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Re: Boots to last for women

Hello Marjolein -

You asked:

>One more question about that though, I have heard a couple of stories
>about boots being recieved at mail drops not fitting due to changes in
>ones feet from hiking with a loaded back for extended periods of time.
>Has this been a problem for any of you, and if so, any ideas on how to
>avoid or get around it?

My feet went up one full boot size by the time I had made it from Baxter SP
down to Keith Shaw's place in Monson, Maine.  I was in serious discomfort
by the time I got out of the 100-mile wilderness.  I was using Salomon
Adventure 9's and they Fed Ex'ed me a new pair (called Salomon North
America late Fri and had the boots Mon morning).  Finished the hike with
the larger size and it took about 4 months after the hike for my feet to
shrink enough to get into my town shoes.

My son hiked the first 700 miles of this trip with me.  He had absolutely
no problem with changing foot sizes.

I deliberately got my PCT boots a little roomy at the start and my feet
expanded to fill them quite nicely.  I used the same size boots for the
entire trip.

My son hiked all 2,600 miles of this trip.  He had absolutely no problem
with changing foot sizes.

We used exactly the same boots and hiked exactly the same miles under
exactly the same conditions.  His feet never changed size at all and mine
went up almost one full size on both hikes.  One significant difference
between the two of us was that he used custom-fitted orthotic inserts on
both hikes.  He got the orthotics thru his college athletic department
(varsity athlete) and wore the same set on both hikes (and in between and
still wears them today!).

I discovered after my second hike that I have a very high arch and I have
now been fitted with custom orthotic inserts for my boots and shoes.  My
Doc thinks that my feet changed size because they were flattening out over
the thousands of miles that I hiked.  They stayed big until my feet had
slowly recovered to their "natural" shape after the hikes.

In other words, it shouldn't have taken me 5-6 thousand miles of hiking to
figure out that maybe the need for orthotics runs in our family <g>.

>  Also, I was just reading the comments on food dehydrators. ..  what
>kind of price range do they tend to come under?

The cheapest store-bought American Harvest Snackmaster dehydrator that I
have seen is from WalMart (around $50 for a base unit with two stack-trays
and two small-stuff screens and two goopy-stuff trays).  I think that they
wanted about $20 for two additional stack-trays, 2 screens and 2
goopy-trays.  I like to get some extra stack-trays and goopy-trays to
dehydrate salsa in (we like to perk it up a little and the pepper taste
tends to stay in the plastic...makes the next batch of strawberry/banana
fruit leather taste kind of funny <g>).

The best bet is to let one of your "garage-sale hound" buddies keep an eye
out for dehydrators.  Every now and then you can find entire units, extra
trays, and other accessories for very reasonable prices.  Check your local
WalMart and see if they have any damaged base units that they would sell
the stack-trays and accessories from.  Advertise in the freebie press that
you would like to buy a dehydrator at reasonable cost...a LOT of folks buy
them and then hide them away in a closet to gather dust.

You shouldn't have any trouble cleaning up somebody else's dehydrator...the
trays have done fine on the top rack of our dishwasher.  Don't forget that
the American Harvest Snackmaster and Gardenmaster units take different size

There are some excellent plans out there for home-made dehydrators.  Gen
MacManiman included plans in her "Dry It - You'll Like It!" (self pub).
BTW, my favorite general book on dehydrating is "How to Dry Foods" by
Deanna DeLong (HPBooks).

Good luck learning how to dehydrate (half the fun is eating your mistakes)!

y'all come,
            Charlie II

charlie2@ro.com    Huntsville,Al