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May 31, 2024 42 mins

James and Shereen discuss the benefits of touching grass, and how to get outside this summer.


Picking your route - keep it short at first. If you’re having fun, you can always loop back.  

All Trails ( )is a great app and has a wheelchair friendly filter. You can search for a local route that is the right length and pretty flat. Try to leave a review so that other trail users can get recent info on conditions.

Avoid too much elevation gain – if you have a paper map this means avoiding crossing too many contours. If you can’t avoid elevation gain, opt for a shorter hike. Going down an be taxing as well, so make sure to keep some energy in reserve.

Lots of modern smartphones have a built-in step counter. Use this to estimate your daily walking right now and shoot for a trail that isn’t more than that in length

Try and set off early, it’s less hot and the animals are more active.

If you’re in front country on groomed trails just bring some water and a snack and a well-charged phone. Any supportive comfy shoes are going to be great, don’t overthink it.  All trails will help you navigate and there will probably be a big sign at the trailhead advising of any specifics. For example, some parks might suggest bear spray or warn you about snakes, which can be a risk even in urban areas. You can check online as well to prepare for any specific requirements of being in a given area.  

Meetup and REI (  are great places to meet people to hike with. REI offers WTF hiking events as well.



Some hats I like - felted wool hat (I got mine for 15 bucks at one of those REI garage sales, don’t pay $60 for a hat , legionnaire hat


Shirt I look for wicking, pockets, and a loose fit.  Here is my Backpacker story on shirts


T-shirts I like include the Gore contest ( and this Patagonia Tropic Comfort hoodie (  


Trousers – The main focus here is breathing well and having good flexibility to move as you move. One or two extra pockets is nice, as is a waist that doesn’t cut into you. I don’t prefer to wear a belt if I can avoid it when hiking. I have about five pairs of these Prana Stretch Zion trousers, which can often be found on sale. .css-j9qmi7{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:row;-ms-flex-direction:row;flex-direction:row;font-weight:700;margin-bottom:1rem;margin-top:2.8rem;width:100%;-webkit-box-pack:start;-ms-flex-pack:start;-webkit-justify-content:start;justify-content:start;padding-left:5rem;}@media only screen and (max-width: 599px){.css-j9qmi7{padding-left:0;-webkit-box-pack:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;justify-content:center;}}.css-j9qmi7 svg{fill:#27292D;}.css-j9qmi7 .eagfbvw0{-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;color:#27292D;}

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
Hi everyone, it's me James and I'm joined by Sharen today,
and in a rare instance, we are not discussing something
terrible and sad. It seems like most of the thinks
Serene and I talk about. But it's a fun episode today,
isn't it, Shreen.

Speaker 3 (00:18):
Yeah, I'm in a good mood, which is crazy to
say these days, but I'm happy to be here. I
love to be the podcast dummy. I love to have
things talks to me at and I listen too. Yeah, exactly,
that's interesting.

Speaker 2 (00:35):
You've crushed it. No, we won't be taking that again.
Let's go from there. I don't want everyone to think
Seren is dummy. Suren's very intelligent, but we are making
a podcast today about touching grass. A thing that some
people need to do has become apparent. I've been on
the internet. I think some people need to go outside. Yeah,
and even if you're not saying the stupidest shit imaginable

on Twitter, I still think it's actually really good for
you to go outside. Like, I know, this seems to
be an episode I do every couple of months, but
every single time I have to go and do something
traumatic or scary or upsetting for work. I just book
a few days afterwards to be by myself in the
mountains camp and sort of just not particularly like trying
to do massive miles on a trail, just being outside.

And I find it's the most healing thing for me.
It's how I process all the things that I have
to see and hear about for work. And I want
you to do that too, podcast listeners. Yeah, and Serene,
I want Shrean to do it.

Speaker 3 (01:31):
Nature is healing, it is, and that makes sense that
that's where you go. It makes total sense.

Speaker 2 (01:38):
Yeah, I think you have to be comfortable, like you know,
if you're scared sleeping alone outside in a tent by yourself, right, Yeah,
it's not going to be healing for you. And I
can see that. I'm a white dude, right and I
go through the outdoors just like I go through everywhere
else's white. You know that means that something different experiences. Yes, yes, yeah,
we have. That's why sociore is you to think anyway,

I want to talk today just about hiking or walking
or rambling or hillwalking or you know, you could call
it any of the things that you want, just because
I think it is probably the most successible way to
get outside for most people. Right, Like I could talk
about cycling. It's been a lot of my life cycling.
It's expensive and confusing for people.

Speaker 3 (02:17):
So in your equipment, you know, hiking, you just need
to get outside.

Speaker 2 (02:21):
Yeah, exactly, like you probably if you're able to move
under your own power now, then you can probably go
for a walk. I'm going to talk about equipment in
the back half, but I think if you're a lot
of people seem to have a lot of questions about
backpacking equipment, so we'll cover that. But yeah, I think
for most people, just like setting the intention of going
for a walk would be a massively beneficial thing. So

I want to encourage you to do that. To start
of summer, if you're in the northern hemisphere, if you're
in the southern hemisphere, it's a start of winter, you know,
you can still get out there. And so to start
off with, I wanted to talk about finding a route,
finding a place, picking a route to go hiking. Did
you go hiking very much?

Speaker 3 (02:58):
I actually do. I do like a hike. I like
a hike. I've gone backpacking once and I really liked it.

Speaker 2 (03:05):
Where did you go backpacking? Oh?

Speaker 3 (03:06):

Speaker 2 (03:08):
Oh yeah, wow, Yeah.

Speaker 3 (03:09):
That'd be a cute little place. But it was so
hot and I almost passed out. I should have done
it in a different day. We should have done it
a different day. But I do love to hike. I
like to be outside. I'm not like the most outdoors
a person. I wish I knew how like how to
make a fire or something, or like I wish I
was like a scout.

