April 20, 2019 – Training Hike & Practice with the new gear

My daughter, Malia, and I are heading out for our first gear’ed up training hike tomorrow. Just a local state park (San Tan Mountain). Nothing serious – and we certainly don’t need gear for this hike. A simple camel-back of H2O would do for this 6-miles out and back total hike. What is different is that we are gearing up (with at least our primary gear) and weighting it down artificially with weights and water to see how the packs feel weighted to 25% of our body weight. That is about 35lbs for Malia and 45lbs for me. This will tell us a lot about how are packs and shoes feel. We are going to stick out like a sore thumb due to the excessive gear. If it wasn’t enough that we are fully gear’ed up on a hike where people dont usually have much gear, but we are also using external frame Kelty backpacks to boot. But we took care of the embarassment…

April 21, 2019 (Easter) – Training Hike

Well, the training hike was a success and allowed us to learn a few things.

  1. My pack is adjusted correctly with no hot spots, but Malia’s pack needs some adjustment to shorten the distance between the shoulders and her waist. With about an inch of adjustment it should be spot on.
  2. We both need some 3/4 height socks instead of the shorties
  3. We were comfortable doing a 3mph pace, which was fine for this single 6 mile hike. We plan to slow down a little and cover 2 miles per hour for the 10 miles a day (for 4 days), which puts us at 5 hours of hiking per day. We’ll add in about 3 hours of stops, breaks, stopping to smell the roses, etc. Without being married to the plan, we think we will plan on hiking from 8am to 4pm each day, leaving a solid 2-3 hours in the evening to chill each night
  4. We each carried about 30lb of weight in our packs (we artificially added small dumbells and water bottles to get to the 30lb). This didnt feel bad, but we dont want to go much heavier. So we need to be strategic when we decide which gear makes the trip and which we leave behind

Our signs were a nice conversation started on the trail. Most folks on the trail were there for exercise so they got it.