Moxie Gear Gaiters
(Framingham, MA, USA)
Moxie Gear Gaiters
My Moxie Gear Gaiters and The Barkley Fall Classic
In what seems like a life time ago, I made the trip from Boston, MA down to Wartburg, TN for a race called The Barkley Fall Classic.
It was an incredible adventure, and an amazing ultramarathon
race, while being surrounded, and encouraged by, friends both new and old.
Having done as much research as I could before making the trip, I'd known that there was the possibility of encountering wildlife in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee that we wouldn't (hopefully) ever see up here in New England.
Was That a Snake?
Though several animals were on that list, the ones that stood out most in my mind were the venomous snakes. With that, the most important item in my best rucksack
for traveling were my newly ordered Moxie Gear Shin Gaiters #CommissionsEarned
. They were also the most important things on my shins the whole weekend, too!
So, Did I Actually See Any Snakes?
Actually, yes! Late in the race, as we were in the home stretch, we did happen upon one snake. I couldn't tell you what kind, and I should probably study up on snake identification techniques if I plan to go back (which at some point, I will).
The snake that we did see was mostly harmless in that we were able to make our way around it somehow, giving it plenty of space. It was probably tired from running the ultra course that day, too. ;-)
The Moxie Gear Gaiters weren't serving their best purpose at the time that we'd seen the snake on the flatter paths near the end of the race, but during the miles spent navigating the trails less clear of overgrown brush and other natural obstacles. I'd actually rather not think about how many snakes I likely passed within meters of that day. Hopefully, none. But, it is often said that wildlife sees you before you see it or them (if you see them at all).
Where we were trekking up, down, and around the mountains, and in unfamiliar territory, while becoming completely fatigued (mentally and physically), it wouldn't be out of the question that an errant step could bring us within a snake's striking distance. And so, the protection provided by the gaiters was paramount, at least to my sense of security in avoiding what my mind was telling me could be the worst case scenario.
It is a good thing that we didn't run into any wild boars that day. Maybe my Moxie Gaiters would have come in handy against them, too?
What Was the Worst Animal "Out There"?
When we'd first set out on the trek, and were navigating some of the switchbacks in conga line fashion, I'd noticed several (actually, a ton) of small holes in the ground. I kind of knew what they were, but nobody else was mentioning anything, so I pushed it out of my mind. That's when the screaming started.
Someone screamed. Someone else screamed. People began slapping the necks, their legs, arms, and waving frantically at the air. Then, someone yelled, "Run!" (I thought that's what we were supposed to be doing anyway? Haha.). After everyone sprinted for who knows how long, we seemed to be out of harm's way, with harm being the swarm of yellow jackets whose nests were underground, and which had been disturbed by the vibrations of our group's pounding of the ground.
Somehow, I made it through the swarm without a single sting. The same could not be said for everyone, unfortunately, where several racers had upwards of 20-30 stings (I didn't stop to count them - the stings).
Am I Really Going Back?
At some point, I will. Though, I have a deeper desire to continue to explore places to which I've not yet been. More than likely, I'll have my Moxie Gaiters with me as they've proven to be so useful against boars, bees (I know they're yellow jackets), and snakes thus far!Readers and runners: have you ever worn Moxie Gear gaiters, or any sort of gaiters for that matter? How'd you like them? Where'd you wear them? Do you need them for an upcoming race or for training? Let us know in the comments, or by writing a full page on our site!