Not so happy feet?

By |May 15th, 2015|2015 posts, Adventure school, Current, PCT|Comments Off on Not so happy feet?

Having foot issues? As many hikers set out on their thru-hiking season I keep hearing about tragic foot pain. In an effort to reduce some of the tears, I wanted to share a few things that have worked well for my persnickety feet.
Rinse The Grit Away
Try carrying two pairs of socks. Switch them mid-day, and rinse the morning pair out. If you have extra water, give your feet a mid-day wash too. During the dry desert sections just whack the heck out of your socks to get the dust out instead of washing them with your precious water. I still switch them anyway, and wash them near the next water source- remember- don’t wash them directly in the water sources!!! Yuck- toe funk in your water-Eeeeew!

I find that washing my socks regularly helps them last miles and miles longer (like 150-300miles longer!), and keeps my feet happier.

Take Your Shoes Off!

One of my other foot care secrets is to have at least two breaks a day when my shoes come off, my insoles are pulled out & shaken off, and my feet & shoes can have some time apart. I usually give myself a foot massage & elevate them on my pack. Chilling in that lounging reclining position for a bit seems to really help my body get a better rest & lets my feet deflate a bit.

Keep ’em clean with Dirty Girls

Using lightweight gaiters (like Dirty Girl Gaiters) can help keep grit & seeds out of your socks & shoes. Blisters can be caused by dirt creating friction between your skin and the shoe wall, sometimes called the “pearl of pain”. Gaiters can help keep those friction causing agents at bay, but thick gaiters can […]

12 Gifts for Hikers, Day 1

By |December 12th, 2014|12 Gifts, 2014 posts, AT, Bigfoot Trail, Current, PCT|Comments Off on 12 Gifts for Hikers, Day 1

12 Days of Trail Gifts For Under $50
Gift One: Cheap Good Sleep

A new floor:

Window Film Groundsheet (or polycryo from Gossamer Gear)          Weight:2oz               Cost: $5-$15

If your hiker likes to sleep under a tarp (floorless shelter), or is a cowboy camper (out under the stars), they need a ground sheet. My favorite ground sheet is a rectangle of Window Film. It looks like saran wrap and it’s super light weight, about 2 ounces will cover 4’x6′.

Window film isn’t super durable, but if treated gently a piece can last 500-1000 miles. It’s always nice to have a fresh extra waiting in a bounce box though, so you might want to splurge and get the multi window pack or a roll when you head to the hardware store. ACE has “cut to fit” window kits, which are nice because you can choose the dimensions of your floor.


A mattress enhancer/ seat/ yoga mat:

1/8″ Thinlight pad from Gossamer Gear           Weight: 2.5 oz                Cost: $16

Your hiker will be stoked to have a little extra insulation from the cold ground at night regardless of if they sleep in a tent or a tarp. This full length pad has become one of my favorite pieces of gear. I sit on it at almost every break, I put my shorty mattress on top of it at night, and it’s great for stretching & yoga. In winter this matt works great to insulate air mattresses from the snow. It can be folded and packed on the top of your pack, adding rain protection & helping to keep your perishables and water a couple degrees cooler.

For more substantial […]

Stoking adventure fire: 5 books to get you through winter

By |December 10th, 2014|2014 posts, AT, Current, Japhy Ryder, PCT|Comments Off on Stoking adventure fire: 5 books to get you through winter

Last week up at the mountain it rained on top of a beautiful fresh pile of 11 inches of fluffy powder. When I went to bed I had been excited to get up, gear up, and head up to Mt. Bachelor for my first day of the ski season. Reading the report in the morning dashed my hopes- all that beautiful snow was now encrusted by a lens of heavy snow.

The snow mess meant that instead of having a wonderful morning of playing in the mountains I was going to have to turn my focus back to the endless ruble pile of my own personal life maintenance. Adam and I recently returned home from a few months of work down in the Mojave, and we have stacks of mail to sort, a yard to clean up, firewood to split, map sets to edit, a kitchen remodel to plan, huge lists of projects to sew, build, create … The to do list is huge and overwhelming.

Distractions under these circumstances are welcome. I need reminders that adventures and free time exist. Following an adventure or two, watching movies about hiking, and reading books about fresh air and freedom are my remedy for feeling overwhelmed. Below I have listed 5 of my favorite books to help stoke your expedition fire and stave off the winter blues. Happy armchair adventures!

5 adventure books to get you through winter:

Rowing to Latitude, Jill Fredston

I discovered this book years before I started thru-hiking, and it planted some kind of seed that wouldn’t die. This book helped me realize that people do crazy sounding adventures- like rowing around Alaska- year after year. Jill and her husband, Doug, treat their summer adventures just as […]