Hiking is any outdoor walking activity - usually along trails and across unmarked wild country.

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May hiking in Eastern California

In May this year (6–8 May) I will have a workshop in Mammoth Lakes, California. I would like to do some hiking in addition to this workshop (roughly one week). I have never been to the United States, ...
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Climbing volcanic mountains

I'm planning to climb a few volcanic mountains in Indonesia the coming year. Mostly Mt Kerinci and a few adjoining ones (I'm still making a list of those near by to Kerinci). I believe that most ...
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What is the difference between men's and women's hiking boots?

When I bought my current pair of hiking boots, the brand/style I tried on and liked was out of stock in the womens version, so the storeperson offered me the mens ones instead. I tried them, liked ...
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296 views

Walking up the slopes. To walk brisk or to walk slow?

This question has been eating my head for quite some time now. I trek often and most of the treks involve climbing up to a peak or something similar. I usually carry heavy loads of around 13-15kgs on ...
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What is this knee pain when going downhill?

I can hike uphill practically all day. However as very soon after I start a descent, pain builds on the outside of my knee. What is causing this and can I do anything to prevent/mitigate it (other ...
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342 views

Experiences hiking with a baby: backpacks

I'm a keen hiker, in South Africa. Or, I was... But then our delightful darling daughter was born 7 months ago, and my hiking hobby got replaced with a new hobby. Anyway, my wife and I are very keen ...
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457 views

Soft or hard drinking bottle?

When choosing a water bottle for hiking, a very distinct choice I can make (amongst all the other types of materials and hardiness, size and so on) is weighing up whether to purchase a "hard" plastic ...
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218 views

How should I correctly use poles and other equipment to avoid back pain on long hikes?

3 of my lower vertebra have irreparable damage, so I have various workarounds to minimise pain and swelling at home and in the office, and even on short term hikes (ibuprofen FTW) but on a longer hike ...
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147 views

Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling?

Should I always take a hard hat if I go scrambling? Scrambling (also known as alpine scrambling) is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges Quite often when I'm out on ridges in the UK, I ...
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96 views

What qualities should I look for in a good walking pole?

I've seen walking poles range from <£10 to >£100 - and to a casual observer there doesn't often seem to be much to distinguish them, with both having good grips and shock relief / suspension. What ...
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457 views

What precautions should I take when hiking among herds of elk?

During certain times of the year, some of the hiking trails near where I live wind through herds of elk standing on or near the trails. What precautions should you take when hiking among elk?
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801 views

Tent floor waterproof rating

I'm currently looking to buy a new tent. The old one had a floor that was said to withstand a hydrostatic head of 10000 mm, but the tents I find in the stores here go to at most 3000 mm for the floor, ...
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373 views

Flashlight or headlamp for night hiking?

Which is better to use during a night trek - a flashlight or a headlamp? Which do you prefer? Would be great if recommend the one you use and tell me what made you buy it.
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How do I treat a blister? How can I prevent getting them in the first place?

When hiking with a new pair of boots or if I haven't been hiking in a while, my feet might get blisters. How can I treat a blister and keep hiking? Are there things I can do to prevent getting ...
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2k views

How far is a reasonable distance for someone to hike on their first trip?

How far is a reasonable distance for someone to hike on their first trip? I understand this depends on a lot of variables, such as the person's fitness, the route they are planning to do, etc, but ...
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252 views

Vibram FiveFingers, useful, gimic?

Looking at the Vibram FiveFingers shoes, I find myself wondering why? What possible benefits do they bring as opposed to a traditional sole? Their web site (in the why barefoot section) seems to ...
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845 views

Thinking about a road trip out West

My wife and I are thinking of taking a road trip from northwest Ohio to "out west" - Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, etc. I've never been farther west than Indiana, so it's a whole new ...
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294 views

Energy bars for outdoors activities: what are the important criteria?

What are the criteria that I should worry about when buying energy bars ? What are the ingredients to avoid and those to look for ?
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718 views

How do I prevent rocks or sand from getting in my boots?

So when I hike, usually I get a small pebble or two, or sand in my boots. How can I prevent this? I already wear pretty tight boots, and stopping every so often to take off a boot and get a rock out ...
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147 views

Is it generally allowed to walk in German forests in the night?

I was geocaching a bit and I've found in many caches the warning not to cache in the night during the winter because of hunting season. My question is, have such limitations a legal basis, and if so, ...
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153 views

Safest months to hike in Colorado

I've read that the summer months (June, July, and August) are the safest months to hike in Colorado because these are the least-likely times to run into ice patches that can't be crossed with normal ...
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204 views

Logs & Rocks - Step on or over?

Growing up we were always taught to never step straight over a rock or log because it is a good way to step on or startle a snake that you cannot see. However, on a lot of hiking forums I see it ...
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993 views

What natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for the winter?

Which natural (non-synthetic) fabrics are good for hiking winter weather? I know cotton will generally trap moisture and invite hypothermia, while wool is warm but heavy. What other natural fabrics ...
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280 views

What good options are there for wine transport?

Large glass bottles just don't strike me as a "good idea" for hiking. What options are there for carrying wine and preserving the flavor for a couple of days while hiking?
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What makes nylon an effective material for hiking pants?

I often see 100% nylon pants a lot in stores. What properties does it have that make it effective when hiking? Is it effective in all seasons or just under certain conditions?
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334 views

How should I remove a leech?

