Barefoot in Escalante, Utah

  I would like to share a few things not covered in my Bolder Mail Trail post.  It is hard to get images you wanted to share all into one blog, when there was 3 memory cards full of good shots.

Locus Gear Khufu
Locus Gear Khufu Sil at sunrise.  A design that has been around before humans. 

utah barefoot
What do you think Will was asking me?  (post in comments below) 

ultralight utah
Ascending Sandstone.


  Never traveling on this kind of surface before, I didn't know what to expect.  Had to trust my own judgement on footwear choice and go with something that I felt most comfortable in.   I believe all surfaces are generally similar, just the speed that you can travel and textures are different   You still must use the same form and posture, so in that aspect  nothing changes.  One would walk on snow, just like sand, same as loose rock is to trail.  Walking is walking.

  I will have to say that up and down the landscape at higher elevations than accustom to, did get me winded.  It was a perfect scenario for nature gym.  If I could walk in the desert everyday until summer, there is no doubt I would be in perfect shape for backpacking the Olympic Mountains.

  Everyday was either dropping or gaining elevation.  Very rarely did we walk on flat ground or in a straight line.  Some of the off trail traveling had sections of using all hands.   There was not one moment where I felt 'bored' with the desert.

Barefoot Jake in Utah
Watching it snow off yonder. 
wandering the desert
Watching my step into sections of little hiding cactus. 
death hollow
Looking into Death Hollow.


  The only time we were around descent drinking water was in Death Hollow.  Rest of the time demanded you to carry water in your pack.  This is a concept I had to get use to;  since in Washington, moving water is almost everywhere you turn.

  Being in that much sun, ment that drinking water was on the highest priority.  I would've liked to consumed at least 1 more liter per day.  Seemed to lose water, just fast as it went in.  Next time I plan on bringing more sport-type powder drinks.

  My Sawyer Squeeze Filter held up superbly in the desert.  Did not clog with all the little things floating in the water.  Made staying hydrated less of a hassle. 

death hollow
Rock balance.
death hollow
Wandering Death Hollow.
death hollow
Wading Death Hollow (trying to protect camera equipment)


  The weather and conditions were a lot more mild than I expected.  Was planning for something that resembled our November trip to Utah backpack Grand Gulch.   There were two layers of insulation I didn't even wear; so carried them for nothing.

 Borrowed a MLD Bivy for the trip, found it restricting the circulation of fresh air as I slept.  After one night broke my fear of critters 'cuddling' with me in my sleep, not using bug netting or floor in shelter.  So carried that item for the rest of the trip for nothing as well.

  I found my Khufu gave me plenty of protection for the conditions.  Would have also been fine sleeping under a tarp.  One of the nights when the wind and rain were up; happy to have that extra protection from the elements.  Nothing worse than breathing windblown sand while trying to sleep.  The pyramid design was more of a challenge keeping a tight pitch.  I ended up using long sticks, with the combination of rocks; because of the baby powder type sand would not hold traditional stakes.

  This was my first trip using the LiteTrail NyloBarrier Odor Proof Bag System.  It worked to keep the scent down, where I couldn't personally smell my food.  Now whether or not it kept the odor away from critters, is something to be proven with time.  Nothing bothered my food the entire trip hanging in a tree.

  This was the first time wearing my RailRiders top and bottom on a backpacking trip.  The pants worked out well for this type of terrain.  Never once felt a restricted range of motion while scrambling or jumping across objects.  Provided my legs protection in the harsh off trail desert environment.  Loved all the zip to close pockets.   I didn't have an issue with the material holding a lot of body odor in the shirt.  The way nylon wicks moisture is something I need to get used to;  since it performs differently than other 'runner' type shirts I've worn in the past.  Felt great to have my arms protected from the sun and never once felt muggy or 'clammy'.  

Gear Porn

MLD Solomid
MLD Solomid #gearporn
Zpacks Hexamid Twin
Zpacks Hexamid Twin #gearporn
Trail Designs Caldera Keg
Trail Designs Caldera Keg #gearporn
pyramid shelter in desert
Locus Gear Khufu Sil at my Camp 1. #gearporn

View my short video:

Special Thanks:  The team at Gossamer Gear & Cory A.

Disclaimer/Comments:  One should train their feet for some time for this type of trail conditions.  
  Biking, Hiking or Backpacking in Minimalist Footwear takes strong feet.  Since as we aged wearing shoes have lots most of our natural foot muscle. Give you body time to adjust to this type of Footwear before attempting anything you see on this Site.