Thank you for signing up for "Introduction to Backpacking", Sierra Club trip #12125A
Francy Rubin, the other leader, and I will do everything we can to help you have a comfortable, safe and enjoyable hiking outing.
Forms - Approval:
Here is some introductory information.
The main problems on previous trips has been conditioning (It's no fun if you are constantly struggling to keep up with the group - See preparation below.) and blisters (see boots below).
We strongly recommend that you consider borrowing or renting a backpacking tent and a backpack (make sure it fits) instead of purchasing these items. If you do not have a tent, notify the leader, as other participants on the trip may be willing to share.
The main thing you need to consider now is your boots. You'll be much happier if they're well broken in BEFORE the trip. You won't need heavy-duty hard-core stiff all-leather boots - nylon uppers are fine. However, high-top boots are required because you will be carrying loads over rough terrain and possibly thru some snow. (Yes, the last two years there has been snow on the ground in July).
I encourage you to begin a consistent training program to prepare for the hiking now. Keep in mind that the elevation of Clair Tappaan Lodge is 7200 ft. and if there's any way you can hike at altitude before coming it will prove helpful. At any rate, go on hikes, climb stairs, walk, bicycle -- anything that gets you moving and your heart rate up is beneficial. Treadmills and stairmasters are good to a point, but it is important to spend time walking on uneven terrain to simulate a mountain trail. Both uphill and downhill are important as they use different muscle groups. Don't worry about the degree of strenuousness involved. Even if you walk 4 to 5 miles a day, allow at least 3 to 4 weeks to train (If you're new to exercise, you'll need 6 to 8 weeks).
In future correspondence to the group I'd like to share participant's e-mail addresses so they can arrange ride sharing from the airport or compare notes. If you'd rather I not share your e-mail please let me know.
Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions. I am retired, so you can call anytime 8 AM-11 PM EST (732) 560-0369.
Note: You may see several email addresses for me, they all go to the same place, so you can reply to any of them. See dtmcbride.name/contact.html