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  1. #1
    Christian, Wife, Mamma, Granola Baker, AT dreamer Granola Mamma's Avatar
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    Default Plus-Sized Issues

    Would like to figure out how to start a forum for those of us women dealing with "bigger" issues! Like, boots and shoes with foot problems and ankle trouble. Anyone with heart challenges out there? How about, what is a reasonable number of miles to expect in a day out if you're overweight? What about clothes and sleeping bags for us plus sized dreamers? And so on. Don't know how to start a forum, but if someone wants to, I'll frequent it!

  2. #2

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    LLBean, and Target are great places for plus size clothes for the outdoors. Walmart sells good sport bras that are real bras (no uniboob!).
    Mens sleeping bags can be comfy, as are mens socks. For boots, check out LLBean, they sell wide sizes for women.
    If you starting out, all I can say is this: never go beyond being tired if you have medical issues. Don't carry a ton of weight in your pack. Don't go in super hot weather. Dayhike first, work on getting stronger. You can do it! Keep it under 3 miles for your first trip in mild weather-and don't go alone. Soon you can do long trips
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  3. #3

    Arrow A woman after my own heart


    Thank you for starting this thread. This issue is not discussed nearly enough by those of us who can't fit into a "size large = size 14." We are some of the major manufacturers' worst nightmare. What they don't understand is that we will pay for the privilege of being larger sized if only they'd make clothing for us.

    Patagonia -- come on, your size L is a 16. Well, how about making some size X(18) XX (20) XXX (22) XXXX (24) XXXXX (26) XXXXXX (28) Large sizes? You can even charge us more.

    Sierra Designs stops at size 18. TheNorthFace starts at 4?!? When was the last time I saw a size 4 on the trail??? Anyone know of a size 4 backpacker over the age of 6? Campmor occasionally has their own brand in a 20-22 women's size. But Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Golite, and many many other clothing manufacturers seem to want to ignore us. And they send us a message by sizing their "L" as a 14 or at best a 16.

    Try www.junonia.com for some clothing items that are made of synthetics.

    Lane Bryant occasionally has synthetic shorts or shirts in Plus sizes. Goody's sometimes has synthetic pants, shirts, fleece in Plus sizes. Zappos sometimes has larger women's shoes.

    As for hiking and mileage, how about changing that emphasis to hiking and time? Hike for half an hour, turn around and hike back. Next time, add 15 minutes and hike in for 45 minutes and hike back out. Increase the time by 15 minutes a trip until your body tells you to stop adding time and then work on hiking "that" far a bit faster each time. Maybe what once took you two hours to hike into a spot, with work, only takes you an hour and forty-five minutes to hike to.

    Another way, if you've got a loop hike (easy trail at first) that's a mile long, hike at your 'normal' speed and see how long it takes. The next time, try to shave off a few minutes of your total time. Work on that until you can hike an EASY 1 mile loop in about half an hour. Then find a moderate 1 mile loop and repeat. It may take you 2 hours to hike a moderate trail at first. Just keep hiking until you're got that down to maybe 45 minutes for the entire 1 mile loop. Finally find a strenuous 1 miles loop and repeat, understanding that you'll probably not hike this one at a 1.5 mph speed you hiked the moderate trail. But you may be able to work up to a 1 mph hike on a strenuous trail, and that's an accomplishment.

    When you go to the gym or the fitness center, you usually go in for a specific time limit, not a mileage limit. So train yourself on trails using that mind-set. You'll begin to see real progress when you start looking at time instead of mileage.

    When I Thru Hike next year (2007), my hiking partner and I plan to start out hiking 6 or 7 HOURS a day. Some in the morning, a long dinner/siesta/boots off break, then the remaining hours in the afternoon. In theory, by "timed hiking" we won't be abusing our knees and other body parts trying to put in "big mileage" days. The reason: One mile on the AT is not like any other mile on the AT. One mile could take half an hour to hike and another right after it, could take an hour. Why? Because of increase/decrease in elevation. Hikers who look at "miles only" forget to put elevation changes into their equations and then have to take ZERO or NERO days to recuperate. My hiking partner and I plan to spend a minimum amount of money on the AT -- just to see if we can do it -- which means few town stays (and towns eat up money). We figure that hiking by time and not miles will enable us to preserve our body's capability to recuperate with a mid-day rest and a night's sleep. We'll see if it works and if it does, maybe others will decide that hours, not miles, is where the smiles are.

