Lia and David's Grand
gaiters kept dust and sand out of my hiking shoes and kept my feet
from getting irritated or blistered. My socks were encrusted with
red sandstone above the gaiter line, but stayed soft and clean below!
The gaiters kept the boot laces clean, too, which I appreciated when
I needed to readjust my lacing. And at only 1.2 ounces, the gaiters
add no burden. They were widely envied on my hike; I could have given
away half a dozen pairs!
The Leki Thermolite
AERGON XL had the perfect combination of ergo handle, long grip,
flip-lock top adjustment, and anti-shock. I wouldn't have given up
any of those features to save money. The poles let me hike with
stability and safety down the steep South Kaibab Trail, and with
power and efficiency up the Bright Angel Trail.
Fox pole gloves (bicycling gloves?) are excellent. Good padding,
breathable mesh, and no scratchy Velcro. I fear the nice lightweight ones
I have are no longer available, though.
My Tag Safari Convertible Safari Pants
were lovely. Very lightweight, soft cotton women's trousers that
converted to a comfortably short pair of shorts with several pockets.
The South Kaibab Trail was icy at the top and sunny hot at the bottom,
so these pants kept me comfortable the whole hike.
The Sunday Afternoon Adventure Hat
was perfect for the whole trip. It provided encompassing shade against
the thin, sunny desert air, and it was soft enough to tuck under a
parka hood when necessary at the cold canyon rim. Its adjustable band
let me wear a fleece watch cap underneath when I needed to. I could
have given a lot of these away on the trip, too.
Camelbak hydration backpacks rule! I carried the three-liter
which had enough room to store all the of layers I needed to peel and
carry as I descended, plus lots of food and an over-cautious amount of
first-aid supplies. [David says: Total agreement on Camelbak; I carried
a little smaller but with the same three-liter bladder. (Alas, I see that
in 2015 it says it is discontinued.)
Note that neither pack would have been sufficient had we not used the
service to send most of our stuff on ahead by mule.]