I Leave for the AT

My January 4th Resolution – Minus 10 Pounds Before I Leave for the AT

I am an admitted gram weenie but not the most extreme type of ultralight backpacker.   These examples can give you some idea of where I fit into the

Jan 4, 2021 : David Smith
Bears Up Close and Personal – This is Not a Theoretical Discussion

Bears Up Close and Personal – This is Not a Theoretical Discussion

There are few topics that get people as worked up about on AT Facebook and other discussion boards as the topic of bears.  Honestly, discussions of

Jan 3, 2021 : David Smith