    HapKiDo

  4. #4
    Christian, Wife, Mamma, Granola Baker, AT dreamer Granola Mamma's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm glad a few of us are finding this thread helpful. Great idea on the Junonia site, I love it. I like the idea on the time vs mileage thing too. I try for both if I can. AFA the medical issues, I agree that we have to not be so over-zealous on the accomplishment thing that we throw caution and good sense to the wind. Hiking alone with medical challenges is not smart. In my blessed opinion, , hiking alone at all isn't very smart, but some folks are comfortable with it and that's up to them.

    I think for those of us hiking with medical challenges, hiking with a concealed celly is a must, but it is also a necessary thing to remember to respect those who wish to be away from such things. I myself will shut the thing completely off and not tell but maybe one emergency person that I have it, so that I don't end up taking 30 calls a day on the silly thing! I too don't want to miss the opportunity to really be experiencing "roughing it", but with MC's (medical challenges) it's only responsible to not expect someone else to come along with a celly and cover my irresponsible backside! That just by blessed opinion, for what it's worth! Let's keep sharing ideas on this one pertinent to being overweight and/or MC'd. Looking forward to new ideas under this realm! Thanks ya'all!

  5. #5

    Default

    A cell phone is not a bad thing to carry in my view. Always have mine with me-always turned off. Out here, quite often I have service.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Default

    We also carry a cell phone - always on vibrate in the woods. My parents and favorite aunt are elderly and two have heart issues - they may really need to contact me. We also have nine children (all adults) between us - and they also may need to contact us. Finally, we are older and I have metabolic, lung and ortho issues. While I wouldn't go into the woods if I wasn't fairly certain I could complete a hike without a rescue, the unexpected does happen.

    Re: plus sizes - I've noticed more and more mainstream manufactures (Starter, Champion, Wilson, Nike. LL Bean) are realizing that technical clothing is needed in ladies larger sizes. Perhaps Patagucci (I couldn't resist), North Face, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Salamon, the store brands for outfitters will finally begin to realize that they are missing a huge market segment and begin offering the larger sized clothing.

    I'd love to have a Mountain Hardwear hiking skirt, but currently they come in sizes that I'm not sure will fit around one thigh - much less around my ample behind. I ended up making myself an A-line skirt with slits (for movement) and using the pockets from a men's hiking shorts pattern.

  7. #7

    Smile Another Link That May Be Useful

    Visit http://www.ladiesonlysports.com/

    Have ordered from them in the past; service is excellent.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Formerly thickredhair Gaiter's Avatar
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    When I started looking for clothes for my hike, and realized I would have to buy almost all mens clothes, I was so pissed off. So I started to write to the company's. Exp. Moving Comfort has some plus size, so I thanked them for provideing plus size and said I hoped they would offer more in the future. Other companies like Patagonia, North Face and Mountain Hardwear I informed them of how disappointed I was that they didn't have larger sizes.
    We need more people to complain to these company's and make them reallize that we are here and there is a good market for plus-size clothing.
    Hanna
    PS The only responses I recieved were automated thank you for sending your comments.

  9. #9
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    For me I just finally gave up and I am giving the following suggestions that worked out for me.
    I got a Big Agnes Sleeping Bag....they come very ample in size for shoulder and hip girth (all their models do).
    Finally ordered the wide hiking boots from ShoeBuy.com and Sierra Trading Post usually has great sales in the Men's Dept. I found long underwear (top and bottoms) rain gear, jackets and even a hiking shirts. Its okay that its a mans shirt verses the womens style, it comes with more pockets!
    Only problem so far was finding a Sports Bra that had no cotton in it. I will check out the Target and Wal-Marts on the mainland, I am sure they have more available.
    Thank you for this link Light Traffic: http://www.ladiesonlysports.com/
    I have many medical challenges and also recommend going at your own pace, listening to your body. Building up your endurance and strength, and setting small goals. I know that 4 to 5 miles is okay and 6 miles is pushing it for me. Learn what you can do and just keep on a little more each time.
    Life's too short not to have Credit Card bills...so Charge It!!!




