My Dad's sense of responsibility towards his kids hasn't lessened even though we're both in our twenties. Indeed, he insists on our picking up all of the necessities we need for a safe hike/backpacking adventure, because his own experiences have proven that better gear can make the difference. He's a stalwart supporter of a Greenville, SC local business that any local hiker should know of: Appalachian Outfitters.
I've been to other outfitters in the area, and they either don't have the service or the know-how that the people at App. have. It's book prices, but you have the peace of mind of knowing that the person helping you has been out on the trail, under the stars, dependent on their gear to keep them safe. Plus, they aren't jerks. They are so friendly, and eager to share their experiences!
I ordered my pack about three weeks ago, and picked it up about a week later! App Outfitters had to order a small women's pack for me, as they don't usually have them in stock. See what I mean about having to special order tiny people supplies? I ended up getting an Osprey Ariel! It's an awesome pack that has a hip belt that is made with clay, and is shaped and cooked in an oven to be perfectly formed for your body for better support! My pack is huge; I could quite easily fit my 85 lb. dog in there!
Also, as an early gift for the upcoming Holidays, my parents invested in some awesome North Face Sable hiking boots for me! Early gift, as my Dad is getting impatient with me going on hikes for four or more miles in my $20 Walmart shoes! My new hiking boots have great ankle support; I can't wait to try them out this weekend!
All of the gear I'm excited to try out was purchased at Appalachian Outfitters. Dad has had some amazing experiences with an online outfitter, Backcountry. I'll make sure to add these vendors to my link list, for future connectivity!
My Dad and I are taking my best friend in the world up to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area to hike to Falls Creek Falls on Sunday! I'm also hoping that Dad and I won't have any impediments to another hike on Tuesday; impediments like body aches! Hopefully my sister will have the all clear to go backpacking with us in November, and there will be an over-night trip to hike the entire Jones Gap Trail! Should be a pretty amazing month of fabulous foliage and family time!