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12:50 p.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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i see all the reviews on various backpacks and shoes/boots. somehow none seem to be concerning which would be best for people walking extremely long distances with much of the travel done on city streets or paved roads. i am a novice who will walk across the usa. i will not be taking a direct route but will be trying to hit most major cities. this should take 18 months or more.
please advise!!!!!!

1:18 p.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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Not having walked across the US, and doing virtually all my distance hiking on trails or crosscountry off trails, I can't speak from experience. But my suggestion would be to go to a dedicated running store and ask what marathoners wear. My guess would be that trail running shoes would be a good choice, but whether to get "support", "stability", "motion control", or "neutral" (or "comfort") variety is something to discuss with a trained running shoe specialist (running shoe stores also serve distance walkers). One chain I have found pretty good is Road Runner Sports (roadrunnersports.com). They have retail stores in a number of states on both coasts and in the Midwest. They have an electronic "foot motion" analysis device that can determine which type of walker or runner you are. I am sure there are other stores that offer similar analysis, since distance walking and running is extremely popular across the whole US.

6:02 p.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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Mel123, are you asking for advice on shoes, on gear, on what to bring with you, etc.?

8:11 p.m. on September 4, 2008 (EDT)
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To expand on BeritOlam's question -
1. are you camping or staying in hostels/motels/private homes or ??
2. are you going unsupported (carrying or buying everything along the way), with a support car (so you carry nothing but water and snacks), or what?
3. if you are supported, what is the level of support - just one friend/relative with the food, water, snacks, and nightly gear,and are you walking/running solo or with walking/running companions, or with a large group?

These all make a big difference in the answers. If you are camping, unsupported, and solo, your pack and all that goes in it will be much larger than if you have a support vehicle and companions. Some people have pushed or pulled a trailer with gear, rather than carrying a pack (it's much easier).

7:58 a.m. on September 5, 2008 (EDT)
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my intention is to camp some and stay in hostels some. this is an unsupported walk and i will be bringing my 2 pets, i am considering a burley tail wagon and walking by myself. i asking about gear and clothing and what to pack.

11:41 a.m. on September 6, 2008 (EDT)
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A few thoughts....

Clothing -- If you're going to be doing this for 18 months, you'll definitely need to layer. Avoid cottons like the bubonic plague.

Tent -- if it's just you and two dogs, then I would consider a light-weight two man (provided the dogs aren't huge!).

Sleeping bag -- it really depends on where you'll be at what time of year. Ohio winters and Arizona summers are quite a bit different. My advice would be avoid frigid cold areas during the winter, and stick with a good 3-season bag. Otherwise, you'll end up freezing in the winter OR burning up in the summer.

Shoes -- That's a lot of miles. Frankly, I'm not sure they make a shoe/boot that will last you that long. Certainly none that I've gone through! As to trail-runners vs. boots, that's really up to you. I've never had good success finding a trail-runner that can sustain constant hiking with a 4000+ cu in load; the boots just take that extra pounding better. And, most importantly, my feet always feel better with a good, solid boot.

Backpack -- it really depends on how long you expect to go between pit stops. Especially with 2 pooches along for the journey.

~Matt

November 26, 2014
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