Thursday, January 7, 2016

Gearing up for abroad - New Year, New Resolutions

At the start of last year, I swore I was going to blog again. Blog more! Blog often! But last year's miss is this year's opportunity. So with a new year, I'm trying to kick my butt into gear again. This time, I'll start with a hiking post about the challenges of going abroad.


We love to make our vacations all about hiking. Spending seven days in a national park is easy planning. My car is my base camp, I only wear hiking clothes all trip, and I have access to laundry. For our trip to Japan, we wanted to make it all about food and only hike a few days. In lieu of suitcases, we used our multi-day packs. Translation: space was a rationed commodity.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized two facts:

  • I did not want to carry Fuji hiking gear for more than the day I needed it
  • I could not be the only person who wants to hike Fuji and doesn't have gear
The solution? Rent it! When I started looking at this route, I found there were online sites devoted to rental gear just for hiking Fuji. We could choose what we needed and have it sent to our hotel. I got us jackets (two layers), hiking boots, gloves, gators, hiking poles, and rain pants. You could have rented even more, if needed. We used our own base layers, socks,and headlights for the trip. 
Ricky sporting his rental jacket and gloves. So warm!
Our backpacks thanked us for the saved weight and space.  We were thankful to have gear made for the mountain. At home in Georgia, we have gear for rain and gear for cold but not gear for rain AND cold. From 6th to 8th station, the rain went from a sprinkle to a downpour. Visibility dropped drastically along with the temperature. The gear we rented was airtight. Not a drop got in and I never felt uncomfortably cold. 
We had two jackets - a fleece for warmth and an outer layer for rain.
Returning was just as easy. We threw everything in a pre-paid bag and dropped it off at a post office. Nothing to wash. No dirt in our bags. It was gone as magically as it had appeared.

After renting gators, I had to buy some when I got home!
The only difficult part was sizing. Americans tend to be larger than Japanese so we went with 'size O' on everything. Some items were on the tight side (pants), but it was better than nothing at all. 

So if your trip has you visiting a foreign country and hiking is only a part of your agenda, I highly encourage you looking at rental gear. The money spent was well worth the space saved!

No comments:

Post a Comment