  10. #10
    Registered User Tamarack's Avatar
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    I know this has little to do with this thread. But I went shopping for shoes today. I have a nice dress and need shoes. Went into 6 stores looking for a ladies size 10 extra wide or a size 11 wide with no success. Man oh man, how I hate to live in a world where size 7-9 is the norm and many companies cut off at size 10 and dont even touch the wide foot market. As far as running shoes/sneakers men's are not all that bad I can usully find a pair that are not all that masculine. As for other camping gear, sleeping bag I got as a cheapie at the grocery store one day best $15 bucks I ever spent. I've got my 'man johns' for long johns. Its interesting having all that extra room in the front. Nice spot to put the camera so it doesnt freeze in the cold weather. Boots-mens, clothes from Cotton Giny, north of the border. I like thier store most of thier stuff is cotton, but they do have some things that are polar flece. Most of my closet is from them.

    Another Question, that ties into this thread.
    While hiking do you go ahead and eat all these high cal foods? try to eat sensibly like at home (if possible), does anyone take chocolate for those sweet tooth cravings? I'm just having a hard time looking at the package and seeing what's in there and thinking ok, so I hike and gain weight and then its gonna take me 2 weeks of behaving myself before I'm back to 'normal' again. I know when I went on Holiday to Europe last year I was walking all day everyday, not hiking with a pack, just walking, touring, doing the tourist things. I was eating sensibly, avoiding the high cal chocolate bars for lunch and opting for an apple, nuts and milk for lunch. After 7 days I had to wash my jeans not cus they were dirty but because I had lost some weight and they'd just fall off if any rotten kid tugged on them. I was so glad I packed a belt that trip. What's a girl to do?

  11. #11

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    Tam, I always take chocolate with me...becuase there are days when I have to have junk. And it works for me All that hikingburns the stuff off anyhoo..or that is what I'd like to believe
    Honestly, I don't watch my calories when backpacking. At home, yes.
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  12. #12
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    I probably should have read this thread before I started ordering hiking clothes. My first purchase -- a Patagonia womans large R1 pullover arrived in the mail yesterday. When I pulled it from the package I had to laugh -- it was so small!!! Needless to say, it will be returned -- this time for a mans size. Grrrr

  13. #13
    Formerly thickredhair Gaiter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamarack
    While hiking do you go ahead and eat all these high cal foods? try to eat sensibly like at home (if possible), does anyone take chocolate for those sweet tooth cravings? I'm just having a hard time looking at the package and seeing what's in there and thinking ok, so I hike and gain weight and then its gonna take me 2 weeks of behaving myself before I'm back to 'normal' again. I know when I went on Holiday to Europe last year I was walking all day everyday, not hiking with a pack, just walking, touring, doing the tourist things. I was eating sensibly, avoiding the high cal chocolate bars for lunch and opting for an apple, nuts and milk for lunch. After 7 days I had to wash my jeans not cus they were dirty but because I had lost some weight and they'd just fall off if any rotten kid tugged on them. I was so glad I packed a belt that trip. What's a girl to do?
    For the start of my two month hike, i didn't need to eat high cal foods, but after awhile, i found that if i didn't eat enough calories then i would be grumpy and tired feeling, i was still losing weight, the hard part is when you come off, a month being off and i've put back on a third of hte weight i lost

  14. #14
    formerly amazonwoman
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    I was thinking about plus size clothes issues and remembered the hunting catalogs my dad used to get. I went to www.cabelas.com. I know it's a hunters outfitter but believe me, hunters have some of the same issues that hikers have as far as clothing. Check it out. I saw several things in plus size, you just have to wade through the cotton. Also when I clicked on the boots there was a size and width selector. I can't recommend the quality but it might be an option.

  15. #15
    formerly amazonwoman
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    I meant that I haven't personally tried the gear from this outfitter, not that it isn't high quality. Sorry if I was unclear.

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