Working with My Strengths

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When Jason and I found out we got into the High Sierra Camps, I laid out a plan to help us get ready over the course of the following months:

  • December & January – Conditioning
  • February & March – Learning
  • April & May – Shopping
  • June & July – Practicing

While no step would be completely restricted to this timeframe, I wanted to have some direction as I prepared. Conditioning is an ongoing process and my fitness plan continues to evolve. I haven’t spent a lot of time “Learning,” because, honestly, there’s not really a ton for me to learn. Since Jason and I are engaging in backpacking-lite, I just need to know how to hike and what to pack.

Today, I officially skipped a step and worked from my strengths: Shopping! Jason and I burned through our REI dividend and 20% off coupons very fastย  ๐Ÿ˜€

The most essential pieces of gear that Jason and I needed to purchase were our backpacks…and that’s exactly what we picked out today!

I cannot stress the importance of going to a outdoor outfitter, being properly “fitted,” and trying different packs. I went in with a specific pack in mind and left with something very different. We each tried on three different packs, but we went with the men’s/women’s comparable packs from Gregory: the Deva 70 for me (appropriate name, huh ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and the Palisade 80 for Jason.

Jason is super excited to match with me and loves red…NOT.

I LOVE my new bag! I hung out in the store with it on for quite a bit and found it to be the most comfortable of those I tried on. The pretty blue color and lots of pockets didn’t hurt eitherย  ๐Ÿ™‚

For reference, here’s our full suggested shopping list for the High Sierra Camps:

  • Backpack
  • Sleep-sack
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking shoes (for backup)
  • Light shoes (for around camp)
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Small flashlight
  • Chapstick
  • Mini first-aid kit
  • Moleskin
  • Clothing:
    • Brimmed hat
    • Wool cap (for chilly nights)
    • Bandana
    • Sweats (for sleepwear)
    • Wool socks and sock liners
    • Hiking shorts
    • Long pants
    • Zippered turtleneck
    • Flannel or wool shirt
    • Sweater, medium-weight
    • Wool gloves or mittens
    • Light jacket
    • Waterproof poncho or rain jacket with hood
  • Camera *
  • Binoculars *

* Optional

We picked up a couple of the other items on the list today, too. We both got sleep-sacks and headlamps. Jason swore he would never get a headlamp, but both I and the employee helping us at the store recommended them.

I really wanted a pink one, but apparently those are designed for children ๐Ÿ™

Let’s just say that one of the hooks to getting me into camping/hiking was the opportunity to shop ๐Ÿ˜€ . But that simple hook has definitely led me to some amazing experiences. So if loving to shop is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


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