- Food & water – Two 16-ounce water bottles, 3 granola bars, 2 nut packets, 2 small raisin boxes
- First –Aid – band-aids, mole skin, Kleenex, bug repellant, bandana, chap stick
- Day-to-day – wallet, keys, cell phone (silenced), reading glasses
- Other – trail map, journal, pen, small camera
When it comes to meditation walking, it’s more about just-get-out-there-and-do-it than taking time to think about what to wear. Having a sense of the weather is helpful, but in a simplistic way – step outside, feel the temperature and eyeball the sky, then go for it. If, and only if, the sky reveals the potential for some serious storms will I check TV or online weather – too many times I’ve cancelled because there might be bad weather; and, too few times have I actually been caught in OMG lightning storms. I have had some amazing walks in the rain, in the snow, and in the wind.
What I do know, is that having the right walking shoes is the secret to comfortable feet which in turn makes meditation walks possible. With shoes that hurt, your meditation will certainly be focused on the here-and-now, but not in an uplifting, restorative way. Be prepared for a trial-and-error process until you to find your right shoes. I’ve bought pricey shoes that hurt my feet (and my wallet); I’ve bought inexpensive shoes that hurt my feet (at least my wallet didn’t take a hit); then, I finally found what works for me (Keen brand shoes). I don’t know what brand will work for you, just as much as you probably won’t know until you buy and try a pair. Many retailers, such as REI, know about the finding-the-right-pair-of-walking-shoes chapter in our lives and allow customers to return or exchange shoes for a myriad of reasons – such as poor fit, or strange wear-out patterns – regardless of how long you have owned the shoes! So until you’ve found your forever brand, consider buying from stores who will work with you to get it right.
For clothing, layers are always best – peel-off layers when you get hot, put-on layers when you get cold. For trail hikes, I use a fanny pack to carry my stuff including my oh-this-hike-is-way-longer-(or-harder)-than-I-thought water and food supply and my it’s-always-something stash of basic first-aid supplies. Here’s what’s in my pack:
Leslie Gernon is an outdoor guide (i.e., shinrin-yoku walks, wellness walks, and labyrinth events), counselor