Backpacking My Way Through Stars Hollow

I haven’t been graceful about accepting winter this year. Back in late October/early November, I started feeling this panic about dark, grey days, temperatures that I believe would convince sane people that this area of the country is not inhabitable, and the wonder that is lake effect snow. I felt the weight of impending cabin fever so heavily, that we broke down and bought a treadmill. It was the best damn purchase ever.

We trained the dogs how to use the treadmill, and when it’s too cold out, or the roads are too messy, they get their morning walk indoors (while I happily read and drink coffee, sitting on our big blue exercise ball next to the treadmill, cheering “good job” every five minutes or so). And I have discovered the extreme awesomeness of having a treadmill in the privacy of my own home.

I can walk barefoot. I don’t have to worry about having a cute, (or at least presentable) workout outfit. I can exercise with crazy I-just-woke-up hair. And, I can backpack.

I’ve been walking on the “mountain climber” program setting, carrying a 15 pound pack. I’m working my way through the seasons of Gilmore Girls (except I’m going to skip the last one, because everyone knows it started sucking when they ditched the original writers). And I look forward to that 45 minutes every day more than I’ve ever looked forward to any workout.

I’m planning to add a few more cans of beans to my backpack to get up to 20 pounds this week, with an overall goal of being comfortable hauling 30 pounds. And when backpacking season starts up, look out. It’s one thing to be in shape, and it’s another thing to be in backpacking shape. It’s great to run all winter, but then you put on a pack and you’re using different muscles and your stride is different, and muscles you forgot you had start telling you to f-off. I might not have a lot of time to go backpacking this year, but when I do go, I’ll be able to make the most of it. No re-acclimating to my pack. No sore ankles. No feeling like I’m going to fall over backward the first time we hit a big hill.

I know some hardcore backpackers hit the gym treadmill with their packs, but I’m really not comfortable working the crazy out in public. I prefer to maintain the crazy in the privacy of my own home. And then blog about it.


  1. i’ve been thinking of getting a treadmill — what kind did you get, and from where?

  2. We got an Ironman Envision from Play It Again Sports. It was a factory second so it’s a little scratched up (but was also a great deal). It has a little TV in the console, and can work up to a pretty good incline. We did no research on this whatsoever, which is very uncharacteristic of us, but so far (knock wood) it’s worked out just fine.

  3. Gilmore Girls is a fabulous show.

  4. Nice! I’ve never thought of wearing a pack on the treadmill before, but what a great idea.

    Aww, I loved Gilmore Girls for the first four seasons or so. It definitely jumped the shark towards the end, though. I had to quit watching when Rory was dating Logan, because that guy got on my last nerve.

  5. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ve been thinking of taking some walks with a backpack full of water bottles for the same reason.

  6. Hi Allie! I have this wonderful image of you barefoot, curly, wild bedhead hair in your SpongeBob Squarepants jammies walking to beat the band. I am so glad to be reading you again!

  7. I had no idea dogs could be trained to use a treadmill. It is such a funny thought. You’d think they’d get cross that they weren’t going anywhere or seeing anything.

    I have never used a treadmill – they frighten me a little but we don’t get such extreme weather as you. I do always walk 4 miles a day outside and it is rare for the weather to be too bad to do that.

    Impressed re the backpack training. I don’t think my back would cope with that although I guess I could build it up gradually (not on a treadmill, I mean when really walking).

    I’ve been enjoying walking in my fivefinger shoes. Great fun.

  8. That’s fantastic. How did you train the dogs to use the treadmill? Whenever I take Lucy to my parents’ house, she runs away from the treadmill. I would love to be able to put her on it.

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