Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I went backpacking. In my sandals.

Over the years, I've forgotten many things on a backpack trip.  Tent stakes, necessitating emergency rocks and sticks. Mosquito repellent in the Everglades. Tent poles, forcing an improvised bivy sack. The fact that the tent I was bringing had a missing pole. A book, on a solo 5 day wilderness ranger hitch. Even a sleeping bag on a rainy, cold kayak trip that I shudder to remember. But I've never forgotten boots.

In all fairness, I'm not completely clueless. I had thought I was going to drive in my truck, so I put on my Merrell, at least ten year old, sandals for the drive, and thought I would just put on boots when I got to the trailhead. However, all five of us fit in Tami's truck, so I merrily threw my pack in and thought nothing of it.

Until we pulled into the small parking lot. A horrible feeling began to well through my body. My boots! Where were my boots?

Back at the truck, an hour and a half away, of course!

This trip had been planned a long time. I was going with four wonderful women who, unbeknownst to me, were hiking in tent decorations, a huge box of wine, and gifts. It was a bachelorette backpack! I couldn't back out. And I didn't want to: it was sunny and beautiful, several thousand feet and many miles removed from the dreary, cold spring we are having "up top."

Okay! So I would hike in sandals! After all, people are doing the barefoot thing, I would be right in style.

Note to self: If you do decide to attempt this again, wear socks. On the way in, my toes slipped and slid and became mud-covered. I got a lovely rub mark too. And came uncomfortably close to many poison ivy plants with my little feet. We hiked 12 miles total, next to the river. Merrell, your sandals rock!

But believe it or not, it can be done! It was a fabulous hike.(On the way out I wore socks. Much better).


  1. Good lesson for me. I don't think I could do the entire JMT in... flip flops -this is what I use for driving.
    I will be checking and rechecking my packing list (hopefully a complete packing list) hundreds of times.

  2. I drive in flip flops too, and am probably backpacking this weekend...thanks for the reminder. :) Glad your feet were ok!

  3. My friend forgot his boots on a trip once; like you, realizing it as we entered the trail head parking lot. However, we were setting out for a 4-day trek, and he really didn't revel the idea of hiking in what he was wearing at the time, so we actually drove the 90-miles back to his house to fetch his boots. We started a bit later than planned that day...

  4. LOVE your tent :-) What a fun group you were with!

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  6. I agree with EWE-niss...LOVE your tent! Glad the girls spoiled you! Thinking this is was a trip you will not forget.

  7. Great post..... I bet you'll never forget them again!

    Gotta run.

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