Speaker 2 (03:29):
There's lots of shit that you don't want to be
involved with in the scouting movement, Surrey.

Speaker 3 (03:32):
Oh really, Okay, I take that back.

Speaker 2 (03:33):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, probably inducing behind the bus just for.

Speaker 3 (03:36):
A scout, Okay, I will do that. I did not,
But what I mean is like I really like being outside,
and I have like the bare minimum of like equipment
that I need for that kind of stuff. I used
to get really intimidated that I didn't know as much
as I thought other people did. But I don't think
anyone knows as much as they think they do.

Speaker 2 (03:54):
Absolutely no.

Speaker 3 (03:55):
Yeah, so that made me feel better.

Speaker 2 (03:57):
Yeah, And like the outdoors are super humbling sense right,
Like you think you know it all, you don't, and
at some point you'll get humbled or hurt. So it's
good to always have a bit of respect, yeah, for
the outdoors and mother nature. I've seen some people who
do not. It can end messily. Seen some people who
learn to climb on YouTube really get to grips with
YouTube not being the same as going outside. I guess

if I'm starting off, if you're picking a route, and
I think probably the best way to do it is
I discovered this recently. Lots of these modern smartphones have
a step counter in them. Even if you don't have
a fancy watch that count steps, your phone does it
for you. I think that's a really good way of ascertaining,
like how far you walk in a regular day? Right,
I was thinking about, like how far do most people walk?

I don't know. I know a fun fact about me,
I would love to ushering.

Speaker 3 (04:44):
I purposely have never ever opened that app or activated
it to know how many steps I walk because I
know myself and I know I would get like hyper
fixated on it, and I did not want to be
confronted with the days that I just sit on my
ass all day, you know, and so I have never
ever activated app.

Speaker 2 (05:04):
That's a great stream. I'm proud of you for knowing
that that would be good for you.

Speaker 3 (05:08):
I mean, I just know myself, it wouldn't be a
good thing for me. I think it's a good thing
for a lot of people to like get them motivated
and stuff. But sometimes it's also a negative to being
too focused on the numbers and.

Speaker 2 (05:19):
Yeah, totally, especially like if you're someone who's had like
a relationship with exercise, it wasn't healthy for you before.

Speaker 3 (05:24):
Yeah, I guess that's also part of it too, that
was my experience. I'm sorry, are you the things to
had that just happened?

Speaker 2 (05:32):
Yeah, okay, Yeah, I'm glad that you have a good
relationship with it now. But yeah, for people who you know,
if that's not for you, that's not for you. I'll
say that.

Speaker 3 (05:42):
But I just think it's a fun fact. I don't
know anyone else that has not, Like, I'm terrified of
the app. I have not even opened it. When you
go to my health app, it says welcome, like it
doesn't even you know what I mean, Like it's not.

Speaker 2 (05:52):
Yeah, I did think you've got a brand new phone.
I was going to suggest to all trails because A
it's got a very complete list of trails, and B
I noticed I had a wheelchair for Yeah, I was
looking for wheelchair accessible trails for someone the other day.
You can just filter on all trails, like you can
find the ones that don't have steps or excessive rocks
or something. So like, if that's something you're looking for,

I think that could be really handy. And other little
tips for picking your root. If you try and set
off early a, you're gonna not deal with big crowds
of people be Animals are almost always more active at
dawning dusk. I have been trail running a lot recently,
and I love to trail run right when the sun's
coming up. It just feels like it's nice and I

see little animals. Don't see as many snakes. I like
to see a snake.

Speaker 3 (06:36):
The weather is probably like the best it's going to
be that day.

Speaker 2 (06:40):
Yeah, yeah, exactly, especially as it gets hotter, right, Like
if you're not necessarily doing a lot of exercise right now,
and then you go for you know, even a short
hike in the middle of the day on a hot day,
you can put yourself in the box. And like I
think I've heard before that like the vast majority of
trail rescues are like on front country trails, like five
or ten believe.

Speaker 3 (06:59):
That people get confident.

Speaker 2 (07:02):
I guess that in mind. If you're heading out on
a little front country hike, I would say some things
to bring would be we'll go over like equipment, boots,
stuff like that. If you if you're like getting more
into it, but you're heading out on a little first hike.
If as long as you have a bag with some
water and a phone and some shoes that you like
to wear that they're comfortable for you, I think you'll
be fine. And I think they bring a snack. Snack

is always a good thing to have. It's nice to
have a little trail snack and yeah, I love a
good rectangular food. But yeah, if you don't have water,
that's like fourth of July last year, someone didn't bring
water for their dog, and I remember the dog was
in like severe Yeah. No, it was one of the

stupider things that I can't think of a year here
where I haven't been running or riding on trails and
seeing someone forget to bring water for their dog.

Speaker 3 (07:53):
Terrible. I hate that. Yeah, I don't like I see
like sometimes there's like a communal stops for pets, but
you can't count on those, you know.

Speaker 2 (08:03):
Yeah, totally I don't really count on any of those
things working, you know, like water fountains, Like, don't be
reliant up on a water fountain, take a little water bottle.
You'll be so much happier. If you want to find
people to hike with, I've had pretty good like with
a meetup app. I used to climb by some people
from meet up here in San Diego, and like climbings

are fairly like high trust endeavor if someone's belaying you.
I definitely met some people there who are very capable
and we had a great time climbing outside. Meetup seems
to be pretty good for that kind of stuff. ARII
also often has free like they'll just take you out
for a hiker really hiking sessions, and I know they
have like yeah, yeah, yeah, they they seem nice. They

have like fem ones that women transferm people can go
and sist news can't go, which is fine, you know,
like it's probably a nice thing for some people feel
a little safer and more comfortable there. They have one,
so they're just open for everyone. I think that's a
dude's only hike, which is also fine. So those are
some places to meet people. I think it's always nice
to go with someone, especially if you don't feel confident

or you don't feel like the outdoors are a place
where you're look comfortable. It's nice to go with even
if it's someone who has the same degree of knowledge
and background in it as you, like they can rationalize
your fears.

