Out of the blue one evening my father calls me and says, “I’m going to go hike the Swiss Alps for two weeks. Do you want to come with me?
Without hesitation, thought about remaining vacation days at work, or even asking what dates he was going, I instantly exclaimed, “IM IN!”
In August Team Brooks (we named ourselves this… we may need to make t-shirts as well) is flying to Switzerland where, after a few days of mini hikes to get acclimated to the altitude, we will take off on our Alpen Wild two week guided hiking trek from Chamonix to Zermatt!
Now you may be asking yourself, “Does this Florida girl even hike?”
The answer is no, not really :)
My limited experience is a day hike my father and I did on Grand Father Mountain in North Carolina. There was a warning sign to be on the lookout for bears though, so that makes the hike instantly more intense! And I’ve done a few Billy Goat Trail hikes in Maryland… no billy goats actually seen though.
So what should an unexperienced hiker do when they learn they’re going on a two week hiking trip through Switzerland? Go straight to REI to buy the wardrobe to at least look the part!
If they have to post my picture to CNN because the other hikers have lost me, I want to at least look legit :)
I went into REI this weekend looking at hiking boots, pretending like I totally fit in. After about 5 minutes of chatting with the very nice shoe salesman named Steve (asking questions no true hiker would ever ask, “does this shoe come in a brighter color or a floral pattern?”), he established I knew nothing about hiking and kindly took me under his wing.
He helped me pick out some very stylish red boots (to match my red pack), manly-looking wool socks that are somehow considered “womens”, pretty legit rain gear, and some “tasty” granola bars to try out.
On my drive home I ate one… and it tasted like dirt. But the shoes are actually pretty comfortable!
Now when I get home from work and am walking around the kitchen making dinner, I wear the boots so I start to break them in. Good thing no ones lives below me or else I would be getting a very nasty note under my door about all the clomping happening.
So here’s my plea for help. To all my advanced hikers (or anyone who has hiked once, knows someone who hikes, or has ever heard of hiking) I need any/all hiking knowledge you have!
What I should make sure to carry in my day pack? What should I make sure not to bring? What books should I pack to read at night? And most importantly, what power bars should I bring to eat??… I can still taste the faint flavor of dirt in my mouth :)
Let the most epic father-daughter trip planning begin!