I was having a conversation with someone during my orientation on my first day at work, and the topic of hiking gear came up. The lady I was talking to was describing about when she came up from the lower 48 as excited about hiking as I was, and she was taken aback on how unprepared she was to hit the woods.
Of course, I was smug and thought I was better prepared. I had a shovel to dig poo holes, what else did I really need?
Today, I broke down and embraced the complete lack of gear I have.
The lack of preparation really doesn’t have anything to do with a lack of intent for preparation. I’ve read a enough hiking books and magazines over the last couple of years to know that I needed more than I had, and I love to window shop in outfitter stores. But I kept thinking about putting off some items for a big hike, or focused more on the backwoods camping gear than true hiking gear.
The real problem I have is my spontaneity. Like what seems the rest of the world is now, I have a bit of the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I like my hiking, but I don’t think about where or when I do my day hikes.
I don’t go to bed thinking “Tomorrow I will hike the Turnagain Arm Trail for 2 miles out and back.” I go to bed thinking, “I drank too much, because the room is spinning”, or “I need to do laundry tomorrow” and then start to think about how to haul clothes to the laundry mat, and then wonder if I can get netflix on my cell phone and if so what kind of show I could watch then the world just kinda goes wrong from …. oh wait, off topic there. Anywho …
When I look at day hiking, I usually make the decision to go hiking right at that moment, flip open an phone app that either takes me to the nearest trail or nearest geocache. Then I head that way. Today showed off what can happen. I’m up on the Turnagain Arm Trail, take a wrong turn, then I am up a good 300ft elevation on a dirt path with changing weather conditions but an opportunity to try for a 14 mile knock-out path to a high mountain lake. I could have run back to the car and gear up, but didn’t have any gear. I needed something for the car.
So the day ended with a trip to REI and I Geared up. Specifically with:
- One Day Pack (backpack that is pro-hiking, but isn’t too big, good for water bottles and clothing)
- One Pair of Hiking Poles (they look like ski-poles but … are for … hiking)
- One high quality rain jacket (layered for different conditions)
- One Can of Bear Repellant (for Mary Glerum … happy now? I am safe! you can’t get me to wear bear bells)
Bag will be packed up by tonight and put into the car – where it will stay so come any day I want to go hiking, I got something to go with.
Now, to find me a place with good coffee. Not that there isn’t good coffee here, there is a lot of places with good coffee. Some coffee shops and some drive thrus. I mean, I like the coffee shops, where I can sit and type these blogs up, or read. Oh, and I am nearly finished listening to an audio book … crime mystery by Tana French. Based in Dublin. Lots of books based in Dublin it seems. Must be because there is a good paper industry or … SQUIRREL!!