So close but yet so far…

Are you similar to me where I sometimes keep meaning to do something but also keep forgetting? If so, and you have been meaning to donate to Make-A-Wish, let today be the day! I’m $541 from my goal and have 17 days to go! THANK YOU so much to those that have already supported me. Your one time donation over $5 matters!

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Dirty Girl Gaiters

All quotes are from

I finally gave in to peer pressure and purchased a pair of Dirty Girl Gaiters to wear when I’m hiking. For the unknowing, Dirty Girl Gaiters are lightweight gaiters that fit from just above your ankle and cover the opening on your shoes to prevent rocks, dirt, and other objects from entering. They give every disclaimer possible on the website, but just understand these are lightweight “four-way stretch spandex fabric similar to the fabrics used in bathing suits and lightweight running tights.” These are for maintained trails only! They are not meant to be worn if you expect to be “trekking through overgrown vegetation, bushwacking, or coming into contact with sharp objects.”

With the disclaimers out of the way, I decided to get a pair for three reasons… 1) I will be doing lots of hiking in the next few months. 2) My new trail shoes (Altra Lone Peaks 3.5) come with hook and loop tab allowing for strapless gaiter attachment without any modifications. 3) I HATE having to stop and get objects that have gotten in my shoes.

Here’s just a few notes about the product I found interesting. They are made in Green Valley, Arizona and have a pattern or theme for just about everyone and everything! If you are looking for mundane and boring hiking gaiters, you will probably have sensory overload on their website. I had a difficult time finding one I would wear without going plain solid which is too boring. I selected an American Flag theme. They are VERY affordable at $20 to $24 a pair and shipped the same day as I purchased them. Make sure you read the sizing information before ordering.

Here’s what comes in the package:

The contents of the Ziploc bag: Two gaiters, Velcro, and instructions.

Slip on your sock, the gaiter, then your shoe. The hook fits nicely of the front attachment point (or your bottom lace).

My shoes have a Velcro Tab built in the back. If your shoe does not come with this, they send a strip of Velcro and instructions with the gaiters.

Gaiters on my shoes:

I’m looking forward to trying these out on the trail in the next week or two!

Do you have a set of Dirty Girls?

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Follow me on my 20 mile training hike

Do you want to virtually follow my progress as I hike from anywhere in the world?

Using my public page, you can follow my progress from my SPOT GPS Messenger as I embark on a planned 20 mile training hike here:

It will be visible for 7 days (until 03 March 2018).

My plan is to begin at 7am CST and hike in the Sipsey Wilderness trails 203, 207, 208, 224, and 203 although I may go in the opposite direction. Here is a map for reference:

I’m training for the Trailblaze Challenge for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Alabama. You may find out more or make a donation to my cause here:

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I bought new shoes….

Since my very first hike I have worn Merrill Moab Ventilators.  They are great shoes – easy to find, affordable, comfortable, and have served me well for many trips.  I typically buy a new pair every year because water crossings and being off trail are tough on shoes. Initially I wore the ankle high waterproof version. Then I progressed to the same style in a non waterproof version to a the lower cut non-waterproof shoe.  I have enjoyed them and put many, many miles on them.

Yesterday I bought a different brand hiking shoe for the first time in about 8 years.  I debated in the past about changing, as the Merrill’s have never treated me wrong.  Recently on a 15 mile day hike (yeah, you read that right and I have a blog entry about it here: I found that afterwards my feet were a little more sore than usual.  That’s usually the sign for a new pair of shoes…

So yesterday I went to Fleet Feet in Huntsville, Alabama.  They have this cool little scanner that measures your feet and measures all sorts of dimensions.  Maria was the nicest, kindest, most patient person ever as I must have tried on every style of trail shoe in the store.

I settled on the Altra Lone Peak 3.5.  They are SO comfortable and almost a pound lighter per pair than my Merrill Moab Ventilator shoes.  I added a pair of lock laces because I HATE my shoes coming untied while I’m hiking. I’ll be wearing them this week in preparation for a 20ish mile training hike this weekend.  I’ll post a trip report and review when I finish.





