Kept my butt warm. Kept my butt dry. Kept my butt clean. Kept my butt comfy.
All good things, but the most important thing it did was cushion my hips so I could sleep at night. I’m a side sleeper and my hips would get sore after an hour or so. So I would thrash around from side to side all night long trying to relieve that soreness.
A fellow hiker suggested I put the Z Seat under my hips (under my sleeping pad) and sleeping on the ground has never been the same since.
I hemmed and hawed on buying this app, but it’s worth every penny for the real-time updates, the town maps and figuring out where you are when you’re in the woods in the middle of nowhere.
Two things about Guthooks, though.
Thing one… read the fine print. The magic is in the fine print. And by fine print, I mean scroll through the comments. That’s where the good stuff is.
Thing two… use Guthooks sparingly. A Guthooks check every five minutes makes for miserable hiking. I found ignorance about elevation to be climbed and miles left to hike to be bliss.
One last thing…don’t check Guthooks while you’re hiking. You’re just asking for skinned knees.
5. Foot Balm (with toe socks and trail runners)
This is a three for one, but, seriously, do everything you can to take impeccable care of your feet. For obvious reasons.
I had two minor blisters in the first week of my hike as I got used to the mileage, then never saw another one again. I credit the trifecta of Altra Lone Peaks with their wide toe box, Injinji toe socks (the wool ones) and my essential oil laced foot balm.
I changed my shoes every 500 miles and massaged foot balm into my warrior peds every night and my feet were happy for miles and miles).
(People gave me grief about my use of essential oils on the trail. You know…bears and stinky stuff. But the bears never materialized to gnaw my feet off, so I kept at it with the balm.)
You can get my recipe here.