Speaker 3 (09:20):
Yeah, when you're alone and like you get lost or
you feel panic, it's so much worse than if you
had like a friend with you. It only happened to
me once and I was on trooms, so but I
won't get into that. But it was scary.

Speaker 2 (09:37):
Yeah, then maybe you'd leave those a home if if
you're going out first maybe.

Speaker 3 (09:44):
Yeah, No, you don't need those if you're by yourself,
especially Just take it from me. Please don't go on
a mountain and take too many things and panic the
whole way home.

Speaker 2 (10:00):
I want to hear this story afterwards.

Speaker 3 (10:02):
It was my thirtieth birthday in twenty twenty, so everything
was closed. I tried to go and touch grass games
and I had had a spiral.

Speaker 2 (10:14):
He nearly touched it with your face as you fell
down the mountain on your stream trip. Yeah, your thirtiest
birth day is Yeah, it was. It was crisis.

Speaker 3 (10:20):
I suppose anyway. Sorry, yeah, I'm dereiling.

Speaker 2 (10:24):
Yeah, that's okay. You know, shreen, do you know what
will not make you have an existential crisis on top
of the mountain on your own in the middle of
a pandemic? Please tell me it is the products and
services that support this show. Unless we get a shroom sad. Oh,
I would love that the stream will read your shroom sad.
If you're in the industry, please reach out her Twitter

is at I write. Okay, all right, we're back. That
was an had a psilocybin. Maybe it's still illegal.

Speaker 3 (10:57):
I don't think they are. Yeah, they're in Oregon. They are.

Speaker 1 (11:01):

Speaker 2 (11:02):
Well, there you go. So I'm interested to know what
questions you had before you decided to embark on your
hiking lifestyle or is this something you've always done.

Speaker 3 (11:08):
I mean, my family and I we never really did
outdoorsy stuff, so it was something I did when I
was like finishing high school. I started to be like, wow,
I live in a place where I can go hiking,
and I've never.

Speaker 2 (11:19):
Done this before. So it was a learning curve.

Speaker 3 (11:22):
But I started when I was like seventeen, and I
got my entire family to go hiking. With me for
the first time. Yeah. It was also when I was
introducing my mom to like Zoomba. That was the vibe
back then, So I was trying to get active. But
I think the most important things are I mean, I'm
a big skincare person. I think some protection cannot be understated,

especially if you are hiking in the middle of the day,
like when the sun is at its highest point. You
need sunscreen and a hat. There is like some protective
clothing even that could come in handy, but at the
bare minimum, you need a good hat. Yeah, like not
even a cap. I like those those fishermen looking hats.
You got to get the whole circumference. But a cap

is fine. A cap will do. I think that's the
most important little accessory for me. It's a hat.

Speaker 2 (12:12):
I have one of those, like felted wool hats.

Speaker 3 (12:14):
Nice. Don't they get hot?

Speaker 2 (12:17):
No? Not really. The wool breeze pretty well. Like it
was what I was out of the body yesterday helping
out and it was like a nineteen I was wearing it.
It was fine, and it's wool, so you can like
diep in the water and it gets wet. Yeah. I
like one of those. Yeah, I actually have a little
list of equipment or clothing stuff which maybe I could
go over. It seems like the vast majority of the

questions I get people like to DM me their question,
which is great. By the way, I do like it
when people ask me for like.

Speaker 3 (12:44):
How can there are no bad questions?

Speaker 2 (12:46):
No, there aren't. And like a lot of my career
as a journalist, like earlier on was doing outdoor media,
and like, yeah, the outdoor media has gone to complete shit,
and you know, you can't write anything. It's an advertorial
now just actually like just to if you are looking
to buy something, and it is basically any product review
you read on the internet. I understand that the vast

majority of those will only be products that pay a
certain percentage back to the website that refers you to them,
and so then inherently causes a bias against products which
don't do that. An editor at a big men's magazine
suggested that I write some reviews about the stuff that
I'd never seen.

Speaker 3 (13:22):
They were going to even send them to you.

Speaker 2 (13:24):
Well, the company would have done, but the editor wanted
the piece in like fifteen minles, which, like I know,
I used to do lots of reviews and buy some
stuff and I take it pretty seriously. And because it's
a lot of someone.

Speaker 3 (13:34):
I look at those reviews all the time. I have
to weed out the ones I think are like sponsored,
but I really, I really like reviews.

Speaker 2 (13:41):

Speaker 3 (13:41):
I go on Reddit a lot to see what people think,
like their own experience redd.

Speaker 2 (13:45):
It's a great place. So I've said that like universally,
but I do mean with respect.

Speaker 3 (13:49):
To Yeah, it's a place where you can find more
anecdotal experience with stuff versus I don't know, Amazon review.

Speaker 2 (13:57):
Yeah, there are some whoppers on Reddit who in any
aspect to overestimate their insight into things, but you'll find
anyone needs innet. So, yeah, I'm going to go through
some different clothing items, stuff I like and stuff that
I think you can probably find cheap and hopefully that
will help people kind of especially if you're thinking of backpacking.
It can be very intimidating and expensive, I think, and

at the start of the PCT almost once a week,
right helping out the border, that's one of the areas
where people cross and I see people with thousands of
dollars of gear that is all brand new, and I
know it can be pretty intimidating, but like you don't
have to start there, So there's always stuff you have
a home. Maybe we'll do one on camping later in
the summer. So you get a hat, any particular hat
preferences sharing.

