Prepping Year

Our first walk of the season – The Rideau Trail

It wasn’t snowing, it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t freezing cold out! Finally! Weather nice enough that Rachel and I couldn’t help but load up the backpacks and take a walk. We decided to loop around the Rideau Trail for a 13km/8mi walk. Rachel packed the tent, sleeping bag, extra water bottle and snacks all of which came in around ~15lbs. My bag had clothing, cans, a medicine ball and boxing gloves which brought the weight up to about ~29lbs. These weights are close to what we anticipate having on the trail with some food/water packed. After mounting a few water bottles to the sides of our packs we were off!

The trail is well marked with orange markers and it was pleasant as well as fairly empty besides a few future Olympian speed bikers plowing through at 100km/h. They would alert of us of the oncoming collisions by yelling which side of the path they were going to pass us on.  I don’t know why they couldn’t ring a bell and pass on the left? Probably because these Olympic caliber bikes don’t come with bells? I don’t know… Luckily we avoided any collisions and had a wonderful time. We managed to snap a few (too many) selfies on the trail and only once we get home did I realize we didn’t take pictures of any actual scenery or sights, it’s a dozen pictures of our faces, so my apologies to our instagram followers.

So what did we learn on our first outing? Rachel is bony and her Gregory Amber 44 wasn’t as comfortable as she anticipated. She had no issues during the actual walk, however, after getting home/this morning she has some sore spots on the hip bones and shoulders where the weight of the bag is mostly focused. I’m going to try to feed her more poutine to add additional padding on her body instead of the bag and we’re going to make some adjustments to the bag before we head out for another walk. My bag, the Osprey Exos 48 was comfortable and left no sore spots on my body, but my shoes definitely need an update. I’ve been lugging around some heavy “waterproof” shoes for nearly a year now and these ratty old bastards gotta go. I’m also dealing with a mild knee injury which I got from a jujitsu competition a few weeks ago. A suspected mcl sprain/tear has been bugging me since but felt 90% recovered before the walk until I woke up this morning. The knee pain is back, however, it still feels stable and fully functional, another week of light duties will hopefully bring it back to normal.

Overall, it was a beautiful day for a walk, Ottawa is a beautiful city and the trails throughout the city are worth a look. I can’t wait for our next outing.

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