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

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86
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16answers
18k views

What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip?

Last summer I spent 15 days hiking with my boyfriend, in Sarek National Park, where there are no places to restock with more food. The food issue was a major part of the pre-planning, as weight was ...
41
votes
6answers
19k views

Is it better to wear one pair or two pairs of socks while hiking?

From personal experience I tend to wear two pairs of socks, normally some running socks and then my hiking socks on top of that. It helps me avoid blisters. Quite a few of my friends thinks this is ...
38
votes
9answers
144k views

How do you determine how long a hike will take?

Is there a general rule of thumb for converting miles to hours when looking at a potential hike? For example, how long does it take an average person walking at an average speed to walk a mile on the ...
36
votes
7answers
5k views

What are some good tips and techniques for packing a backpack?

How do I pack a backpack to prevent injury to my back and keep it comfortable while hiking?
36
votes
5answers
6k views

Will drinking lots of water in the day(s) prior to a long trek mean I will need less water on the trek?

I am not sure if 'pre-hydrating' is a valid term to use for this, please correct me if you know the term. While walking down a tiring route, I was so tired and low on water. All I could think of was, ...
35
votes
8answers
7k views

What are the downsides to sleeping in a hammock on a multi-day hike?

I've read that hammocks are a very light way to travel through the wilderness. You just need the hammock, a cover, and a light sleeping bag, but there must be disadvantages compared to taking a tent ...
35
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

How to treat a severe allergic reaction while hiking?

Suppose you are out hiking, many hours from the trail head and someone has a severe allergic reaction (ie, anaphylactic shock or Anaphylaxis). In this case, what is the best course of treatment to ...
32
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
32
votes
10answers
17k views

FiveFingers or hiking boots?

I have been wearing Vibram FiveFingers exclusively for three years now. I day hike in them, I exercise in them, I go to to work with them, I hit the beach and swim in them. I have tried wearing "...
32
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
31
votes
12answers
19k views

What is the point of hiking boots, versus any comfortable walking shoes?

I've always used any old shoes for hiking. Are there any real benefits to using specially made boots?
29
votes
5answers
13k views

Does hiking with a dog in bear country increase or decrease your risk of a bear encounter?

I've heard various rumors that dogs might help keep bears away, or might be a bear attractant. Is there anything more concrete than anecdotal evidence to go on? From the companionship end, they are a ...
27
votes
11answers
70k views

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 ...
27
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
18k views

Dealing with rashes between thighs and around the groin

This, I believe, most of outdoor people once in a while do have to deal with: Rashes between thighs, around the groin. This may really screw the entire trip and make it annoyingly miserable to walk ...
25
votes
8answers
3k views

What should I do about large trash left by others on USFS land?

When you find large trash items left by others in less accessible places, what should be done? The exact scenario: We were hiking a ten mile trail on US Forestry Service land with river crossings and ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it offensive to “just hike” on a pilgrim's path?

I am considering taking a pilgrim's path - Olaf's Trail - in Norway (about 3 weeks). However, I don't want to do it for any religious reasons. I just saw this trail in pictures and thought: "What a ...
24
votes
7answers
37k 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 won'...
24
votes
5answers
5k views

Any reason to carry a mug outside of the backpack?

We all know this typical Hollywood hiking backpack with an attached sleeping bag and a dangling camping mug. As I currently build a custom backpack, I wondered if there is any good reason to leave ...
24
votes
9answers
13k views

How much water should be carried while hiking in the desert?

I live in the Arizona desert, and during the summer, despite my best intentions, I always seem to end up doing some hiking in the summer heat. What is a good formula to figure out how much water I ...
24
votes
2answers
5k views

Possible diet to avoid/delay defecation

We plan to go on a three day hike (two nights). The amount of food is no problem of course, but we want to avoid defecation while on the trail. Which kind of food comes into question? Edit: It's ...
23
votes
5answers
18k views

What do you risk when you ignore blisters and carry on walking?

The blisters can be very painful. If you walk further, you should expect it won't be easy and pleasant. And the blisters may get worse. But what do you risk, except from pain and getting more ...
23
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
22
votes
15answers
5k views

Hiking: How to start?

I would like to get into hiking, and would like some ideas on gear.training to start. I have always enjoyed nature walks and even did some hiking when I was a kid in boy scouts, but that was years ago ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

What clothing would be appropriate for hiking in -18°C with up to 30 km/hr wind?

