What I learned today (long)
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Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
What I learned today (long) on 03/27/2007 17:29:51 MDT Print View

I'm still a newbie hiker, and this is my first time out for the year, so I don't expect anyone will learn anything from this post, but I feel like writing it anyway, so here goes. I didn't do anything impressive, but went out after work with a day pack for a short hike in a nearby state park. For me, as a desk jockey who hasn't been athletic in ten years, this is a good start. I made my day pack somewhat heavy in case of an emergency overnight, and to test out my legs. I learned a lot, which was 90% of my goal.

56 degrees and cloudy, no wind.
A bit over Two miles, blazed trail, in some places very steep, wet (trail = stream) and muddy
One hour plus 15 minutes enjoying the view.

Some things I learned:

Snow melt is COLD, but even at 56 degrees it feels nice when you're moving. My feet are always hot, and the wrightsock coolmesh double layers I tried out worked very well with the ventilated shoes, with or without water.

Trail runners don't "dry" so much as empty of water enough to warm back up quickly. I like them a lot and didn't miss the ankle support, but debated whether I could have kept my feet dry in boots. I think if it were colder, this might have been important and will consider getting a pair. I see why extra socks are on everyone's emergency list.

I drank over a liter of water in an hour. I need to find something to do with my camelback hose, though it worked OK over my shoulder. This reinforces my desire to choose a filter (leaning to katadyn hiker pro) over chemicals. I know, holy war, but 11 oz seems to be worth it. If I had one with me, I'd have been drinking from the snowmelt stream instead of tap water within 2 minutes.

I like my REI sierra pants, but I don't like having stuff in my pockets. Everything quickly ended up in my pack. I did an OK job hemming them today (my first diy-ish gear). Ugly but functional. The legs are too wide, probably because I bought such a long pair (deep discount) and had to cut off 7 inches. Also, because I'm fat enough to need a large.

I'm also a big fan of my smartwool T shirt, which is all I wore on top. Never got sweaty or hot, and never got chilled when I stopped for a while. I need more of these.

Two miles in an hour is a brisk pace, but I think I could manage to keep that up for a few hours, break for an hour and then go some more. This surprised me, since I'm out of shape. I think 8 to 10 miles is a very reasonable daily goal with a full pack. Of course, we'll have to see what happens when I try it, but at 2 mi, I felt like I was just getting going.

I'm glad my pack was light (guessing 6 lb base), but my overnight kit adds "only" about 9 to that, which seems quite workable. I credit this forum with my 15lb base weight, which I'm pretty happy with considering my budget at this point. I may load up my full pack next time out, with some dead weight to feign food, and see if the 2 miles goes as smoothly with 20 lb.

The big question: Will I feel like hiking tomorrow? This is critical for my planned multi-day trips this spring/summer.

It was VERY refreshing to be outdoors, breathing the clean air, enjoying the expansive views that I didn't know could be had so close by, and relishing in the peace and quiet. I just hope I can get in shape to do this more often, and maybe talk my wife into joining me.

Edited by jaiden on 03/27/2007 17:44:19 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: What I learned today (long) on 03/27/2007 17:50:10 MDT Print View

"I just hope I can get in shape to do this more often..."


Don't hope, DO!! Keep going, keep going, keep going!!
It will only get easier. The two miles that may have left you sore today will be nothing in two months if you just keep going...


"Eighty percent of success is showing up." (Woody Allen)

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
keep it up Jaiden on 03/27/2007 19:39:55 MDT Print View

Jaiden, welcome to BPL, and thanks for the initial report. I expect you will be very surprised when you go back and read that first post after a year with us.

If I read your post correctly, I think I was in a similar situation. Due to several factors, I did not take time out for recreation for more than 10 years. I was starting to suffer from a few physical illnesses and succumb to stress. I changed my life completely, for the better; and now I make time for recreation, including hiking.

I hope you will continue with this hobby. No matter how much you learn, or how many places your feet carry you, there is always the excitement of just starting something new.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: What I learned today (long) on 03/28/2007 09:12:43 MDT Print View

You know it, but I'll say it:
Good for you!
(And yeah, the more you do it, the less it hurts!)

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Re: What I learned today (long) on 03/28/2007 10:26:09 MDT Print View

Great job Jaiden,
Hoping things get easier for you as time goes on. Great thing is ugly pants are the "new black" in the woods of N.E.
Jim