Speaker 3 (14:40):
I don't know the brands, honestly, I don't know unless
like someone recommended this brand, use this, like my shoes
are I think we talked about this before Solomon No, Yes,
is that a brand? Yeah, Salmon, And I was like,
I thought that.

Speaker 2 (14:57):
She read, Yeah, yeah, I think you can.

Speaker 3 (15:00):
Find really cheap hats that are protective, you know. I
don't think you need a big brand for a hat
as long as it like covers your head in your face.

Speaker 2 (15:09):
Yeah, yeah, totally. I trail run all the time in
a hat I got free like five years ago.

Speaker 3 (15:13):
If anything, I think it's better to have things you
don't care about getting dirty or ruined, you know, because
you're sure.

Speaker 2 (15:20):
I've noticed a lot of outdoor stuff really kind of
moving towards streetwear. There's this thing that I learned about
recently called gorp core, which is my neme. Okay, the test.
I think it's cute. Okay, this is going to be
the point of disagreement. People like it. When the host

disagree on podcast.

Speaker 3 (15:42):
How do you define gorp core.

Speaker 2 (15:45):
It's people wearing hiking stuff to go around town, which
is fine. I do that all the time. I dress
like a man in ARII catalog, But like, why are
you making it fashion? And then why have you stolen
my brands who used to make reliable outdoor gear?

Speaker 3 (16:00):
And now I agree with that assessment. I will say,
I don't think wearing hiking stuff is necessary, but I
do like to look like I'm going on a safari,
you know. I like that character for me.

Speaker 2 (16:14):
Do you have like a pith helmet and like a No,
it's just more just like fascinating.

Speaker 3 (16:19):
Like shorts that are meant to be hiked in are
longer usually, and I just think they look better than
other shorts, and you can just wear that and like
a button down shirt with some leaves on it, it
look like I'm going on a safari, but I'm just
walking around town.

Speaker 2 (16:33):
This this vision of nineteen twenty sharen, you know, carriage
seeing a line.

Speaker 3 (16:41):
But yeah, gorf core is it's becoming more and more trendy.
And I will say that you're you're right about things
being more expensive because of it. Because it shouldn't be
so expensive to be prepared to go on a hike.

Speaker 2 (16:52):
Yeah, and like so like for most of the stuff
I look for when I'm hiking, A lot of brands
I go to, like Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardware. I'll list
some other stuff as we go through, but like Arctics
and Patagonia seem to have taken off in price and
like decoupled from other stuff which literally uses the same materials. Right,
One of the things I would suggest if you're trying

to buy outdoor gerrias look at the materials used, because
you know you might find the same material used in
another piece somewhere else, and it might cost less, right
if it doesn't have that like gorp cor appeal. If
I just go through some stuff I like really quickly,
I like to wear buttonup shirts when I hike. Forten
a whole piece about this. It's like two thousand words
and it's it's on backpenny.

Speaker 3 (17:32):
So what's the reason A very shortened version of the reason.

Speaker 2 (17:35):
They're nice. They cover your neck a bit better. They
have buttons so you can vent your chest if you
need to, like teacher, get some extra ventilation. Yeah, you
can roll up the sleeves. You can roll down the
sleeves that there was very practical. When I met the
president of the Marshall Islands, like one of my little
hiking batnup shirts because I hadn't been expected to be formal,
and I put on a little tie that they gave

me and I went.

Speaker 3 (17:58):
I will say I have worn button down hiking shirts
out and about town because I think they look so oops.

Speaker 2 (18:07):
Yeah, I agree with you, Srian. I think they look cute.
You can look cute in them. If you're looking to
buy some shirts. Outdoor Research has one called the Astroman,
which is amazing, like it feels like you're not wearing
a shirt, which is always the goal with shirt couu.
The Hunting brand has one called the Tiburon, which is right.

Speaker 3 (18:25):
Are there's going to be listed somewhere?

Speaker 2 (18:27):
Yes, Like I did last time, I will make a
two thousand words show description with links in it for people.
I also like those T shirts, like running shirts. I
don't really buy like hiking t shirts. I think often
they're just cotton T shirts with a picture of a
river on. But running shirt to nice gore wear so
that the people who make gortex there's also really good

value stuff. Actually it's worth looking at obviously, Like they're
like in house, so they have all gor text waterproof stuff.
But they have a shirt called the Contest which always
trail running. This morning, it's a pretty nice shirt. It's
hot here in San Diego, and like, I don't want
to be the guy running with his shirt of and so.
And also I'm British, so like me and the sun

are in a constant state of disagreement. I'm not a
skinware person like stream. I didn't believe in me I
do now. I do now, I do now. Until my
early thirties, I thought that it was stopping my skin
breathing and affecting my performance as a bigraces you've cherished changed. Yeah,
I never had skin on my well, like most of

my you thought on scream was bad. When you have
to understand that everything about pro cycling is like lies
the older people tell you. So like when I was
coming up in cycling, it was like the very end
of the like people who had trained in East Germany,
like before the fall of the Berlin War, right, and
they had all these bullshit things that they like I

had a team director who would make us eat fast animals,
because he thought that would turn us into fasters. Like
that's a good no. I mean the even now.

Speaker 3 (20:04):
There is a little subculture of like, don't wear sunscreen.
The sun is good for you. You should just like
vitamin D. But y'all know, wear sunscreen, reapply the sunscreen.
I should make a skincare episode. I'm obsessed with this stuff,
and sunscreen is so important.

Speaker 2 (20:20):
It is. You get much better sunscreen outside the US, Yeah,
I do. I use Korean sunscreen. Korean sunscreen is great. Okay, great, Okay.
I get European sunscreen when I'm in the airport.