Once a leech is attached, what is the proper way to remove it? (I'm assuming that the method would generic for all leeches, but if there are special kinds, please note that).
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389 views

Material of shirt for Desert hiking

I have pretty much always worn 100% cotton shirts when hiking but I have been reading more and more about the amazing "wicking" properties of other fabrics. Is there one that will keep me cooler ...
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Strengthening exercises for a backpacking trip?

I just finished a 22.4 mile hiking trip, which was spread of two days and it's the furthest I've ever hiked. When I finished my body was killing me, apparently taking long day hikes is not a ...
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Roping together on an icy path?

I'm planning a mountain hiking trip and one of the issues is that the trails that we're following will almost certainly be covered in ice. There are two of us and we'll both be wearing shoe traction ...
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111 views

How can I locate the leak in a inflatable pad, while hiking

Kevin did a nice job of providing a quality answer here for how to find the leak if you are at home. However I usually realize I have a leak when it deflates under me in the middle of the night. If ...
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207 views

How to store a backpack while sleeping?

During a recent backpacking trip, we hung the bear bag and got ready to set in for the night and I realized I wasn't sure what I should do with my backpack. Technically the backpack was carrying the ...
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130 views

New Zealand recommended hiking maps, books and other resources

Me and my girlfriend will go there in January and we plan on hiking for a week or so. Unfortunately there are no maps or books available for NZ hiking in my area. Could you recommend some for me? ...
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Packing delicate equipment for a hike

I always try to avoid taking much delicate on a hike, but sometimes it either can't be helped or I decide I want to take it anyway (camera would be the prime example!) How can I best pack such ...
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346 views

Will the benefit of an axe outweigh the drawbacks and win over a large knife?

I've hiked some in my life, and gotten used to carrying a small axe for chopping wood for the fire. But after I bought my self a large fixed-blade bowie knife, I find myself relying less and less on ...
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One-day hike around Prague

I'm planning on visiting Prague and I was wondering if there are any nice one-day (two-day tops) hikes that I could do around there. It doesn't have to be in the mountains, although that would be ...
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Does the solar powered fridge work as advertised whilst hiking?

I stumbled across this link the other day which seems rather ingenious and was wondering if anyone has tried such a contraption whilst hiking? If not, do you think it would be effective? I'm tempted ...
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Which brands make wider hiking boot sizes?

My old boots are dying. Sadly it took me quite some time to find them, and the particular brand is not made anymore. I have wide feet, like 4E wide, but some 2E boots will fit fine. Unfortunately ...
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Where can I find information on letterboxing in my area?

Letterboxing is a precursor to geocaching, wherein participants leave notes / stamps in boxes in the wild... It's helpful to have a list or guide to letterbox sites when embarking on a search, as ...
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117 views

Are roads in Iceland closed to hikers outside the winter?

In a couple of years I hope to cross Iceland east to west through the centre. I understand the the roads in central Iceland are only open in the summer. Is that for vehicles only or for walking as ...
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218 views

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Every year or so I'll end up with plantar fasciitis after periods of time where I've walked a lot. In general my walking shoes are fine and have arch support but occasionally I'll need to use sturdier ...
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453 views

Carry a larger water bottle or a smaller water bottle for backpacking?

I'm debating between carrying a larger water bottle and a smaller one. A larger one means I'll have to stop less to filter water, but it means I'll be carrying more, at least for a period of time. ...
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232 views

What should I do if I break a shoelace in the wilderness?

If I'm hiking in the wilderness and my shoelace breaks, what's the best way to go about fixing it assuming I have no spare?
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118 views

What shoes to wear while climbing monolithic granite rocks?

There are a few monolithic granite rocks around my city. These are rocks with gradient of around 30 - 40 degrees. None of these offer a technical rock climbing opportunity. It's mostly about hiking up ...
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126 views

Advice for first Grand Canyon Hike for Eastern Hikers

My friend wants to do an overnight on the grand canyon this summer. We are experienced hikers in pretty good shape. However we've NEVER hiked out west, much less the Grand Canyon. What are the key ...
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1k views

What negative consequences can result from having too much toe room in a shoe

I have large feet, that can be difficult to find the correct size shoe. Typically, I've been wearing size 13, but I have found that I get too many blisters with this size, and I don't have much wiggle ...
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475 views

Is department store merino wool less effective than branded (i.e. SmartWool) merino wool in staying warm and wicking moisture?

At my local Costco, I see a Kirkland brand 100% merino wool quarter-zip sweater being sold for $25. On EMS, I see a SmartWool 100% merino wool half-zip sweater costing $140. Would I be potentially ...
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131 views

Can I use a garbage bag to approximate pack size

I am planning my first multi-day hike. I haven't selected a pack yet. I do not know which size pack I need. I see that packs are rated in liters. That got me thinking since some white garbage bags are ...
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225 views

Experiences hiking with a baby: diapers

So, I recently posted a question on hiking with a baby - my wife and I used to hike a fair amount, and we would like to get cracking again soon, but with our 7-month daughter. I'm currently trying to ...
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152 views

Can the Swiss Alps be hiked in the winter?

I would like to hike part of the Alps that go from France to Slovenia, but I'm not sure what type of equipment I'll need. I'm wondering if I need to bring crampons; I have Icetrekkers (Diamond Grip), ...
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434 views

What are the advantages of a double sleeping bag?

In the context of a long hike (AT, PCT, CDT, LT, etc.): What are the advantages and disadvantages of double sleeping bags over two individual sleeping bags? How do they compare to single sleeping ...