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

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Adequate Shoes for Travel

I will be travelling for five months and am in need of a good pair of shoes. The terrain I will cross will be canadian urban village snow, city, forests, and desert. A friend recommended the La ...
17
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3answers
748 views

What do you do if you see a cougar?

Hiking on the west coast of British Columbia, there are likely to be cougars around the trails. What do you do if you see one?
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9answers
800 views

The outdoors, solitude and dealing with loneliness

I have been out camping a few times, once with a group, the other times with my girlfriend. Although I enjoyed those times very much, I often wondered what would it feel like to enjoy the complete ...
9
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3answers
165 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 ...
5
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2answers
101 views

How do you determine current trail conditions before going on a hike?

In addition to getting the current weather report on the day of a hike, how does one find out if the trails are currently in good shape and what kind of gear may be necessary that day (i.e. crampons)? ...
12
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2answers
619 views

What is a buff?

What is a "buff", how is it used, and why should I have one? I've seen them advocated in numerous places, but I'm not sure why a tube of cloth is better around my neck than a scarf, etc.
6
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3answers
546 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 ...
4
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1answer
258 views

Can a PVC rain jacket also be used as a windbreaker?

I have a Columbia 100% PVC rain jacket. It has a nylon lining. Can PVC material be used as an effective windbreaker? Are there any side effects (such as making me sweat a lot more) that could ...
7
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3answers
386 views

What lower temperature limit should I look for in sleeping bag for the Appalachian Trail?

I'm planning on hiking about half of the AT Northbound at the start of May 2013. What sort of temperature ranges can I expect to encounter, and what should I look for in a sleeping bag to best suit ...
4
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1answer
662 views

Destination for (half-) day hike near Kraków, Poland in late autumn/early winter

At the end of this month, I will be spending some days in Kraków, Poland. I might have a half or a full day available and apart from exploring the city, I'd like to do some hiking in the close ...
12
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1answer
131 views

How do you best treat a turned ankle in the back country?

Possibly the most common injury I see when hiking with groups is when someone turns or rolls their ankle. Assuming that access to a vehicle is not feasible, what is the best way to deal with the ...
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
118 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 ...
10
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2answers
275 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 ...
12
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4answers
4k views

How to properly lace hiking boots?

When I go on hiking trips, I wear proper boots. However, when I lace them tight, my ankles swell terribly after a few hours and start feeling funny (bending the joint feels like touching a balloon). ...
10
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3answers
552 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 ...
7
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5answers
264 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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2answers
162 views

How do I identify dangerous, marshy land?

At a casual look, grass with a bit of surface water on it can look very similar to a potentially deadly marsh, and in many rural places there can be lots of both after it's been raining! In dry ...
14
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3answers
210 views

What are the key features to look for in mobile device apps for hiking/camping?

I've used EveryTrail and was satisfied but am looking for something better... What are the features I should focus on for selecting an app? What bells and whistles are really useful on the trail?
10
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1answer
1k 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, ...
9
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3answers
1k 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 ...
12
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1answer
115 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 ...
4
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5answers
454 views

How much vertical distance is it possible to make in a day?

Are there some numbers on how much vertical distance can people make in a day’s hike? I know that greatly depends on fitness and other factors, but I’d be happy with some statistical curve that would ...
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1answer
136 views

Tree Identification

I'd like to start identifying trees in my area as a project with my kids while we are hiking. What is best for tree identification, a good color book such as the Audobon Field Guide to North ...
9
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1answer
489 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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2answers
411 views

Long or short sleeves on a hike in the Desert?

I have heard different things from different people, but here in the South West we do a decent amount of desert hiking. Protection from bugs is usually little concern because most of the time in the ...
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1answer
75 views

Searching for a lost group member

Following on from this question, what searching methods and techniques are best used in scenarios where a single group member (or perhaps couple of group members) become lost and separated from a ...
5
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1answer
320 views

Is a compass generally accurate in only one hemisphere, or both? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Navigational gear worldwide I'm not that well travelled (never been outside of Europe!) but at some point I'd love to head elsewhere to perhaps hike somewhere a bit more ...
29
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6answers
2k views

If I'm caught in lightning above tree-line, what should I do?