I recently moved to Germany and am planning to do a hike in the Harz mountains. The weather is expected to be around -18°C. Most of the trail will be sheltered by forest, but the mountaintop is ...
22
votes
3answers
433 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
19k views

How to keep water cold in hot weather?

When doing outdoor sports like hiking or biking I'll always take a lot of cold water with me. I love to drink cold water and I feel more refreshed compared to drinking warm or not-so-cold water. But ...
21
votes
7answers
14k views

Does packing boots with newspaper make them dry faster?

In one of the trail journals I read, the author mentions packing her boots with newspaper to dry them out. On the one hand I can see perhaps some wicking action, but this would greatly reduce airflow....
20
votes
9answers
5k views

Am I packing too much for a 2-3 day hike in the forests?

I have decided that I would like to hike. I have read a bit on hiking, and bought some gear and a backpack to get started. I want to start with backpacking through mostly flat forests, and later ...
20
votes
3answers
1k 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?
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Synthetic vs Down sleeping bags?

What are the best conditions to use a synthetic sleeping bag vs a down one? Can you always use a down sleeping bag as long as you keep it in a dry waterproof bag?
20
votes
2answers
210 views

What is Fast Packing?

I've heard it referred to as a cross between running and hiking, but what does that end up looking like? What type of milage/hour are people doing, there chafing issues, and is this the type of ...
20
votes
2answers
296 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
604 views

Is there a definitive list of the tallest mountains in the world that require little or no mountaineering experience?

I was wondering if there is a list of the tallest mountains in the world where you can walk or scramble up to the summit? As opposed to using even basic rope skills?
19
votes
9answers
6k views

When should you carry a firearm when hiking/trekking?

When my friend planned to hike the Appalachian trail, his mother insisted he take her small handgun. I didn't think it would be a great idea in that case, but I'm sure there must be times when such ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Meeting an unknown snake on the trail; what is the best thing to do?

The newsletter from the Virginia Wildlife Rescue League reported the following incident. A man, his partner and her 4 year old daughter were walking in Farquier County (a rural county), when they saw ...
19
votes
5answers
2k 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.
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Climbing Kilimanjaro for a newbie

It looks like I'm going to be living in Nairobi for a few years. Along with all of the other amazing opportunities for adventure around here, there's this giant mountain just over the border. Since I'...
19
votes
5answers
624 views

Barefoot Backpacking: Liquid Boots?

Yes, you read it right: Is there something that works like epoxy or natural tar that I can apply to the most delicate impact points of my feet (balls and heel) that will form a very durable bond, and ...
19
votes
7answers
19k views

How do I avoid leeches?

The last time I was attacked by leeches I thought I'd taken enough precautions such as pulling my socks over my trousers and avoiding walking through particularly wet areas or long grass but I still ...
19
votes
6answers
1k views

How safe is it to hike alone?

Should a woman legitimately fear to be assaulted or raped on popular backpacking trails in the US when hiking by herself? How common are attacks of that nature? How does it compare to residential ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

How to stay clean on a multi-day hike?

I love hiking but there is a serious problem - I find it disgusting to be sweaty or dirty. I am literally unable to function properly if I do not get a thorough and warm shower every morning. This ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

How to Shoo away a stubborn Stray Dog/Dogs who decides to tag along with you on a hike?

This happened on one of my hikes. It was a hike with two villages en route. Some how a dog from the first village decided to stick with us. We were OK with it. Then he was followed by a small Puppy. ...
19
votes
2answers
272 views

What types of resources are best for identifying trees while hiking?

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 ...
19
votes
1answer
230 views

Pressing the knee while ascending

Usually I have a walking stick with me. But this time around I didn't have one along. With the hot and humid weather adding to the woes, we were going up a seemingly unending ascent. The constant ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't we apply the principles of layering when it comes to pants?

Whenever I see clothing articles geared toward hiking and backpacking that discuss layering (base layer for wicking, mid layer for insulation, etc.), they always seem to discuss these things in terms ...
18
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
738 views

What do I need to look for in good, quality hiking boots?

My wife and I are going to buy some hiking boots as we've been using regular tennis shoes anytime we go on a hike. What are the things I need to keep in mind when looking for a good set of quality ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How to hike without constantly looking down

Every time I go walking or hiking, I generally spend most of my time looking down to make sure I don't step on a snake or hole or dog poop. I don't do it consciously, it just happens. Obviously, I ...