As a 5'1" female, I have trouble finding pants that fit in general. Many companies have gotten better about offering short or petite sizes, but when you are dealing with niche items like trail pants, it's a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. So when I saw the Prana Halle pants at REI last year in short lengths, I was pretty pumped.
Prior to that moment, I would wear yoga or workout pants while hiking in cooler weather. While they are super comfortable and easy to wear, they lack things like pockets, wind and water repellency (is that a word? it is now), and protection from thorny brush. Over the years, I had tried a few variations of trail pants, Columbia and Royal Robbins come to mind, but none ever truly felt good to wear.
I've had the Prana Halle pants now for over a year, I actually have two pair. So far, I have been super happy with them. They fit my short legs better than any other pants I've tried. They are slightly stretchy, but not in a clingy way. They are truly comfortable, and they are the pants I reach for when I am traveling as they look nice and feel better than anything else I own. They have button pockets on the back, which are flattering and accentuate your booty in a good way. The material is water repellent and doesn't get caught on brush. They have lots of pockets. They also have tabs so that you can roll them up and wear them as capris, which is great in hotter weather or when hiking in wet conditions. They are flattering and are as at home on the trail as they are running errands around town. I actually get more use out of them as regular pants than trail pants. I have worn them to work many times and always received compliments on them. They wash and dry perfectly and seem impervious to wrinkles. For someone who has a strong aversion to ironing, that quality alone makes them worth their weight in gold. These seem to have a slightly generous fit, I am 5'1" and 125lbs and wear a size 2, but a 0 would have probably worked better for me due to the stretch of these pants.
There are really only two things I would change to make these go from almost perfect to perfect.
I recently found out that they have a lined version of these pants for cold weather. I look forward to checking them out and can almost guarantee they will become a part of my wardrobe very soon. I hope Prana keeps making these pants for a long time, because my search is over and I won't even look at other pants anymore.
If any men out there have tried the men's version, we would love to hear your opinion!
Keep Hiking Forward!
I don't care what your hiking or camping group dynamics look like... there is always certain qualities or job functions that are either handed out or are inherent in everyone's personalities or experiences that makes them perfect for said job. In each camping or hiking crew there is the gear head who has everything under sun and nothing weighs more then a pound. You have the slow guy or gal who is always late to the party. You have the person who packs too much or not enough and you have the person who keeps things light, is quick with a joke or simply sets the tone within 5 minutes of arriving.
When this happens and you start laughing 5 minutes into a camping or hiking trip and you feel the fun vibe... you know "this is going to be an awesome weekend".
Folks, we have our "Funny Guy"! This is one of the most important characters in the outdoor group. Without the funny man... all could be lost. Not wanting to be lost on our collective adventure on this project we are happy to have this funny guy along for the ride. Jeremy LaCorte is a proud dad of two young lads who are already lovers of the outdoors. Florida, is home but the outdoors of the southeastern portion of the US are Jeremy's favorite spots. As you will read in his profile, Jeremy has some short and long term outdoors goals for himself and his young boys.
I gotta admit, all I keep thinking about is the scene from Goodfellas with Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta. HA! "What do you mean I'm Funny... Fun How? The Way I Talk? Do I amuse you? I'm Funny how?"
See that's the kinda stuff you need on an trip to set the tone.
Join me in welcoming Jeremy to the "la familia" - HA!
Click below to check out Jeremy's Hiking Forward Correspondents Profile.
Keep Hiking Forward!
Whats better then finding one person who is just as nuts about the outdoors as I am to contribute to Hiking Forward? Finding TWO! I am a firm believer in the outdoor gods or the nature of serendipity that surrounds those of us in the outdoor community. Mike and Melanie came to Hiking Forward for basic inspiration for their own blog they have started All The Adventure (which is awesome BTW ~ go check it out!). Upon reading the first page, a story I wrote about our collective love of outdoor and gear stickers sung to both Mike and Melanie. Soon, I get an email for some stickers for their own adventure mobile.
