Gearing Up

In two weeks we leave for our walking trip in Bhutan.  This trip, named one of National Geographic’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime will have us walking 3-6 hours a day, sometimes on trails, other times on various rural “roads” at average altitudes of 8200 feet – afterall, it is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

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I like adventure but a nightly bed and private bath are mandatory.  This trip includes both.   To prepare for this amount of walking, particularly at higher elevation, we spent 2 weeks at our condo in Deer Valley, Utah (8400 ft) and we hiked or some other physical activity every day.

My husband ended up buying new hiking boots (3rd time’s the charm!) and chafe resistant underwear.  I bought a “cooling towel” and we both bought new, seamless, sweat proof socks.  I determined which flavors of Clif Bars that I prefer, that they are “friendly” to my system and that Starbucks Cool Lime refreshers is the only water flavor additive I enjoy.  I also concluded my Prada sunglasses were more comfortable in all day active wearing than a couple of other brands intended for such purpose.  All that matters – who needs a headache or too frequent bathroom stops from your gear – including your snacks!

If you have an active trip in mind – even if not to a place as remote as Bhutan, gather and try your gear out early and often.   I got my hiking boots for Christmas and broke them in at Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas (and got a foot massage that afternoon at the Venetian spa!) as well as many hikes over the next 8 months in the Seattle area.  I’ve kept track of which shirts, shorts and pants performed well on each of these weekend outings so I bring the right clothing – nothing that creeps, binds or chafes!

On Rattlesnake Ledge over 4th of July I learned to tuck my laces loops under the cross laces to avoid  a loop catching on the hook and tripping me – AGAIN.  Better to have a skinned knee at home than on a trip.

Planning ahead has also allowed me to take advantage of sales leaving me more money for the next adventure!

Gear doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be comfortable and work well to make the most of your adventure.  Plan ahead and try everything out locally before you head off on a “trip of a lifetime”.

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