I realize I am giving advice while unaware of any of the specifics of your three hour journey to the nearest Rei, but properly fitting boots are so critical to even a short outdoor activity, that I would urge you to make the appointment and the trip, which should result in properly fitting, comfortable boots that will sere you well for a long time. As I see it, three items are critical to a good outdoors experience - Boots, Backpack, and sleeping Bag - the three B's.....Much of the rest can be improvised/cobbled together, etc...

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