Happy to oblige, I wrote back saying that the stickers would soon be en route to them. Before I emailed, I had to check out their site and recent work. Quite impressed with the quality of the content and excited they too adventure with their pooch trilled me to no end. In the response back I asked both Mike and Mel to consider becoming Hiking Forward Correspondents. Let me just say that this was all transpiring while I was hopping planes in the airport last week. Within a short flight from Atlanta to St. Louis, an application was in my email and a phone conversation at 11pm ET transpired. Most people would think we are nuts, crazy and out of our minds. Yes, what is your point? We are all lovers and stewards of the outdoors and will go to the ends to enjoy them, protect and help others experience them.
After an hour long and enjoyable conversation about our individual perspectives on blogging, gear, favorite trips etc. we were collectively all excited about moving forward together on this project.
I am honestly stoked to have our first couple, first female, dog adventurer and another veteran on board for this project. Diversity is the name of the game and Hiking Forward has struck it rich with the addition of these two very driven and committed adventurers.
Stay tuned for more from our newest members of the Hiking Forward Family.
In the meantime check out Mike and Melanie's Hiking Correspondent Profile here on Hiking Forward as well as their other social links and blogs.
Keep Hiking Forward!
Grace wanted to be a part of the final test of the Tribe Provisions Adventure Hammock because I have been using this awesome hammock every week for the past many weeks at her soccer practice. (see pics below)
It's amazing how much nicer soccer practice is when you have two nice sturdy trees and a great hammock to hang in.
So lets throw a few things out there. I am a firm believer in quality gear, but also don't believe you need spend and arm and a leg for it.
Tribe Provisions doing both of these thing quite well. This is a quality hammock and it won't break the bank. For some, hammocking is somewhat of a new concept and idea. People are just more familiar with sleeping on the ground, I guess. Silly people! Hammocks are for everybody!
Hanging this hammock cant' be simpler and it comes with the ropes necessary for hanging it. Listen up folks, a hammock and straps (which you normally have to buy separately) can run you near $80-$100. No wonder hammocking is off limits or not in the cards for some. This hammock for $29.99 comes with everything you need to either just hang out at the park and read a book, lay and take a nap while car camping or start to seriously consider hammock camping/backpacking.
Prior to purchasing some gear we all have tribulations about pulling the trigger. We wonder, am I really going to use this? Is it worth the money? Will it last?
If you have never hung out in a hammock, my friends you don't know what you are missing. For those of you that have, I am sorry you spent so much money on your hammock. For what you spent on your hammock you could have bought everyone in your family a Tribe Provisions Adventure Hammock.
Hammock Specs: (from Tribe Provisions)
Keep Hiking & Hammocking Forward!
We at Hiking Forward are pleased to announce our second Hiking Forward Correspondent. Not only are we thrilled with the project to fill the cadre of correspondents is moving "forward" but we are extremely honored to have another proud dad aboard the crew and a veteran. Our first veteran and a Marine, is now part of the Hiking Forward Correspondents crew... Semper Fi!
Tom, resides in Wisconsin just like our first Hiking Forward Correspondent Peter Dargatz. Just like Peter, Tom has a lot of experience on the Ice Age Trail and the great north woods of Wisconsin.
Tom and his young daughter along with a small yet close group of friend are frequent visitors to the wild of Wisconsin and places as far away as Colorado. I anticipate Tom will bring a unique fatherly and adventurous voice to Hiking Forward from his regular adventures.
Just like most of us, the city life can be taxing, too fast and too close for some. Tom just like those of you who read this blog needs the outdoors, to unwind, relax and connect with those he enjoys spending time with. I think if this sounds like you, what Tom provides via Hiking Forward will be very familiar and quite enjoyable.
Stay tuned for more from our newest member of the Hiking Forward Family.
In the meantime check out Tom's Hiking Correspondent Profile here on Hiking Forward as well as his other social links and blogs.
Keep Hiking Forward!
We are very pleased here at Hiking Forward at the overwhelming response to our call for writers, photographers and outdoor junkies to share the stories of their experiences in the wilderness via the Hiking Forward Correspondents Program.
