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56 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Narrow with plantar fasciitis supports. New balance have been my shoe for decades. They stopped making my number or changed it a lot. I’ll see what I can find.

I am in a very hilly neighborhood with easy to challenging natural trails nearby. We walked 3 a day in the neighborhood until the colder weather deterred my wife. I used to do the park with my (then living) dogs several times a month. That was a good bit ago. 5 flat for sure. Have to build back in our neighborhood. Good advice, all. I am very competitive and tend to push. With the trauma issues, I’ve battled eating disorders and exercise addiction back in 2010-2012. Wound up with a heart attack. Low carb, low fat and 600+ calorie per day burn on cardio alone. I’m past that now after residential treatment.

Thanks!

So, you're a late fall or early winter chicken? 😁😁😁

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As for footwear, find an outdoor shop with lots and lots of options. Feet are all different and so are shoes. What fits me might not fit you. If they only have a few options in your size then look els

As others have said, what fits me won't fit you, necessarily. Topo Terraventure and Altra Lone Peaks are good options for hiking due to their wide toe boxes. This can greatly reduce blisters. If

lion DL’s need to up their game https://text.npr.org/1030924211  

26 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

So, you're a late fall or early winter chicken? 😁😁😁

Not me. My GA Peach. I still sleep at my fishing shack with the heat off in subfreezing (inside) temps. Just bought a cot for a run at the screen porch when it looks to be sub-20 here tomorrow night. My bag is the same one I bought at REI in 1976. It's a gorgeous Camp 7. Been all around, including Okpik. It's had TLC since it was born. 

That is below 20 and not sub -20, to be clear and not to mislead. I'm not yet ready for that 40 degree dive again. 

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28 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Could you consider the C&O/Great Allegheny Passage Trail?   Old rail road R/W and canal water level trail.  Lots of urban support nearby. ::  https://gaptrail.org/

 

It’s a fair piece, but nothing drivable is out of the question. (I am not flying in a mask, thank you.) I’m nine hours away from the point the map id’s as the trailhead. 

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5 hours ago, ThenNow said:

This will be tricksy. I have few and family far flung.

I find coordinating with a friend to be the most challenging part. I had one friend who wanted me to hike with him, but we had a terrible time syncing vaccination schedules. His one week free turned out to be our troop’s summer camp. :(
There are a lot of people who prefer solo hiking. They also don’t complain much about dragging themselves out of the wilderness with busted ribs, twisted ankles etc …

The nice thing about the AT is that it’s popular.  For some folks, that’s the worst thing about it.

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15 hours ago, qwazse said:

The nice thing about the AT is that it’s popular.  For some folks, that’s the worst thing about it.

Yeah. I’m definitely not a road more traveled person, if I can help it.

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17 hours ago, ThenNow said:

It’s a fair piece, but nothing drivable is out of the question. (I am not flying in a mask, thank you.) I’m nine hours away from the point the map id’s as the trailhead. 

Just to be clear about risks: rest stops have higher airborne transmission than airports, and consequently truckers are at higher risk of Covid or flu than flight attendants. But being tall, I already have several knocks against modern flying. I can respect that masks may be the greater discomfort for some.

If we’re talking about conditioning, I wouldn’t spend more time traveling than I would hiking. If we’re talking about touring, give yourself margin to enjoy a half day before and after the hike. Also, mid-week, many places are much less crowded.

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2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Just to be clear about risks: rest stops have higher airborne transmission than airports, and consequently truckers are at higher risk of Covid or flu than flight attendants. But being tall, I already have several knocks against modern flying. I can respect that masks may be the greater discomfort for some.

If we’re talking about conditioning, I wouldn’t spend more time traveling than I would hiking. If we’re talking about touring, give yourself margin to enjoy a half day before and after the hike. Also, mid-week, many places are much less crowded.

I don’t do well wearing a mask, after having had adults put their hand(s) over my mouth in abusive situations. I didn’t realize how problematic this part of my trauma was until COVID.

Good points. I prefer not to drive 9 hours to hike, of course. 

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As for footwear, find an outdoor shop with lots and lots of options. Feet are all different and so are shoes. What fits me might not fit you. If they only have a few options in your size then look elsewhere. The best store in my town is a local shop with knowledgeable people that will just start bringing out piles of boxes.

Also, make sure they have a ramp to stand on to make sure your feet don't slide forward and mash your toes. Long hikes down hills can result in a lot of misery, dead toenails, etc. That's the main reason I went back to boots when hiking steep grades.