Speaker 3 (20:30):
But also both the European sunscreens and Asian sunscreens, they're
formulated so much differently than the ones in the US.
I feel like there are certain things that are they're different.
I don't know, America is fucking up.

Speaker 2 (20:45):
It's because the active ingredients, haven't the FDA. Yeah, okay, yeah,
sunscreen conspiracy, divotion over sharen. Maybe we should take an
advertising break here in case we land the Koreans.

Speaker 3 (20:56):
Oh okay, yeah, let's do it. I want to get
shrooms and Korean suns green under my advertising bill. That
would be great. That's my entire personality.

Speaker 2 (21:09):
All right, we're back. We have you enjoyed that advert
for scenes screen. I want to talk about trousers just
in general, but also with reference to hiking. Sometimes I
go out and I drop water for people say that
they don't die in the desert, and that's something that
I think is one of the coolest fucking things that
you can do if you live near the border, and
everyone who does it is a massive legend in my opinion.

And even if you just come out once, you could
save someone's life and that's pretty fucking cool. And I
want you, if you live near here, to feel like
you can do that if what's holding you back, if
you don't know what to where or want backpack to
get Just like dm me on Twitter, but sometimes I
come out in jeans. I would not suggest hiking in jeans.
I would make jeans are great. I love jeans. I

like to climb in jeans. I know Ian, the producer
of this show, have some opinions on people who I
want to hear. Take You haven't seen this, yeah, because
Ian does tweet very much, so I only found his
twister like six months ago. One of his tweets with
about why do people working because it's cool lean. No, no, no,
it's not because you have to climb in jeans, because

you have to remind people that you were climbing before
the fucking Alex Honold film came out. And the way
to do that is to be a dirt bag. And
the way to do that is to go to a
second hand shop and buy the ladies jeans sort of stretch.

Speaker 3 (22:25):
The ones that are worn in, because like from New Genes,
seemed so uncomfortable to do anything in in my opinion.

Speaker 2 (22:30):
No, you want the stretchy fabric jeens, you know the ones.
It's okay if they're normal jeens. Yeah, they've got to
be worn in, and then you cut them off a
couple of inches above the ankle so you can see
your feet, and you go climbing in those and a
cut off T shirt and you keep climbing grungy, because
that's important. You can't be letting all the Have you
seen this film Free Solo? People change it? So yeah,

oh gosh, yeah, that's one of the things that I
will never back down.

Speaker 3 (22:55):
That run.

Speaker 2 (22:56):
Yeah, they use the easiest route in my climbing gym
for years. Was cool. Hey, dude, have you seen this film?
It's called free Solo, which I thought was great. Well, yeah,
you can go climbing in jeans, but don't go hiking
in jeans. They don't breathe very well, they don't move
very well. They do chafe very well, and if they
get wet, they suck. So you can get good like

Nico or polyester or like even some with like spandex
or like greens. So they stretch trousers pretty quickly. I
really like Prana trousers that, like the yoga brand. I'm
wearing some right now. They have a one called the
Stretch Zion. They have a men's model and a women's model,
I think, and they're really cheap. They're always on sale.
I really like those for like a cheap go to

trouser hiking. So there's a brand called True Work who
make like technical work clothes, which I like to wear.
If I'm like when we were constructing shelters a lot
in Cucumber before the border patrol tore them down. It's
nice to have the little like extra pockets for your
tools and for your pencil and your tape measure and
stuff like that. I wear those for hiking as well,
and they're kind of dual PERP. Generally, if you have

trousers that are lightweight, that breathe well and have good flexibility,
you're good to go. The next thing I have here
is socks. People really fuck up with socks, and it
seems like socks and footwear are areas where people really
get themselves into trouble. Tried this out recently and the
interest of journalism. Actually, there are a couple of brands

the things that I do just on a whim down tough,
you know, down tough sucks, serene, No, okay, now you do.
They're a company and Vermont, who make good socks, will.

Speaker 3 (24:31):
Say, I do want I need new hiking socks.

Speaker 2 (24:34):
Okay, good, yeah, sit down, okay. Two brands that I
would recommend are Features and Done Tough because they fit
well there will so will still insulates when it's where
it breathes well. It doesn't burn, but that's not a
big concern for most of us hiking here. Yes, you're
in a forest far I guess, but they'll find your feet.
That'll be great. They also have lifetime warranties, which I

think is really cool for so for socks. Yeah that's cool. Yeah,
So I tested these out in the interest of journalism
and features in science and Science. Yeah, I did a
did a little double blind test, and I contacted Features
and done toff and said, hi, I have worn holes
through the front of my socks. And they said, no problems,
send them back. And I sent them back and Features

got me the socks. So what they do is they
send you a coupon, then you go on their website
and you order whatever socks you want. And it took
me about a week and I had new socks. Well
down tuft took a little bit longer, but I had
new socks. So like, if you're a person who doesn't
want to spend a lot of money, you can spend
your money once and have socks for life, which I
thought was pretty cool. Yeah, yeah, it's cool. I heard
that they had a good warranty. But then I was like,
you know what, lots of brands say lots of bullshit,

to let me test it, and tested I did. It
turned out to be true in both cases.

Speaker 3 (25:44):
I will say for the inexperienced person, I think when
you hear wool socks, you're like, okay, i'll wear those
one that's cold, but no, you have to wear them
for like it's like temperature regulation, right, It's like, yeah.

Speaker 2 (25:57):
You want to let your foot breathe, right, so you
don't get like blisters, you do?