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Fundraising: Basic First Aid Kits for Sale!

The price is $20 each and the proceeds are for my fundraising and go to the Alabama Trailblaze Challenge for Make-A-Wish. To donate (without purchasing a First Aid Kit) or learn more, click on the following link:
They weigh approximately 3.55 ounces (or 101 grams) each and include the following:
1 each Quart Ziploc bag with Make-A-Wish/Trailblaze Challenge sticker. (light and waterproof)
2 each 3”x4” sterile non-adherent pads
2 each 3”x3” Sterile Gauze Pads
2 each large (1/2”x2 ¾”) Butterfly Wound Closures
2 each Band-Aids (various sizes) but one larger and one smaller size in each kit
1 each Tick Key (ummm, to remove ticks) various colors.
4 each individually sealed Pepto Bismol chewable tablets
3 each 1 ½” safety pins
2 each 0.9 gram (1/32 oz.) triple antibiotic ointment packets
2 each packets of Ibuprofen (2 each 200 mg tablets per packet)
Approximately 24 continuous inches of Leukotape wrapped around a plastic straw
2 each packets of antiseptic towelette (unfolds to 5”x7”)
1 each plastic tweezers
1 each one oz. container of Gold Bond medicated powder
I have 50 kits ready to sell.
You may purchase one by PayPal (, Venmo (@jnunniv), check, or cash in person.
I will mail within the Continental United States with the purchase of two or more kits.
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Do you need a basic First Aid Kit?

To raise money for the Alabama Trailblaze Challenge, I will be selling travel/backpacking basic First Aid Kits. It’s all of those little things you wish you had with you at some point. Throw it in your purse, your car, and/or your backpack. It’s identical to what I carry on a regular basis and there’s room to include other items you need.

Each kit will contain the following:

1 pair plastic tweezers (TSA won’t take them)
2 Band Aids (individually sealed)
2 packets of Antibiotic ointment
2 packets of Ibuprofen
2 non stick sterile gauze pads (individually sealed)
2 safety pins (great for popping the rare blister among other things)
2 sterile butterfly bandages (individually sealed)
2 feet of Leukotape wrapped around a section of plastic straw (first aid tape on steroids and great for hot spots)
2 Pepto Bismol Pills (individually sealed)
1 Tick Key (hopefully it’s never needed)
2 Antiseptic Wipes (individually sealed)
2 sterile 3×3 gauze pads (individually sealed)

This is identical to what I carry whenever I’m in the woods (or traveling). If I need more than that, I should be coming off the trail or headed to the store and/or doctor.

I’m going to make 50 of these with a roughly 3.5″ by 2″ sticker (picture below) on the bag. Currently, I plan on using a quart Ziploc bag because it’s waterproof, light, and easy to find the contents. I’m ordering the supplies this week and will be selling them for $20.00.
MAW sticker


Buy, share, or both!
If you are interested, let me know.  You can pay using PayPal or Venmo.  If you don’t live locally, I’ll mail for the cost of shipping (it shouldn’t be very much).
Thank you for your support.
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2018 Alabama Make-A-Wish Trailblaze Challenge Update

Do you know there are approximately 100 kids in the Huntsville area (this is where I live) waiting for their wish to come true? There are approximately 300 in all of Alabama. I want to help grant wishes to these children with terminal illnesses through the Alabama Make-A-Wish by raising $2500 by participating in the Trailblaze Challenge.

I’m over 30% to my goal and I only have until April 11th – which is rapidly approaching! If 85 people contributed $20 each I would be done! Could you, would you, be one of those friends?

It is very quick and easy using the link below – there is no maximum (just sayin’) and the minimum is $5. Really, ANY amount helps! The money goes straight to them but I get credit AND you can print out your tax receipt for your 2018 taxes.

If you’d rather give me large stacks of bills or a valid oversized check in person (one can be hopeful) or single bill and normal sized check let me know and we’ll meet.

Thanks in advance!



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