Gear Reviews

A Hiker-Mom’s Wish-List for Mother’s Day (And none of it has an electrical cord!)

It’s that time of year again!  For those boyfriends, husbands or offspring of Moms happier on the trail than in the kitchen, here’s a quick list of gift ideas straight from a hiker-mom-extraordinaire…my hiking partner (and wife) Dana. Most of these can be purchased through one of our hand-picked affiliates and you can support All Who Wander by shopping (Isn’t that cool?) Just click on the affiliate links on our site…and thanks!

1.    A Fork In the Trail by Laurie Ann March.  This practical how-to book on creative hiking cuisine through dehydrating is the quintessential reference manual for those who love to eat well on the trail with out a pack weight from hell.  (Clever, huh?) Now, I know I said maybe Hiker-mom wanted out of the kitchen but a girl’s gotta eat, right? Available at Amazon.com.

2.    Footwear that doesn’t turn my feet to hamburger.  Dana’s feet issues are a recurring problem.  We’ve tried so many different styles and brands; even had a custom fitting by a “professional” and she always ends up with blistered, oozing feet. One of her latest ideas is to try the SmartWool Light Hiking Socks for Women available at REI.  Maybe these in conjunction with her fitted boots will ease her pain.

3.    SmartWool Micro-Weight Long Underwear for Women.  Dana has transitioned from traditional zip-off hiking pants to a much cooler, hipper and more (shall we say?) convenient hiking skirt. (Heck, I’m thinking of doing it myself…I mean…a, uh, hiking KILT.) She still likes to wear summer base layer beneath for it’s wicking properties as well as the protection (albeit it minimal) it provides. As you can tell, we’re big SmartWool fans.  This item also available from your friendly REI store…via All Who Wander. :)

4.    Leki Khumbo Aerogon Anti-Shock Speed-Lock Trekking Poles.  Dang, that’s a mouthful!  This past summer, moments prior to our 4 day AT hike through Virginia, Dana’s twist-lock pole failed.  My duct-tape-fix got her through the trip but she’s (and, by neccessity, I am) plagued by issues. Leki is renowned for their durability, reliability and availability in outfitters all along the AT. A damaged or broken pole is generally repaired by the outfitter at no cost to the hiker.  Great company! Great product! These particular poles feature a simple “speed-lock” locking mechanism. I’m guessing my hiker-bride isn’t alone in her wish for these beauties. Yup, REI again!

5.    Nemo Cosmo Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad and Pillow-Top from Modular-Air Technology.  Dana and I are hammockers.  That probably won’t change.  However, our dream is to do a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.  In the Smoky’s thru-hikers are, ahem, “strongly encouraged” to sleep in the shelters rather than tents or hammocks. This presents a problem for we who can’t sleep on the ground or wooden planks, as is the case here. This pad…oh, this pad…is amazing. Though it’s too heavy (With the pillow top it’s still less than 4 lbs) to use regularly it’s actually rather light for the comfort level it delivers. An extra pound or two to get us through the Smoky’s is a small price to pay to sleep in the lap of luxury. Just copy and paste the bolded words into the Amazon search engine on the All Who Wander site and be the hero of Mother’s Day!

I hope this short-list gives you some inspiration. It certainly gave me an excuse to get some ideas out of my wife! Hey, I’ve got an idea:  In the comment section of this blog, give me some of your ideas! You can tell the “Hiker-mom” in your life that you’ve just GOT to put some ideas up on the All Who Wander site! Sneaky, yes but it’s win/ win the way I see it!  Hope you and yours have an amazing Mother’s Day and if you’re a Mom (hiker or otherwise) we love you and are so grateful for what you bring to our lives, the world…and the woods!

004 All Who Wander – Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs! Post-hike musings on snow, gear & trail markings.

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Join River (Dana), Scat (Chester), Ma Fred (Ma Fread) and myself for a lively lunch-time conversation about our overnight hike from Dicks Creek Gap to Deep Gap on the Appalachian Trail.