Last month while hiking in an area that was once full of active coal mines, my Lowa hiking shoes gave up the ghost. The sole of one detached from the toe and just flopped around. Dave pulled a long piece of parachute cord off his pack and we jury-rigged a strap to hold it in place, then walked the mile or so back to the trailhead. The cord slipped and slid, and in the end, I walked holding the ends of the cord and pulling my foot up. Very awkward, but it got me back to the Pilot.
I thought about making do with my old (1972) leather REI hiking boots, which are still comfortable but weigh about four pounds. An hour of walking around the house in these 1973 boots convinced me to look for something modern. In the end, I chose hiking shoes made by Keen. DW bought a pair last year and loves them, and I love the tread and stiff soles, and the high arch nestles right up into my equally high arch. Instantly comfortable. I can hardly wait to take them hiking.
On the way home we stopped in at REI, and as we headed for the door with our small bottle of boot waterproofing, we paused to look at a tent set up in the entrance. It's an oblong dome style, mostly mesh with a rain fly, a door on each long side, and a pair of vestibules. Tempting... So once at home, we checked tent reviews and measured our old Eureka Timberline tent. It isn't a lot bigger than the old tend, but what sold it for me is the side doors (we can both come and go without disturbing each other), and the vestibules (for pack and boots). So after a few hours of thought, we ordered one.
We'll be testing out a lot of new gear on our upcoming pack trip!