It's not like I have loads of room to talk, I have done it too. And I join other groups hikes sometimes, but not the 'walk the greenway' weekly stuff, I'm looking for exciting destinations in this state I have walked every decent trail in twice already. And I don't want to walk with 15 other people. And it can't be too hot or rainy. See? I can be a little bitch, too.
So I have started heading out on my own, but I find myself stopping short of anything interesting. It's been, well, interesting, to watch myself branching out. For the past 21+ years, I have had a hiking companion, even if I did have to grow them myself. Matt will go, of course, but with having regular 2 day weekends now and the band he is in has released a new cd, so at least 2 weekends a month he is off playing (free) gigs to promote that. Before the release, he was in the studio. Gary is already talking up the NEXT cd. Add in the waves of rain/heat/rain that are making up our weather and it's not been a really active spring and summer for our tiny hiking duo.
I find myself retracing the places I went with the kids, specifically to feel safer in case anything happened. Parks, small trails at the Refuge and Bankhead. No doubt I will hit Cane Creek Canyon as soon as a cool day presents itself. Greenways. hahaha! Richard Martin.
I wish Kuma were more portable, but he won't leave Jessie and she is past her hiking days. Nia would go...not to be intimidating, but to bowl for toddlers and the elderly and to LEAP onto people who are terrified of dogs-her three main talents. But Murph is a puker. If, IF, I ever get another dog, it will be a 50 pound non-shedder who loves car rides and hiking and me and that's it. No companion dog for my companion dog. He can have his own hammock and I'll name him...Hiking Dog. He'll be a Belgian shepherd trained just for me. Those are only $12k for basic skills. I see where, for $60k, I can get one trained to kill on command. Hey, dress like a raccoon and Kuma will kill for free.
I did eventually manage to take the kids on some pretty spectacular trips, so I am hopeful I will eventually take myself on a few as well.
I don't take many pics when I am walking, I guess because I don't go anywhere new.
But I did hit the natural arch nearby, I have always liked the mossy trail there.
I bought what I considered to be my final piece of equipment (an insulated pad for Chandler) over the weekend and lo and behold, Massdrop put the backpack I want up for sale this week, and it's available in purple. I need someone to give me $5k from something like money that was stolen from drug lords or given to them by an uncle they never liked and therefore don't want to use his money for anything. Corrupt cop money. Yeah, like the stash from Santa Clarita Diet. Anyway, basically money that needs to have some good karma. That can be my public service. hahahaha. I will spend your dirty money on my crack-like gear habit. And you can feel good about it. This is such a win-win situation, I imagine I will have many takers. I can take a personal check or PayPal.
Jake once said (about 10:30 this morning)
"When I feel bad about spending money on yet another video game, I just think of Mom and her god dammed tents."
Yes, this IS the person I was in labor with for THIRTY SIX hours.
I have resold all but 4 of the tents I bought. 2 are going up for sale my next round and 2 I am keeping because they are excellent tents. I'll do a review at some point, maybe save someone some hassle.
I also have sleeping pads I need to sell, a hammock camping system, 2 pairs of boots, 2 pairs of shoes and 2 hiking skirts. I have a dozen odds and ends type things as well-pillows, liners, cookware, a stove, water filters...I buy things as I find them on sale, then usually upgrade once I discover what I am really looking for in a product. Or I am gifted things I cannot use. Or I buy something, certain I will use it all the time and realize there's another less-complicated way. Like with the water filters. It's all a learning process and luckily resale value in barely or unused gear is comparable to sale pricing.
Here is what I have learned:
This is assuming you have read reviews and are sure of the exact product you want, not just shopping for random 'backpacking gear'.
Check used gear pages first, every time.
Post that you are looking for X item. Sometimes people will message you about selling theirs, sometimes they will send you a link to a good discount for buying it new. Use the network.
Always check for warehouse sales, refurbished items and bulk buy discounts (ex: Massdrop, steep and cheap, even groupon) once you have a brand name in mind. Some sites will send a 20% (or more) off coupon for joining their mailing list. Most places you buy from new will honor a sale price within 14-30 days. I have gotten back nearly $300 using this, so keep shopping even after you buy.
If you have the time, put the item in your cart, fill out the contact and shipping info, then leave before paying. About half the time, the site will contact you within 72 hours with a discount code for completing the purchase. Sometimes they send a 25% off for 3 days sale flyer for that brand name, or they will send a catalog to your mailing address with discount codes. If you have to buy new-and there are plenty of reasons to do that-don't pay retail.
There, hopefully that will save somewhere somewhere some hassle.