The Trails and Gear
For years, I prided myself on my ability to pick up and leave without a second’s thought. My life was set up in such a way that I could be out the door and gone without leaving a trace in about an hour.
There were many reasons for it — youth, drinking, the exploration bug – but it’s fair to say that I’ve mostly left those days behind me. Which isn’t to say that I don’t still pick up and leave without much planning, because I do. I’ve simply become better at organizing my escapes.
This summer is no different. I’ve gone from zero to hiker in about 3 weeks. I’ve spend hours researching gear, reading reviews, reading magazines, making lists, and imagining the types of experiences I want to have. I’ve created wish lists of gear, bargain shopped, and as of yesterday made my last set of major purchases before I head out.
When I leave in a few weeks, I’ll be taking:
- my Country Music Marathon drop bag, which will hold 3 running shirts, 2 running shorts, both pairs of Vibrams (the KSO I have now and the TrekSport I’ll buy before I leave), my Garmin
- Black Diamond Hiking Lantern (you can see it on the table in the back)
- hiking pants and a handful of short-sleeved shirts
- Any sort of travel coolers that are easy to transport
- Coleman Signature InstaGrill (I still have to pick up the 16.4 oz. propane canister)
- REI Day Pack First-Aid Kit
- GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Cook System
- REI Passage 2 tent with footprint
- Marmot Sleeping Bag
- my hydration pack
- My duffel bag and toiletry bag
- REI Trail 25 Pack
- a Nalgene 32 oz. water bottle to go with my 24 oz. carry water bottle (recommended fluid intake for running sub 8:30/miles is 12 oz. per 20 minutes. That adds up quickly and there won’t be any place to refuel. I have 2 other 20 oz. carry bottles that attach to a backpack.)
- my mini-Clif bars
- REI Camp Stowaway Chair
- REI Multitowel
- Brunton Inspire Portable Power
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Soap
- The food I’ll be taking 🙂
I’ve already created my binder of information – maps, workouts, trails, foods – so I can read up every night before I hit the trails. I’m also setting up a calendar so I can begin making reservations for camping spots. I’ve not idea how quickly these places fill up, although I suspect most folks probably don’t throw down tents.
Then again, I’ve never done this before so that could be wishful thinking.
Once I get my head around a schedule, I’m going to hit MeetUp in hopes of connecting with some trail runners in the area. I’d love to have guides – or new friends – to run these trails.
My initial (and potential) trail list includes:
- The Legacy Trail, in Lexington, Kentucky
- The Percy Warner Park trails, in Nashville, Tennessee
- The Oak Mountain State Park trails, in Pelham, Alabama
- The Berryman Trails in Mark Twain National Forest, outside St. Louis, Missouri
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park canyon trails, in Canyon, Texas
I’m still looking around in the Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa areas. I haven’t quite decided upon my route as of yet. And I’m taking suggestions.