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How To Train For a Walk Across the Country - Part 3: The Equipment

This is the third in a three part series about my Walk For Liberty training. To read part one, click here. For part two, click here.

I have a confession to make – I’m a geek at heart. One of the fun things about training for my walk across America is getting to use all my walking-related gadgets.

GPS watch and heart monitor

Garmin Forerunner 305 Wrist-Mounted GPS Fitness Computer with Heart Rate Monitor

This is the crown jewel of my collection. The watch itself includes built-in GPS for speed/location. It also comes with a heart monitor that straps around your chest. The heart rate portion is nice, but for my purposes it’s really more for statistical reasons and for noting how my heart rate changes as I improve with training. If you’re walking aerobically for exercise though, it would be very helpful.

My main use for the Garmin watch is to know how far I go on each walk. This is important to keep track of so I can chart my progress over time. Knowing the total time and average pace I’ve walked each day are also good statistical data.

Another extremely useful feature that I’ve started using more recently is the mapping capability. Unfortunately, the watch doesn’t have actual maps on it to show where you are. However, it does record a “bread crumb” trail of where you’ve gone on a particular walk. This is of course especially important if someday I happen to get lost in a banana field. :P

One last feature of the watch which will be crucial for me on the Walk For Liberty is the “mark location” feature. There will be times when I need to leave my walking route (particularly for a few days when I need to travel back to a family reunion). I’ll be able to note the exact spot where I left off walking, and then have the watch guide me back there to start up again.

Pocket PC and bluetooth headphones

Motorola S9 Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones

These are a pleasure to use. I don’t like using wired earbuds with my phone since they always get tangled up, and simply aren’t very convenient. Using these wireless headphones, I can listen to my Free Talk Live podcast unfettered.

Sprint PPC-6700 Pocket PC phone

You can’t tell from the picture, but my phone is a little beaten up (that’s because I’ve dropped it a lot). This phone/PDA still works great though. It’s useful for listening to podcasts (such as Free Talk Live), taking notes, making phone calls, accessing the internet, and many other things. I wouldn’t go without it on my walks.

Plastic quart bag

It might sound silly, but this is very useful for protecting your phone or iPod if you get caught in the rain. Don’t laugh! It might come in handy for you some day.

Sneakers and hydration backpack

CamelBak MaXimum Gear ThermoBak 2L hydration backpack

I started using this hydration backpack a couple weeks ago to get used to walking with it. Since there will be times on the Walk itself where the support RV will be nowhere around, I’ll definitely need to walk with one of these. I figured I might as well get used to walking with it now.

Mizuno Wave Creation 8 sneakers

I just got these yesterday, and am already glad I did. Previously I was switching between 2 older pairs of sneakers. I could tell that their time was up and that I needed new ones since they would often hurt my shins and feet. Unfortunately it took me a while to find a good pair of shoes that were comfortable. Because this model is being discontinued, I got them at a nice discount. So far they feel great.

Mace / Pepper spray?

A few days ago I came across a barking dog during one of my walks. Fortunately, he was all bark and no bite, and retreated as I came closer. That got me thinking though, that mace or pepper spray might be useful during the Walk for defensive purposes against dogs. If you have any specific suggestions or recommendations, please leave a comment or contact me.

Fun Stuff

Walk For Liberty t-shirt, Free State Project hat, Ron Paul hat

Walk For Liberty T-shirt

My wife Brooke and I made up 4 of these for my trip to the Liberty Forum in January. Why pass up further opportunities to publicize the Walk though? I almost always wear one of the t-shirts during my training.

Ron Paul / Free State Project hats

Since promoting those causes is the primary reason I’m walking across the country, why miss out on promoting them either? ;)

I hope this series has served as a useful guide. If you’re planning your own walk across the country, let me know and I’ll try to be of assistance.

Please leave a comment.

6 Responses to “How To Train For a Walk Across the Country - Part 3: The Equipment”

  1. Brooke Says:

    I’m glad you’re not going to get lost in a banana patch. I’m also glad that the new shoes are working out so well. I do have a suggestion for the dogs. Maybe you should carry around a can of vienna sausage around with you, and throw some on the ground to distract them. It would save you from being bitten and get rid of any gross processed meat you have in the house.

  2. Cathleen Says:

    Hi! We met at the Liberty forum. I am getting excited for you. You didn’t mention if your phone has walkie talkie capability. Could be good idea to always be in touch with your support vehicle. Some places just don’t have cell coverage.

    And your new shoes…if you really like them, I suggest buying a supply of them. You will go through more than you think, and changing kinds along the way could cause your feet some grief.

    I like the Ron Paul and FSP caps but your neck will get burned. Oh, and good move to move the route away from the southwest.

    Remember my suggestion to leave as early as possible. Delays could mean a cold walk in the fall.

  3. Will Buchanan Says:

    Hi Cathleen, thanks for the great suggestions!

    - Will

  4. Jon Says:


    May I suggest that you do not shave your face during the entire walk. This will give you a time line of where you are in the walk.

    Kind regards,


  5. will Says:

    cool shirt … may i have one for advertise in my country

  6. Ray Says:

    I think a BB pistol is a good idea too, for unresponsive dogs (with mace) and as a deterent should you have human nuisances…

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