We all know the general lightning guidelines, but what if I am above tree-line and caught in a freak lightning storm. Is it better to: Run like mad to toward the trees Lie flat, and find religion ...
14
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2answers
179 views

A little bit of acclimatisation or no acclimatisation at all?

This summer I'm planning to mount my first 4000 m mountain in Switzerland. So far I only got around 3300 meters while hiking and had no problems. However 4000 meter an above is definitively a ...
13
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1answer
191 views

What are some good games to play with children on hikes?

Sometimes children find long hikes boring and tiring, but if you can turn it around to play some games along the way they can find things a lot more interesting. What are some good games to play in ...
7
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
19
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6answers
18k views

What is the fastest method to 'break in' full leather boots?

After purchasing full leather boots (similar to these boots) I had many blisters for the first few hikes until I broke in my boots. What are the fastest ways to age the boot so that when my foot ...
5
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1answer
93 views

How to get more information about a planned tour?

This summer, I plan to walk from the Wormser Hütte in Austria to the Heilbronner Hütte in Austria. I know that this can be done in 1 day, but when googeling, the tour length differs a lot. Some ...
5
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1answer
109 views

Where to find hiking shorts that last more than a few months?

I'm one of these crazy people that tend to wear cargo shorts all year round, and do a lot of hiking and general outdoor activities in them. However, because of this they tend to wear out relatively ...
13
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1answer
584 views

Kilimanjaro expedition - trousers - softshell vs. gore-tex

I am going on an expedition to Kilimanjaro and I'm going to buy new trousers specifically for this purpose. Some agencies recommend to take soft shell trousers and I'm not sure if it would be the best ...
8
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2answers
388 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?
13
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2answers
1k views

Washing clothes on long hikes

I'm looking for a good solution for clothing (or clothes washing) on long hikes with the following considerations Southeastern United States, Appalachians We hike light 10+ day trips I don't want ...
11
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1answer
494 views

What should you look for when buying hiking socks?

A quick search online shows there are dozens of different types of hiking socks, with different materials, thicknesses, and properties. In general, what should you look for when shopping for hiking ...
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3answers
1k views

First time camping, need advice

Me and my wife have never done camping before and always wanted to do it. This time we are planning to go for a small camping trip but have no idea how to prepare for it. We like to hike and are ...
16
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3answers
233 views

Do I need any technical skills to climb Kilimanjaro?

Ive heard that climbing Kilimanjaro doesn't require any mountaineering skills and is really just a (very difficult) hike? Is that true? Is there any gear I would need besides traditional hiking ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Handling feminine hygiene on multiple-month treks?

How can I handle multiple months of menstrual cycles on a long trek like the Appalachian Trail? I am asking about how to handle the mess. Here are my personal considerations: Using hormonal birth ...
9
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2answers
657 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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5answers
719 views

Backpacking or hiking in areas open to hunting

A lot of areas that are good for hiking or backpacking are also popular hunting grounds. I am an avid backpacker and hiker, but I do not know much about hunting. How do I find out what is the ...
11
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5answers
2k views

What exercises are recommended to build strength for hiking?

I've not had much opportunity to go hiking for any decent distance recently and I feel the next time I do my body will probably complain a lot. However, I've access to a gym with a lot of equipment so ...
14
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2answers
380 views

Where are good places to look for water sources when I have run out on a multi-day hike?

Luckily this has never happened to me, but even the most prepared hiker can often get themselves into difficulties if they run out of water. My question here is in your experience in remote arid ...
7
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2answers
151 views

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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3answers
390 views

Pain in the heel after a hike

So, I just went hiking, testing out a pretty new pair of shoes. The test trail was about 6 miles round trip. I started to notice on the way back that the back of my heel was a bit uncomfortable, like ...
21
votes
1answer
736 views

Why do shin splints happen?

I've gotten shin splints on long hikes - once 2 weeks into a hike, and another time 2 months. I wasn't able to determine how I got them though, which has really annoyed me! I get that I could ...
7
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1answer
237 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 ...