It was the first weekend of spring and the weather was perfect to do something outdoors. So we took the opportunity to try out some of our gear, in case we ever have to walk out of the city on foot.
We had purchased hiking boots a while ago but had not gotten a chance to wear them. Comfortable hiking boots that don’t pinch or cause blisters are important if you ever have to walk out of the city in an emergency. Before using them, my husband gave them added protection by spraying them with waterproofing sealant. We also bought sock liners and wool socks. I did not think much of sock liners before this hike, but they really made a big difference because they keep your feet from chafing against the socks, and they wick moisture away from you. We walked mostly on the grassy area next to a bayou, and kept walking for several hours.
We are not experienced hikers, so it was interesting to learn a few things. Here are a few things we found out:
- A family with children and/or dogs can cover about a mile per hour, walking at a moderate pace.
- Children have to be constantly warned to stay on the trail, or they will wander off picking up flowers and insects.
- Indoor dogs that you only take out on short neighborhood walks have soft paws that can get extra sensitive on long hikes. You need to harden up their paws by taking them on longer walks.
- Remember to bring band-aids or mole skin pads in case of blisters.
- 2-way radios have a very limited radius, and can pick up other conversations depending what channel you choose-good to know in the event of a disaster and you are trying to leave unobserved.
- It is a good idea to have at least one walking stick for the person in front, to scare away snakes or other critters. We encountered a copperhead snake along the trail; it was so small it looked like a twist-tie.
All in all, taking a long day hike to test some of the gear was a worthwhile activity; might as well find out any problems with gear before you truly have to use it in an emergency.