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View All Posts 2022 From : Wendy Bryden

Wendy Bryden

08 May 2022 09:46 pm (GMT-09:00) Alaska

Saturday was an absolutely perfect Alaska spring day. Blue sky with only a few small wispy clouds. I chose to take my pack (and my new socks!) for a hike on Johnson Pass trail which runs along the side of Upper Trail Lake. It is part of the Iditarod National historic trail.  This section along the lake, is mostly flat with lots of small undulations.  The north part of the lake was ice free with several pairs of merganser ducks  slowly swimming along, the males in their showy bright breeding plumage, black and white with orange bills.  Trail conditions included some dry trail, some cold icy snow melt puddles, and patches of snow; some hard enough to walk on top of, with other spots melted enough that you fell through to your knees! At mile one, I detoured into a creek to make sure my feet were properly wet. Today was dedicated to sock testing.  I could feel that the water temperature was cold through the socks but my feet still seemed to stay reasonably warm and dry.Along Trail Lake

I was super excited that the size small, bright yellow, multipurpose sealskin socks had arrived in the mail the day before. I put them on; along with my compression sleeves, bag balm, and toe socks.

 I had already purchased an order of the sealskin socks in medium which should have been the correct size according to the size chart.  They were too big.  I returned them and waited for the new ones.  I also ordered some other varieties of the sealskin sock which only were available in the small size.  On the way to my hike I stopped by the post office and low and behold some of the new small varieties had arrived.  I changed my footwear one more time before beginning my hike.  I left the right foot in the original bright yellow multi-purpose sock and changed the left foot into the red white and blue thin hiking sock. 

 On toe socks.  I had ordered a unisex pair of liners toe socks several years ago, after purposely avoiding them for a long time. I was disappointed because the cut was totally wrong for my thick but longish women’s toes. I returned them, as I was not even able to get my toes into the narrow toe sleeves. The stitching was too tight to allow that to happen. In my gear testing for Lapland I have decided to give them another try. I discovered toe socks specifically for women and now have a thinish pair which I think will work as liner socks.

 At my turn around spot on my hike, I decided the red white and blue socks fit better and changed my right foot into that! (Then both feet matched!)

 I happily walked through every puddle I could find (instead of avoiding them as I normally do) and my feet were a bit damp but certainly not soaked through like last weekend when I borrowed my friends older version of a similar waterproof sock!  Too many socks!  I think I am closer to finding the right ones for August!  Happy sock testing everyone!

Comments: Total (1) comments

Riitta Hanninen

Posted On: 09 May 2022 02:41 pm

Hi Wendy, Really great that you are testing socks - so important! With Sealskinz is a good idea to have an thin underlayer sock as they can otherwise feel quite rough. It can be a toe sock or a normal thin sock. Enjoy your training in Alaska - the conditions are quite similar as in Lapland. See you soon! Riitta
Wendy Bryden

01 May 2022 03:19 pm (GMT-09:00) Alaska

Getting excited and nervous!

I did my first training session with my pack yesterday.  It weighed 14 pounds! Yikes!  All I really had packed was gear for an Alaskan spring day hike - lots of warm clothes, water, a snack and an electrolyte mix which I am testing.  (Not a sleeping bag and pad, not 7 days worth of food, not even one headlamp!) I have never been one to travel light though that is definitely one of my goals for this race!  I did over 6 miles up Primrose Trail.  It is still covered in ice and snow, so I strapped my Kahtoolas over my running shoes. I am experimenting with lots of different types of socks and letting my feet get wet.  The icy puddles were cold!   Most of the way I stayed on top of the hard packed snow but sank through in a few places!  It will be another month until most of our trails will be snow free!  I have been training on the local roads too but it’s not quite the same! Looking forward to joining everyone in August in Lapland!  

Comments: Total (1) comments

Zeana Haroun

Posted On: 06 May 2022 06:35 am

What a great blog about how you are starting to get training. Thank you for sharing. First of all, it is really good you are testing out the pack with weight now - you will learn to be a light packer ! Also, great idea to get your feet wet in training and see what works best to avoid blisters. Good luck with the training and we are looking forward to seeing you in Finland.