Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lightening the Load

After struggling to haul my much-loved Deuter Futuro 26 up McKee Branch Trail a few days ago, I finally listened to the advice of friends and husband and bought a smaller, MUCH lighter day pack that will be perfectly fine for spring and summer hikes.  I'm one of those folks who has to "be prepared" for anything, but that means I carry a lot of stuff with me every step of the way that I simply never use.

The pack I settled on is the Mountain Hardware Fluid 12.  I found it at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports which is definitely my favorite local outfitter, but looked at every other pack in town before making the final decision. This pack is small and ultra light, but still has a full waist belt including two zipper pouches for carrying items you want easy access to at all times.  Of course, it has the hydration pouch and access for the tubing on either side.  It also has the top pocket for items such as food in addition to the central space for most of your gear.  I like the cording on the outside for easy replacement of a jacket without having to get into the middle of the pack.

My other purchase today was a new pair of trail runners.  I'd been thinking about this for a long time, but since spring is finally here, I thought I'd go ahead and take the plunge.  My tennis shoes are wearing out anyway, so I thought I'd buy trail runners to wear some for everyday wear, but also for hikes on nice spring and summer days.  After trying on numerous pairs, I used my REI dividend to purchase these beauties--the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra.

These waterproof lovelies weigh in at an amazing 1 lb. 9 oz. for the PAIR!  They feel amazing on, so I'm thrilled to step out into a totally new venture for me. We will see how they do on the trail, but if I don't like them, I can always send them back to REI for a full refund.  I'm not sure how they have a guarantee like that, and I've never used it before, but on something like this, it's a nice feeling of assurance.

It's a good thing Spring Break is about over.  I've got to go back to work to make some money to pay for my habit!  I guess if one has to have an addiction, though, hiking isn't too bad of a vice to have!

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