Speaker 3 (26:01):
You wear them any weather. That's my point. I feel
like when I hear wool as someone that grew up
in Sokel, I'm like, Okay, it's going to be cold,
No it's not. Just put them on your feet and
your shoe will be war comfy. Also a comfortable shoe essential. Yeah,
I'm sure you're going to get there. But yeah, there
are different thickness is. You have will socks for cod
wether there, but I also have wolf socks for hot weather, right,

But they're all wool you know.

Speaker 2 (26:24):
Oh well, yeah, they're just in Actually I wore a
wool shirt when I did a couple of years ago.
There was a heat advisory, so I figured that would
be a good time to go backpacking on the PCT
because no one else would be there.

Speaker 3 (26:34):
Yeah, good idea.

Speaker 2 (26:35):
It's great. I had a wonderful time. It was not
molested by people. You saw some snakes. It was nice.
Rescue the dude.

Speaker 3 (26:41):
Did you wear sunscreen?

Speaker 2 (26:43):
Yeah? I did in that instance, anah, actually yeah, this
was after my sunscreen awakening.

Speaker 3 (26:48):
Oh great, I'm so glad.

Speaker 2 (26:49):
Don't go out without water. This dude was out looking
for Kitchen Creek Falls, which if you're not familiar as
a seasonal waterfall in these county San Diego. And he
was probably about three or four months late or early,
depending on how you look at it. And so I
had gone out without water. Which don't be relying on
that kind of stuff. If it says water on the map,
that's cool. Still bring water, especially you're in the desert. Yeah,

let's talk about shoes. I think people want to go
hiking in boots because that's what like you think of
when you think of like grambling or hiking. But like
if you don't wear boots for work or habitually, you know,
for just like crosspunk reasons, then you might be really
uncomfortable in boots, Like you're not used to hard things

rubbing your ankles. So we would not suggest and unless
you're putting on load, like I wear boots if I'm backpacking. Certainly,
if I'm like pack rafting or something where I've got
like the raft and everything else and I'm going to
do it a long hiking, right, so I've got all
my camping stuff and the raft I'm gonna wear boots
or if I'm off trails when we drop water. We're
not going on trails, right, We're just sort of out

and about climbing up mountain. So I'll wear boots for that.
But for almost everyone, especially if you're hiking on trails,
you're going to be just fine with shoes. I think
the big thing. Boots give you more stability, right, they
stop your ankle from twitter.

Speaker 3 (28:05):
That's why I wear them.

Speaker 2 (28:06):
I weak ankles. Yeah, it's genetic. I wear boots. Yeah,
you can work on their little ankle strength stuff you
can do.

Speaker 3 (28:11):
But that's not happening. I'll just wear boots.

Speaker 2 (28:15):
Boots maximalist for me, like finding shoes sort of stable
that like you know, like inherently stabilize my foot without
clamping my ankle has been really good.

Speaker 3 (28:26):
I feel more stable in a boot though you don't
think so.

Speaker 2 (28:29):
Yeah, but then you're just sort of transferring to me,
Like sometimes I like to have the ability to move
my ankles, especially like I like to trail run as well.
If I'm to be honest, i'm just going out, I'm
probably running at the minute, and like even over night
city it's really fun to just run until it gets
dark and then sleep and then run again. It's a
fun thing to do well.

Speaker 3 (28:49):
I'd be curious about your hiking shoe recommendations versus boot.

Speaker 2 (28:54):
So I got three. They're all like they have little
kind of your foots, like sitting in the insole, not
on the insult, if that makes sense. So it's like
cupped a little bit nickeys in possibility. One is the
Salomon Genesis. It's the cheapest one they make in that line.
I think it's a really good shoe. I trail running
in them all the time. Two the other one is

a Soccony Exodus Ultra two, which it's really cool. It
has like a softer foam in the middle and then
a stiffer foam around the outside of your heel. I
could talk about the shit for hours, but it feels
very comfortable and soft. But also you're very stable, and
they're about to be phased out, so you can find
them really cheap.

Speaker 3 (29:31):
Why are they both to be phased out?

Speaker 2 (29:33):
Running shoe companies make a new shoe every year because
they feel like they need to.

Speaker 3 (29:38):
Human foot has been the same, I would argue.

Speaker 2 (29:40):
For a while. Yeah, it's not changing. Technology advances, right,
Like shoe foams have come up even in the past
five or six years. Like, if you have more running
shoes in the past five or six years, and you
have the means to buy some more running shoes, Piba
foams and things like that, like these like high energy
return phones make running a lot more pleasant. But often
it's just like a different color scheme, you know, slightly

different upper. Yeah, and I think in that case you're
just fine. The other ones that Meryll kind of had
a reputation for making like old man hiking boots for
a while, but they're trail running shoes really great.

Speaker 3 (30:11):
That's cool. Yeah, my friend has Meryl shoes and they're cute.

Speaker 2 (30:16):
See they used to be cute. They used to be
very like dad coded.

Speaker 1 (30:19):

Speaker 3 (30:19):
I think they've turned a corner.

Speaker 2 (30:21):
Yeah they have. I'm a big fan. Now I'm wearing
some right now. Actually, Alex to wear Meryl. The Agility
Peak one is good. The long Sky is when I'm
like trail running in burlier terrain. If you're going to
buy boots or shoes, please try it on or at
least order them from a website that lets you send
them back. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (30:38):
I really think that's essential. I messed up the first
time I really invested in expensive boots. I got them
after all reading all these reviews, and I hated them.
Like I walked around my house and I was like,
these are terrible. But I was able to return them
to my ARII that was local, and I tried on
the other shoe I wanted to try on that they had,
and that was great. I walked around Aria and I

was like, this is the one you have to try
them on.

