Monthly Archives: March 2013

(Kristin) Our Second Sponsor!!! pStyle!!!

I am pee challenged.  Those who know me well, know that I have to stop every two seconds on road trips to use the lady’s room. I am quite the annoying road trip partner. My mom can attest to this wonderful quality I embody.  It’s been this way since I was born I’m told. I’ve managed in my adult years to train my bladder to be okay with stopping every 4 seconds instead of 2, progress!  Okay, but
really, now imagine this with hiking where you are rehydrating yourself constantly.  I quickly started worrying about how I was going to pee.  Imagining the annoying process of removing a 30 pound
pack, finding a spot in the woods, baring my entire bottom, and then peeing all over myself. It sounded pretty unfun.  Oh yes, did I mention I’m also squat challenged?  I lived in South Korea for one year,
a place where public restrooms are still commonly the type that is a toilet hole in the floor made of porcelain.  Yes, this is just what it sounds like.  After squatting constantly for one year in non stretchy regular clothes, I still suck at this. korean bathroom

You can imagine my squeal of delight and relief when I came upon devices that help woman pee standing up! I debated between many of them and finally settled on the pStyle. It was super lightweight, only .6 ounces.  Yes, you read correctly.  It weighs under 1 ounce!! This is why another squeal of delight was released (Eric was wondering what I was doing at this point). Things that barely weigh anything and make your life easier is like finding treasure to the long-distance backpacker.

So, when pStyle not only agreed to send me one but also asked what color I wanted, I was ecstatic   My pee troubles were about to be solved.  But…I was still skeptical.  How will this work exactly?  Oh well, back to the really important decision of what color I want to pee on for 8 months.pstyleWhen only a week later my shiny new blue pStyle showed up at our door, another squeal was released and maybe some jumping around. I quickly ran upstairs and went into the bathroom.  Coincidently, I had to pee.  I decided the shower was a good place to practice.  I don’t think I need to explain why. I pressed the product against my nether regions and peed away! You can check specific details on how to use the pStyle on their website: pStyle.   To my delight, it worked! It really worked!!!  I was so happy and relieved.  This meant I could pee without taking my backpack off or baring my entire lower half to the elements.  It also meant that my socks wouldn’t be soaked and yellow stained by the end of my first week in the woods. So, for women like me who may be pee challenged and I bet even for women who are pee experts, this product makes peeing life so much better.

standup

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Categories: Kristin | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

(Eric) Eating

Humans eat food.  Humans eat a lot more food when their moving around and using energy. You can imagine how much food someone hiking over 2,000 miles goes through.  It’s epic.  It’s also one of the most important parts of planning and packing your trip.  Making sure you have enough food and, just as importantly, the right food for your trip is a major consideration.  Especially when you’re limited in space.

Good ideas for food include things like salmon, olive oil, macaroni and cheese, and tuna fish.  These items are very dense in terms of calories and take up little room which is key for backpacking.  When you’re hiking the east coast of a continent, you need all the calories you can get.  Plus, in case you can’t manage to find a salmon at five thousand feet above sea level, there are plenty of places that sell sealed salmon that you can pack in with you.  In addition, there are a number of companies that make “camper meals” that are basically dehydrated things that you wouldn’t normally be able to get.  Things like chicken, mashed potatoes, and bacon.  These meals, on top of the standard non-perishables like granola, provide a lot of nutrition in a very tight space.

Flying Fish

Another important aspect of your campe meal is the need for it to be different than the things you’ve been munching on the whole day.  The last thing you’re going to want to do after spending every daylight hour climbing mountains and chomping on cashews is pull out a bag of cashews.  You might as well pull out a bag of pine cones.  So you have to make sure you have a variety of items available for your campsite kitchen.

Speaking of variety, there are a number of towns close to the trail.  Some are even located on the trail.  These towns, in addition to having food supplies available, provide another element of hiking the trail: the all-you-can-eat buffet.  These joints offer all the foods that you won’t have access to on a normal basis.  Combine this with the dinosaur-like appetite of the thru-hiker and you have a scenario resembling the Storming of the Bastille.

Storming the Bastille

It is important to remember that, as nutrition is an integral part of your heath, a variety of foods is essential.  Something that you can, and really should, do is to bring perishable foods like fruits and vegetables with you right out of town.  Since these can go bad, it’s important that you eat them within the first two days.  However, by including these in your diet you are not only significantly improving your ability to finish the trail you’re on, but also ensuring that your metabolism is not destroyed when you are no longer hiking 16 miles up mountains every day.  One of the great ways to save weight and space for this is picking up vegetable and fruit “snack packs” (Thanks for the tip Carla!) from any grocery store.  Another tip we heard is to get avocados since they have a lot of bang for their weight.  They’re also delicious and, coincidentally, one of our favorite foods.

High-calorie, space-saving, and nutritious foods are the name of the game.  The better you eat, the better your overall health, and the better chance you have of continuing on the trail.  That, and we get to play Iron Chef Appalachia on top of a mountain.

Categories: Eric | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Kristin) Our First Sponsor!!! Rise bars!!!

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So, Eric and I now feel like we are very ‘official’.  We just started sending out emails to ask for sponsorship from various companies to support our hike for childhood obesity. Our letters usually combine a bit of humor with more serious information. Rise bars was one of the companies we picked because we already knew how much we LOVED these bars.

We first encountered these bars on The Clymb, a discount gear site.  We check this site obsessively since we save hundreds of dollars on gear here. We saw the bars were on sale for something ridiculously low and this was during the summer when were doing a lot of hiking.  We get the awesome cheery, blue box in the mail, and it was love at first site.  Eric and I can be a little ‘ingredient’ snobbish.

Eric, “Ugh, those have fourteen ingredients, I’m not even looking.  Put it away.”

Kristin, “Ugh, why can’t things just have whole ingredients.”

So, we were so happy when Rise bars showed only five to six UNDERSTANDABLE ingredients. Check out the following picture. You fellow ingredients snobs will be in heaven.

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So then, already excited, we are sure there has to be a catch. They must taste weird or something.

First bite, Eric, “Whaaaaaat!!!! These are amaaaaazing!!!”.

Me, questioningly  first bite, “Omg! You’re right!!!”

So they were delicious.  We had to be careful about saving our yummy bars for our hiking adventures and not just throwing bar after bar into our mouths while we sit on the couch watching a movie.

You can imagine our glee when we saw a mystery box at our front door and discovered an entire box of Rise bars!!!  And coupons for half off! Yay! They even included a little note wishing us luck on our journey. Not only have they contributed a couple of weeks worth of snacks for our hike, but also great nutrition jam-packed into each bar which both of us really care about.

How cool is that?

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