Camino minus 27 – Holey Soles

Today I tracked down another sporting goods store. My dear friend had told me about two stores, one in town, one about 10 minutes outside. I found the one in town a few days ago and drooled over the nice equipment. Today I went to the other, smaller, less fashion conscious store. More boots, backpack, MUCH bigger catalog.

I also corresponded with an on-line Camino Forum friend who has a pair of tech pants to sell. Those are pants designed for outdoor wear. Not denim, nor any kind of cotton, which has become anathema in outdoor wardrobe. Actually, there is a difference between tech clothing and “normal” clothes.  Tech clothing, usually a combination of polyester and other stuff, is lighter, yet not lightweight. The fabric wicks moisture (formerly known as “sweat”) and dries quickly. These materials can comfortably handle a day of outdoor activity. I wouldn’t wear them to chop logs, but for hiking, sure.

Unfortunately, I had to do a fast 180 on those pants when I ran into the boots crisis I wrote about a few days ago. My on-line  friend is on her way out the door to begin her adventure and wants to know if I’m still interested. I asked her about the length of the zipper in the front. If the zipper is short, I’ll know they are women’s pants designed more for fashion than for practicality and are designed to sit, sexily, at the hips. If the zipper is long, I’ll know they are designed to head up to the waist and will stay put in spite of all the things I’ll need to pack around the waist – belt, power bars, euros, Kleenex, and my own personal “muffin top,” and I don’t mean Betty Crocker, although that lady may have had something to do with it.

I bought some tech wash and “Impregnator” from the second store. Tech wash is the special laundry soap you use on those pieces of outdoor clothing you spent tons of money on – or got a great discount on – and don’t want to have disintegrate too quickly. Fancy fleece, down, socks. “Impregnator” is the stuff you spray on your formerly waterproof items to make them waterproof again. I have a beloved red rain jacket that has seen me through miles of adventure and will go with me again this time. However, I think I’ve washed it once in ten years.

Hey, it doesn’t really get dirty.  Don’t judge me!

But I don’t think it’s waterproof anymore. I’ll find a German friend who can translate the directions and I’m sure my jacket will turn out great. Or it may simply dissolve as I spray, like sneezing on cotton candy.

Imagine my delight in announcing to DH when he got home, “Guess what, honey? I was hanging around in town and found a spray impregnator!”

Downstairs of today’s store brought me face to face with a rack of Crocs. Those ugly, plastic shoes. People who wear them swear by them and Camino people have praised their comfort at the end of the day when they need another pair of shoes for tired toes to retreat into. I had walked to the store in my old, worn out pair of low tops. The sides are bursting, the toe stops in the front are peeling away from the shoe, there are holes in the soles so water cannot stay out. They are, of course, as comfortable as a pair of slippers. And as 800 km trek worthy.

Perhaps I should take those instead of the sandals I bought a month ago.

This second store also had a sleeping bag liner, 100% silk, for half the price I’ve seen anywhere else.

Tempting. Silk. Ahhhh.

But the more I spend on this side of the trip, the less I’ll have available when I hit day 14 on the Camino and need to spend a day in a luxury hotel, with room service and hot showers.

I need to do more walking outdoors and less in sporting stores.


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