Speaker 2 (31:03):
Yeah, take the socks you're gonna wear when you're hiking
as well. They don't just take socks don't feel the same.
And then we walk around and the next thing I
had was backpacked. Actually, and I'm going to say the
same thing, like, the most important thing for a backpack
is that it fits your body and that it is
fitted to your body. Ari I will do that for free,
which is great. Lots of other outdoor shops San Diego

used to have a Venture sixteen. It's sadly closed rip.
But anyone who's trying to sell your backpack in person
and won't fit it to you is probably someone you
shouldn't buy a backpack from. So if you google around
enough and you have enough Google for you will find
a video of me teaching you how to wear your backpack.

Speaker 3 (31:42):
Someone will find that.

Speaker 2 (31:44):
Yes I know, and yeah, I've got a broken arm
in that video, which you can't tell. I haven't sought
medical attention. At the time of the video. I got
hit by a car and then I knew how to
eat video the next day, so I went to do
the video. I'd have to make money. It was broke.

Speaker 3 (32:01):
I will say that as someone who isn't the most
knowledgeable about the stuff, but I like it, and I
would consider myself like a I don't know, intermediate, not advanced,
but go into ARII and getting a backpack fit. And
that's what I did do, shy away from asking questions.
They're there to help, and I think as soon as
you get over that, you'll be fine. I feel like

as soon as I just like accept that these people
are there to help you and not to shame you,
hopefully that's great, and like, yeah, they're trying to sell
you things, but I don't know, just go in with
a smart head on your shoulders.

Speaker 2 (32:36):
Yeah, expect people to be well meaning, Like we all
just want you to be happy and enjoying the outdoors
with us, it's not a competition with backpacks. Real quickly,
you've got basically three distinct types. You have ultra light backpacks,
which you don't have a frame at all. Imagine a
bucket made of fabric with two straps so attached to
your back. I wouldn't suggest starting there. You have external

frame that's where the frame is external and the back
is clipped onto the frame. And you have internal frame
where the frame is integral to the bag. Right, most
of the bags you're probably going to look at our
internal frame to start with. The heavier the bag gets,
the more structure you get, and the more little pockets
an organization you get, those can seem super tempting, especially
when you're looking online and you're seeing like different specs

and trying to compare them. If you're a person who
has access to zip block bags, you don't need all
the pockets, right, Like, yeah, what I do every single
time they go back back and so I put a
bin bag in it that waterproofs it. Right, Yeah, it's
cool if your bags it's waterproof, I don't trust it
to be waterproof and it doesn't need to because I'm
going to put a bin bag in there. Anyway, and
then I put everything in stuff sacks as it block
bags in there. Likewise, you'll find lots of bags with

like seventy five ways to access the main pocket. Most
of the time you're going to have your stuff inside it.
A waterproof bag anyway, it's not such a big deal.

Speaker 3 (33:49):
I think the most important aspect of a bag that
used to look at first is just the weight.

Speaker 2 (33:53):
Yeah, you can fuck yourself up with a heavy bag.
Although that said, like, one of the bags that I
use the most for water up stuff is a Mystery
Ranch black Jack. It's a military bag. It's heavy, it's
like a I think it's five point seven pounds for
a bag, But I'm not trying to be light. What
I'm trying to do is fill it with gallons of water, right,

and then haul them up and down a mounted So
I might as well make the bag comfortable because it's
a negligible percentage of the overall weight of shit I'm carrying.

Speaker 3 (34:20):
That's fair.

Speaker 2 (34:21):
There's a bag with the Radix, the Mystery Ranch make
that I've been using a lot recently, and it's made
of like very lightweight material like an Ultrolte bag. But
I like their frames. They have like a yoke that
kind of wraps around your body as opposed to frame
that sits on top of your body, and that works
really well for me. Their warranty is good, their products
are good. I've used their bags in every continent apart

from the Antarctic and never had anything break, especially like
if you're a person who gets actiss about your ship breaking,
then you can't go wrong with them. They also have
incredible discount If you want one but you think it's
too expensive, take your time and you'll find the way cheaper.
That's a good bag to get. I like Gregory bags,
Osprey or a good brand. Osprey bags can.

Speaker 3 (35:03):
Tell what I have, But my backpacking backpack is an Osprey.

Speaker 2 (35:07):
Yeah. They're very comfortable. They have a lot going on
sometimes and they have that mesh. Do you have the
one with a mesh? Like? Yeah, they are very comfortable.
I have an Osprey bag that I really like. I
took it pack rafting in Alaska and it was great.
It was bomba If you're just going on a day hike,
you don't need very much backpack, right, twenty liters or
whatever is fine, even ten. I really like those running
vest file backpacks where you have like pogets on the front.

Have you seen those? You don't have to pack? Oh
it's cool? Yeah, do I have one? Send your piculator
shreat things? Yeah, I mean you're looking forward to it.
When I ran, I like to have a little water
flasks down there, and then that makes sense. Yeah, And
then I was like, why don't have this on my
normal backpack? Why am I having to like reach around
for my snacks. I'm all about fishiencies. So running vest

style backpacks are cool. Camelback has some good ones, everyone
called the Octane I use a lot. And then when
you're buying a backpack, you'll want to buy a little
water reservoir to go in it. One of the reasons
you're going to waterproof everything in your bag is because
every single water reservoir that you put in your backpack
will break at some point, and when it does, it

will send its contents into your bag and it will
be a bad day. And as you have water proved everything,
this will happen to you, especially if you like sit
down and lean back and then you crush it. So
that's where you're gonna water with everything. But I think
hydro pack like the best ones. I really like that,
insulated ones. Even if you don't get an insulated bladder,
get it insulated. Sucky su Susa worcherine. Thank you. Last

podcast of the day here, guys. Yeah, getting intated straw
because when it's really colder, who is your straw will
freeze because it's just like a small amount of water
right when it freezes more quickly.

Speaker 3 (36:47):
I never thought of that. I only backpacked and highten
really hot weather.