As a blogger who resides in the Midwest I find it fitting to have the first announced Hiking Forward Correspondent to also live, hike and adventure here as well.
Peter Dargatz lives just up the road a bit in Wisconsin. A great young fellow and proud family man, he too "gets" the Hiking Forward mantra. Knowing that other people smell what I am cooking here is truly an awesome experience for this blogger.
Peter and I had the opportunity to chat last week about what motivates him in the outdoors as well as within his daily life to ensure he gets himself and young family outdoors as much as possible. As a kindergarten teacher, busy dad and husband Peter still finds time to serve his local hiking chapter and serve as a hiking coordinator in Wisconsin. To use the Star Wars line... per our phone conversation, the force is strong in this one. I sense the outdoors are not just something Peter enjoys... Peter is the outdoors. Peter isn't Peter without the outdoors and the outdoors aren't half as grand without Peter and his young family.
We here at Hiking Forward and all of you who read this blog (thank you!) will soon be the beneficiaries from what Peter will be providing us from the great woods of Wisconsin. I think his unique perspective as a young family man who is working hard to bring up his adorable young daughter and family in the outdoor community will serve us all well. Peter's insights will serve those who are either striving to do the same or know someone who needs a hint on how to emulate the Dargatz family.
Stay tuned for great insights.
In the meantime check out Peter's Hiking Correspondent Profile here on Hiking Forward as well as his other social links and blogs.
Keep Hiking Forward!
I stood outside of a motel in New Meadows, Idaho on a clear brisk morning wearing a new knit hat from a new friend wondering what the next six days ahead of me would be like. That morning I left excited, nervous and ready to take on whatever challenges laid ahead. Hell Hike and Raft over the next six days did in deed challenge me, reward me and open up a part of me that needed to once again be opened.
With new friends, new gear and full of expectations of an epic adventure we collectively set of into the wilderness. A year later on the cusp of just returning once again from the Seven Devils and Hells Canyon this time with a new group of epic adventurers, I feel truly grateful.
While each trip for me has it's own merits, stories, bonds formed and specific memories this recent adventure was quite invigorating. Maybe it was because I knew what to expect, knew what was around the next corner but I felt stronger and hiked better then I can remember. Climbs and stretches of the hike that kicked my butt last year had minimal impact on me this year. Your probably thinking well you must have trained harder this year knowing what was upon you? Right? Wrong! I did nothing. Eating, traveling for work and partaking of things that would not be helpful for ascending 1,000 ft on day one were the norm. My unintended strategy was also hampered by a wrist brace to secure at the time what I thought was a sprained wrist. Recently, I just found this injury may be a torn radial meniscus in my left wrist. Yeah Me! I will keep everyone posted on the outcome of my impending MRI and potential surgery. :(
My mantra of Hiking Forward truly came alive inside me during this past trek. I saw things I didn't notice the year before or potentially were too tired or exhausted to look for. The extra energy, strength, endurance whatever it was that let me feel the way I was allowed me to do things I didn't do the year before as well. Experiencing new things definitely enhanced the trip and my spirits along the way. Backpacking no matter how you feel, for me gives a natural high. Seeing nature in its pristine state and seeing things most don't get the privilege too, helps make the next step easier for me. But on top of the beauty within the Seven Devils having the legs to conquer and accomplish this journey in a way I never knew was possible made this adventure truly amazing for me deep in my core.
I know I am not getting any younger (damn birthday just a few days away) and moments and feelings like this will obviously diminish over time. But I feel its important to cherish every adventure no matter how you felt during it. On any trek you need a baseline. Last year was my baseline and I loved every minute of it. But without it, I would not have known just how amazing I felt this year and been able take advantage of all the new experiences.
Word of advice. Do the same adventure again. Not all the time. But go and take your favorite backpacking trip or hiking trip again. See what you can see, go slower, go faster. Camp somewhere different. Experiencing the same thing in a different way and maybe with different people can be quite and epic adventure.
Keep Hiking Forward
Hiking Forward Stickers