Surprising new hobby: Hiking - wishlist
It may seem early in the year for me to be excited about it, but we've had temps in the 60's and full sun the past three weekends and husband and I have been out every Saturday for our first hikes of the year! It's been so great, it's got us thinking, we've got to do this every weekend!
So, I'm so excited for nice hiking weather whenever I can get it and really looking forward to going out a lot this year and trying some new hikes.
But, still being newbies, we don't have any actual hiking gear and we've ended up carrying our water bottles, packing our keys awkwardly, and sometimes struggling in the totally wrong shoes. I've actually never bought hiking gear or much outdoor gear at all, so it's new to me to shop around for specific items for which I didn't have a use before!
Side note: shoe problems
The shoes have been a real issue. I've done our hikes in flat, rigid Converse (they give me blisters after a few miles and have no traction), super structured ancient trail running shoes (the arches are so high and supportive, they make my feet hurt), and Nike Free running shoes (even these had too much arch support, and not much traction).
I've had back and neck problems for ages, and I once years ago got custom orthotics that to raise my arches and supposedly help my back. Well, after a couple years of functional movement training (and after reading Katy Bowman's blog posts about feet and footwear and listening to her on lots of podcasts), my back is much better with more muscle and my feet are most comfortable barefoot or in minimal shoes. I wear flats to work every day, and usually wear canvas slip-ons on the weekends, but now that I go hiking sometimes, I want something with laces and traction! But not as much support as my old running shoes or a thick leather hiking boot. So I've been doing my research. (I found these tips in this post on minimalist footwear for backpackers (and part 2, with some elements to look for) and those, plus Amazon reviews from die-hard minimalist shoe wearers on hiking shoes, have been helpful.)
My hiking wishlist!
It's hard to bite the bullet and just order the stuff already!! so I welcome your tips or recommendations on hiking shoes, packs, etc. and how to find hikes!
Here are some goods I have my eye on!
- Vivobarefoot Women's Neo Trail Running Shoe. I think I've seen these on two or three other hikers in Forest Park! They look like a great balance between hiking/grip-heavy shoe and a minimalist, easy movement shoe.
- New Balance Women's WX20v3 Minimus Cross-Training Shoe. For drier days or flatter hikes/walks, these look great.
- Forest Park (image source). We hiked up to the Pittock Mansion from the Hoyt Arboretum and from the 29th Avenue entrance to Forest Park.
- My homemade sunflower seed/cashew nut butter. While I don't feel hungry while hiking (sympathetic nervous system response), I noticed when I had a couple tablespoons of this stuff before our hike one weekend, I felt much more satiated/stable blood sugar after! Very tasty protein and fat, great for pre-hike fuel!
- Hydration Pack Water Backpack + 2L Hydration Bladder. Thinking about ordering this one.
- The Wildwood Trail (image source). We want to explore this 30.2-mile trail all the way up north, in pieces! So far we've seen a lot of the southern parts.
- VIVO Hydration Water Pack Bag 2L Bladder Backpack in woodland camo. Another bladder backpack option, more storage capacity.
- Oregon State Parks--hiking around the rest of the state! One of my favorites was Saddle Mountain on the way to the coast.
Even as I write this, I'm so excited for the weekend when it's supposed to be sunny yet again and I hope we get out on another great hike!