New Hiking Gear Winter 2018

Sunrise Concord NH

One of the positive aspects of changing from triathlon to trail  & mountain running/hiking/backpacking is all the new gear I get to buy.

While some of the winter running and biking winter clothing transitions well but there are some accessories I must invest in.

Number 1: Water filtration system

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L
Katadyn BeFree Water Filter 0.6L

I chose a collapsible water filter option so I could back it pretty easily in a small running pack. I’ll be trying the Katadyn BeFree on the long hike to Owl’s Head this week so we’ll see how it does. This is new technology for me so I can’t wait to see how it works on the trail.

Number 2: New hiking boots

Salomon X Ultra 3 – Day One, 1.4 miles

I’ve been hiking in trail running shoes for so many years and never considered hiking boots. I always thought that trail running shoes were less impactful on a trail and even when hiking sometimes I like to run.  This year is different and I’m winter hiking so I knew I needed to invest in a good boot. The hiking boots I currently own were given to me when I was a Colorado gear tester back in 2008. I still have them but they are pretty beat up. I’ve been reading so many hiking and backpacking websites and blogs, and one trail review writer recommended Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots so I researched them. I liked the other reviews I read and decided to give them a try. The first break-in hike was this morning [see first photo in this post, a hike with a sunrise]. I’m not bringing them for the hike this weekend; this one’s a biggie and didn’t want to wear boots that need to be broken in. I’ll stick with the tried and true trail runners; probably my Ultra trail runners.

It’s good to get back into mountain sports. There is so much more equipment to research and try. Next up: tent and stove.

Trying New Products: Altra Torin 2.5

This weekend I bought a new pair of road running shoes and testing them out today. I bought the Altra Torin. I wear a size 11 shoe and the men’s shoe fit the best.

When I lived in Tucson, I ran in a pair of Lone Peaks for trail running. I like them, but didn’t love them. But giving the road shoe a chance.

On Saturday I actually bought these from a running store, Runner’s Alley in Concord. The sales person was great and offered his advice on different options. Originally I wanted to buy a pair of Hoka’s but they didn’t fit well. I have some issues with my left foot: neuroma and a bunion so I need a bigger toe box. I’ve run on Asics and Pearl Izumi’s for so long and they have been good to me but it was time to try a different road shoe. And, as you know, Pearl Izumi isn’t making running products anymore ;-(

The Altra brand says that their Zero Drop running shoes can help improve technique and with the Toe Box will maximize shock absorption – all things that will be good for me.

I’m trying them out this morning and will let you know.

Things I do: Every time I buy a new pair of shoes I buy a new pair of socks. This time I bought a pair of Darn Tough socks made in Vermont.

Buy Local, Run Local – that’s my new motto. I don’t buy from Amazon anymore. Even though I could buy a few last pairs of Pearl Izumi road shoes from Amazon I chose not to. I’m buying from my local stores and local products. Speaking of making changes, I saw this online yesterday about The Small Change Initiative – geared to trail runners. “The idea is our small change, be it $5, $10, $20, or more adds up to big impact for organizations making a difference in the places we visit for our races and other adventures.” I think it’s a pretty cool idea. Here’s Adventures in Thumbhole’s blog.

Do you ever make bets with yourself and as a reward you sign up for something fun?

I do it all the time. Sometimes it works for motivation, sometimes not. Last night I found out from Facebook that there is a trail marathon in Bear Brook State Park; 11 miles from my house. I’m so used to driving hours for a race and don’t want to do it anymore – I want to run local. One of the many benefits of living in Concord is I’m central to so many events and activities. Plus, I need to sign up for a race that is long and on a trail, that is half way to my 53K race in September. I told myself if I got up today and ran the 7.5 mile loop I would sign up for it. I’m ready to hit the road with my new gear and to sign up for more races!

Outdoor Products I love: Isotherm Jacket by The North Face

As part of the North Face Locals Ambassador program they send athletes a box of products to try each year. This year when I received it I was living in Colorado. It doesn’t rain as much as it does there as it does here in New Hampshire where I now live so I didn’t get much of chance to try rain hear. Now, I wear the Women’s Isotherm jacket almost every run and it’s my go-to running jacket to stay warm and dry.

Here’s me in my jacket in February when I ran a loop near Rye Beach.

isothermjacket
Running by the New Hampshire Coast in Feb. 2017

The jacket has always kept me dry and warm. I’ve been running in all kinds of weather: wind, rain, misty rain, rain and wind and earlier in March snow.

With all the rain and cold temperatures, I wear this jacket, a long sleeve shirt, running tights and I’m good for any distance. This morning, Tuesday, May 9, 2017 it is 32 degrees. I will be adding a beanie and gloves.

runninggloves

I’m a bit biased when it comes to The North Face products because I’ve tried so many of their winter jackets, running tights, hats, vests and backpacks. The products have never let me down and I’m proud to be an ambassador.

Today’s run.