Glacier NP was the focus of this trip. We've never really planned a big trip whose focus was almost entirely hiking. The more we looked into it the more we realized that we didn't know what we were getting into.
One of the first things we learned that you need to layer your clothes. The weather can go from cold to hot and back to cold during a hike. You need to be ready. We were also told to use wicking fabric. That all makes sense. Especially if you have some in your wardrobe. We didn't.
Planning for routes, accommodations and activities was fairly easy. You just need to start early to be sure of getting rooms in lodges. We've been backpacking but didn't want to do that. This was going to be our first time hiking where we weren't the top of the food chain and we thought we'd hike first and save camping for later.
Planning for appropriate clothing and gear was another story. We decided to replace our old rain gear with more modern fabrics. Wicking underwear, fleece, new socks, shirts and hiking pants were found. We actually had some of zip off pants. Learned all about Altrec. Became more familiar with REI and Hudson Trail Outfitters. Also became poorer in the process. We have to do more hiking now. This is the most expensive trip preparation we've done since we planned a 3 day bike ride but didn't have bikes. One of these days we'll learn.
One note on the hiking clothes. We were packing for two weeks and had to accommodate hiking, restaurants in Seattle and return trips home. We needed a variety of clothing in one suitcase. We planned to wash some of the quick drying clothes in the room each evening and have them dry by morning. This cut way back on the amount of clothes needed for a trip like this.
Oh yeah. Seemed like a good time to get a new digital camera. I already have a Nikon D100 and assorted lenses. Now I have a D200 to go with it. Bigger, fa$ter, lighter, better, etc. Maybe we could have afforded Alaska after all.
We could have gotten by with somewhat less gear but got a bit carried away. Almost forgot, light weight glove liners, new pack to carry the cameras and lenses and new boots. Our boots, at least, were due to be replaced. The last thing was the trekking poles. Actually, I'm glad we got these. We spend enough time hiking to get good use from them.
Finally, we tried to get in somewhat better shape. We joined the YMCA and got out of bed early in the morning. Spent an hour and a half 2 or 3 mornings a week. As a way of practical exercise, we climbed a local mountain named Old Rag. It climbs 2800 feet in 4 miles. The "Y" was really going to help. Maybe not. We thought we were going to die. I think the only way to get in shape for something like that is to just do it. Walk. Hike. Do something where you can cover a few miles and is more interesting than a treadmill.