Early last week I purchased convertible hiking pants. I was very glad to have them as I made my way through the junglier parts of yesterday's hike. The added protection against overgrown paths was not one of the primary reasons I bought them, though. My main reasons were comfort and pockets. Until yesterday I hiked in running pants. On the trail this was fine but when my hikes or walks took me onto 'regular' roads I felt kinda conspicuous. Skin tight pants are not my thing unless I'm running in which case the practicality outweighs other concerns. So hiking pants are more comfortable.
They also have pockets. Something most running pants do not except for a tiny pocket suitable for a key or ID. Hiking I generally carry these items --
I carry the phone to be able to call for help and it does act as camera as well. If I got super duper lost I could resort to the GPS too.
The keys should be obvious although technically I only need the car key. The house key could stay in the car.
The bank card and the cash have never been used but it's a habit I got into when I was training for the MS Walk in 2008. I feel better knowing that I could pop in a store and get more water if needed. This may be helpful as my hikes get longer if I don't come up with an alternative to the supplementing the Camelback.
The health insurance card I carry for the same reasons I wear a Road ID. Think about it, the Road ID is supposed to be in case I am injured and can't tell someone who I am or who to call. If I was hurt that bad I might need medical attention so I carry the card too.
The glasses - well I'm old. And since my 40's I've needed reading glasses. I can't read anything clearly - especially in black and white- without them. A trail map is useless to me without my glasses.
I have a case to carry the phone on my belt but I like it better in my pocket. Also I like to put the phone in a ziploc when on the trails to lessen the damage of falling in the creek. And I can't put it in a ziploc in the clip on case.
So I need pockets. :) The hiking pants have more pockets than I need but that's better than not enough.
For now I'm carrying food on the back of my Camelback. I figured out I can go about 4 hours on what I ate for breakfast. So at 3 hours I start taking in fuel. Right now 4 fig newtons each hour is working. I haven't gotten sick of them yet but I may have to look for alternatives just in case. I happen to have a couple of miniature drawstring pouches that I can hook on to the back of my Camelback. I put the fig newtons in a snack size ziploc bag inside the drawstring pouch. I thought of the ziplocs to keep them dry in case of creek falling. But they protected against yesterday's rain to. :) I bring a hard boiled and some trail mix to eat on the ride home along with extra water.
I read some blogs from folks that hiked the Super Hike and they all said the aid stations had PayDay Bars! LOVE PayDay bars. :) I don't want to eat them every hour though. The sugar would probably get to me. But I can see using them for a quick burst of energy later in the hike. Mini PayDay bars will fit in a pocket :)
Next I need to look into shoes. My running shoes have been great on the trails and I intend to keep using them until they don't work anymore.But when it's time for new ones I'm thinking about switching to trail runners or hiking shoes. Not boots. I've had hiking boots and I do not like them. They are too heavy. In the next few weeks/months I'm going to shop for that next pair of shoes. If I find the right thing at a good price I'll grab them now. At the very least I'll have tried things out so that when I am ready to swap out the ones I have I'll be ready.