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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.