Speaker 2 (36:50):
Yeah, when it's below freezing, like even like I was
out on Palamar in October, a surry turned from a
Curtis Dan so it was, you know, below freezing up
of the mountain and know my water phrase, you can
blow your water back out again, but you're just going
to forget to do that realistically. And then yeah, the
last thing I had was hiking poles. Hiking poles great.

Speaker 3 (37:09):
I've never had a pole.

Speaker 2 (37:11):
You never had a pole? If you ever had a stick?

Speaker 3 (37:13):
I mean it likes fine ones, And I guess I
don't hike on the things I might need a pull for.
I guess I don't know.

Speaker 2 (37:20):
Yeah, they're great if you're someone who's like maybe has
some injuries or you're worried about your knees just because
they hurt in general life. They were a great way
to take this strain.

Speaker 3 (37:30):
Of the I'm trying to give into my mom to
get a pair of poles, because I think she would
really benefit from them, because she wants to go on
all these hikes and yeah, just needs help. So there's
no shame in getting a pole or two.

Speaker 2 (37:41):
I will donate your mom some poles. Sarene Oh, it's
my gifts, my gift you. Suren's mom helped me translate
for some migrants the other day. My mom's the best
I'll send your mom. Don't be afraid of using them.
Don't be thinking that like anyone's going to judge you
for using them. Like if that makes you feel more
stable and come table, go for it. Don't buy the

ones that telescope I mean by telescope, like yeah, because
they collapse. And I remember I was up in the
Sierras six or seven years ago now and it was
fucking snowier than I'd expected. Then my stupid hiking pole
collapsed into itself. It just it just made the day
like less fun.

Speaker 3 (38:22):
Yeah, I can imagine that.

Speaker 2 (38:24):
But otherwise it's stick is great, right, find a nice
stick phone with a nice notch your thumb. You get
it from a nice type of wood. Used to love
making sticks when I was little. You can get a
stick topper. You can order them online. You know, it's
got like a head of a dog or a pheasant
or a deer.

Speaker 3 (38:38):
Or a cane. It's like a fancy little cane.

Speaker 2 (38:41):
Yeah, we had crooks, you know, a crook no, for
like when you're catching your sheep, James.

Speaker 3 (38:48):
Why you mean, like there's the hook looking thing.

Speaker 2 (38:53):
Yes, yeah, it's called a croak. I did not know that.

Speaker 3 (38:56):
I know what you're talking now that you mentioned sheep.
I know what that is, but I've never known.

Speaker 2 (39:00):
Yeah, because you're sheep eggs. But yeah, it's got a crook.
We so those great for walking? I can see that. Yeah, yeah,
so we we used to use those a lot when
I was a kid. But yeah, having one is great.
And I think especially like if you're nervous about falling
going you know with your person who worries about the knees.
If you're picking your first route, keep it pretty flat.

If you're going up my down a lot of elevation
and you're worried about how that's going to feel. The
poles are a good way to mitigate someonem worried that
I'm going to fall on my knees. But yeah, don't
feel afraid of using that stuff. Oh, I forgot to
say one thing. In my shoes. Think chacos are the
best sandals. Fuck all other sandals. That's what I have
to say about that. You know when you're cool because
you have the z from the chaco's burned onto your feet. Well,

unless you practice foot skincare, which I've not upgraded to
that level yet.

Speaker 3 (39:46):
I was thinking about getting those. I remember I was
signing between those and something else, and I got off
for something else. But now I have to go back
and get those.

Speaker 2 (39:54):
A couple of years ago, I rafted with some people
who listened to the podcast. They invited me and I
went and we did a week on the Colorado. Oh
that's so cool. You're so trusting little irl. I like
to go outside. It was cool. I like people. So
some of them reached out and I said, yeah, let
let's go for a rafting trip. So we went on
a rafting trip on the Colorado River. And now I

wore my chackos the whole time, while sun cream none
of the time. Feet were just roasted, just red, but
with a little z from the chack for the whole summer. Anyways,
they are very comfortable sandals. One of my friends, another
podcast listener, is hugging the PCT in his chackos right now.
Thanks go to Canada. So yeah, I hope you're doing well.

They know who they are. Surprisingly enough, I've gone long
talking about outdoor things.

Speaker 3 (40:40):
But no, I'm glad you took the time to make
this little list. I realized I don't have to be
as big of a dummy as I thought. I thought
I was going to come in here and being a
huge dummy. I know more than I think I do.
You know, and I know what to do outside most
of the time.

Speaker 2 (40:55):
Yes, sure, yes you do. Thank you for listening to
me talking about going outside. If you have any questions,
you can DM me on Twitter. That's the only way
I communicate with anyone now, don't have a dm me
and I'll send you my email. But really, like I
just want people to feel that the outdoors is for
them and feel safe and feel comfortable and feel like

they know all the things they need to know, and
to not buy stuff because someone's getting three percent back
on it even though they've never touched it in their
whole lives. And also, like I know that we're all
fucking poor and spending your money is hard. So I've
tried to suggest stuff so it's not crazy expensive or
that you can find on sale. But if you have questions. Oh,
one more thing, there's a company called Outdoor Vitals which

has a subscription. You can be a member and then
you can get a lot of their stuff cheap for backpacking.
It's a good company and they make some good stuff
and they do some good stuff the outdoors as well.
But yeah, if you have questions, you can message me.
We will do one about what to put in your
bag when you get backpacking eventually, Yeah, go outside. Send
us your photos if you're going outside, if they're not weird,

we would like there.

Speaker 1 (42:01):
It could Happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
coolzonemedia dot com, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can
find sources for It Could Happen Here, updated monthly at
coolzonemedia dot com slash sources. Thanks for listening,

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