My initial feelings were of great excitement and anticipation. We could hardly believe the leap we had taken. I do not think I have ever been more excited over any other of our Ladies trips. I suppose part of it was wondering what was in store for us. My husband teased me by asking I carry a sign bearing my name for recognition at the airport upon our return. I was not sure whose expectations were higher…
Thus, preparations began. There are several items of importance listed on the packing list. Included in the confirmation material is a detailed set of instructions on how to prevent and deal with blisters. I would like to increase the importance placed on this topic. The old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” would apply here. I did buy two blister kits as well as moleskin and a couple roles of tape, so I would say I was planning yet failure still knocked upon my feet in the form of two blisters and several hot spots.
I happened to have three pair of hiking shoes in my garage cupboard so I thought I was set. As I completed my final preparations two days before departure, I thought I should try on those dusty yet serviceable hiking shoes. Age, pregnancy – my youngest is twenty-four… I am not sure what but those hiking shoes were a full size and a half size to small!
Off to REI to find a new pair. I hoped wearing them the rest of the night and next day would sufficiently break them in. They did not make the cut, and were set aside two days later. By Wednesday my feet screamed in rebellion and would accept only the cross trainers I had brought. The tape worked the best for caring for and preventing further blisters.
Another item to bring was a Camelback Water Hydration Pack. As I examined the various options, I decided I liked the runner’s vest by Nathan. It was small, non-binding and had nice little pockets on the front that would provide easy access for Kleenex, camera and phone. I am happy to say it worked very well. One of the hiking guides took a shine to it as well. Do not even think about carrying a bottle of water for two and a half hours, your hands will get much too tired and what will you do with it when you want to take a picture, blow your nose? -you get the picture.
I took to heart the suggestion to bring two pair of tennis shoes. I also appreciated the information provided on the wear and tear as well as longevity of tennis shoes. Allowing the shoes to have a day off to breath, regain their spring and give your feet a rest seemed the right thing to do. I was glad as it also provided an alternative for my inhospitable hiking shoes. There is no way you will want to wear the same shoes you hike with into the gym for workout sessions.
I had purchased socks that professed to protect against blistering. They lied. The Resort has a great pro shop where I purchased, injinji “toe” socks. These were comfortable and worked like a charm. I was skeptical at first and yes, they did feel funny for a couple of minutes. The idea was to isolate each toe to prevent moisture and rubbing. Double socking also prevents friction, I purchased WrightSock coolmesh to wear over the injinji pair. My feet did well with this combination the rest of the week.
If you are going to stay at the resort longer than one-week plan to use the Laundromat otherwise bring twice as much as you think you will need. I planned for extra and still wished I had packed a few more T-shirts. At no time during my one week did I wish to spend any time washing clothes. Function rather than fashion is the order of the day.
This has primarily been a review of items needed and my opinion of how they worked for me. I find the exchange between preparation and enjoyment enhances any endeavor.