Plan on replacing the footbeds. Most shoe/boot companies put in fairly worthless ones. Good ones can provide support for your arches. Oh, and bring in your old footbeds. The guy in the store took one look at mine and told me my boots were too small.

 

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As others have said, what fits me won't fit you, necessarily. Topo Terraventure and Altra Lone Peaks are good options for hiking due to their wide toe boxes. This can greatly reduce blisters.

If you're trying to lighten your pack, as everyone should, start by putting EVERYTHING in lighterpack.com and weigh everything. I got a cheap digital food scale when we were building pinewood derby cars and now it's my gear weight tool. Don't cheat as you're only cheating yourself. Ounces become pounds. Getting under 14 pounds base weight (before consumables) for 3 season backpacking should be pretty easy.

The cheapest way to lighten your pack is leave stuff at home. No duplicates.

And this link will go through most of the gear you need and offers great advice in great detail.

https://imgur.com/a/syQvBre

A scout is thrifty. Here is a way to go ultralight on a budget.

 

Edited by 69RoadRunner
Clarity, punctuation.
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There is the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. Devils Lake in Wisconsin is a neat place.

Asolo brand boots and trail shoes.  I've bought a dozen pairs over the years, at least, for myself and my sons.  My unit adults t about another 6 pairs, upon my recommendation.  And their kids another 4 or 5 pairs.  Start there.  

If boots, trail shoes, don't feel very comfortable in the store, they are wrong.  Keep trying.

Hiking poles.  Always TWO, not one.  But, learn to use them.  They are not some affected bauble to look cool.  They maintain balance, which saves you a TON of energy trying to maintain balance.  They propel you forward moving some work from your legs to your arms, which are generally underused in hiking, and, on the down hill,  they can be used to virtually eliminate the shock of your knee absorbing the dropping load of your body and pack as you hike downhill.  (Extend the length of the poles for downhill hiking, and plant the pole in front of you before you plant your foot on the downhill, and your arm will help softly lower the load to your foot which can be placed gently with no shock to your knee.) This takes practice and it helps to be a musician, because if you consider your footfalls as "the beat," you'll be planting your poles on the beat, before the beat or after the beat, depending on what you are doing. If you are traveling some distance, and perhaps at anytime you are "underway," always, always have your footfalls land on the beat, that is, a uniform rhythm. So, that means, if you are steaming along a flat stretch with feet falling at a second per step (actually pretty slow), and you come to a spot where you have to take baby steps, let your foot hang so that it lands in the rhythm.  Breaking footfall rhythm consumes mental energy. Hiking from Dan Beard to Kit Carson Museum at Rayado with a pack in less than 12 hours-mental energy is a precious commodity.

Down.  The only sleeping bag filler worth having in my opinion.  Period.  "It won't keep you warm if it gets wet."  (There is a story about a bad night at Harlan camp, I'd rather not admit to.)  Don't get it wet.  900 down means 1 ounce fills 900 cubic inches.  650 down means 1 ounce fills 650 cubic inches.  As the down number goes up, the cost goes up drastically.  I have a 650 down bag good to 0 degrees, or -10, and a 900 down bag good to 20 or so.  the 900 down bag cost as much or more than the 650 down bag, weighs half or a third as much and is like a cloud.  An 800 down bag or higher will not disappoint you, and worth every cent.  They are great all winter long in the living room to keep warm watching football, too. (Put them away from the cat as it will likely like to burrow into it with the attendant claw snags.) I have owned a dozen synthetic fill bags, though only through the synthetic fill technology of about 20 yers ago. They are fine in mild temps but quickly crushed down and lost much of their insulating capacity. Modern synthetics might be better. If all else goes South, your sleeping bag is your last bastion of refuge.  If you are cold, you cannot even wait out a catastrophe for some days in relative comfort. 

Colin Fletcher is the Father of modern backpacking.  Author of The Complete Walker. Four editions.  I prefer the first edition, as the others include new equipment, largely.  I've read large parts of all of them. He has a number of books of his endurance hikes.  Thousand Mile Summer.  The Man Who Walked Through Time.  River.  There are others not quite so directed at endurance hikes.

Tents. Having owned numerous Kelty tents, North Face, and finally a Big Alice (just not sure what to make of that name from a marketing standpoint), my one person Big Alice Copper Spur 1P is a work of art.  Go to REI and set up a dozen tents, re set them, make a nuisance of yourself fiddling with tents.  I did.  Check head room, width, space for stuff, etc. 

Have good travels.

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16 hours ago, MattR said:

The best store in my town is a local shop with knowledgeable people that will just start bringing out piles of boxes.

I can't think of many places that even have highly knowledge people anymore. REI is the only one that comes to mind. 

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