Hot answers tagged

53

Dehydrated food is key. Water weighs a LOT. Breakfast -- Any variation on oatmeal. You can make your own or buy prepackaged meals. Lunch -- Peanut butter on hard tack. (did i mention water?) Dinner -- Any dehydrated meal will do. I've used both Mountain House and Backpackers pantry. Snacks -- I prefer Clif bars and Justin Nut Butter for a good ...


45

Your body does not store significant amounts of water (most of the, usable, water in our body is in blood plasma). Unlike energy which can be stored as fat or carbohydrates, water has no real storage mechanism. This is why you will die of thirst long before you die of hunger. As such, once your body reaches its optimal hydration point it will expel excess ...


43

Hiking blisters are from friction. When things shift, your sock is more likely to stay with your boot than your foot as the two fabrics (or leather and fabric) will catch each other. This leaves the sock moving against your foot, which causes friction. When you wear two socks, specifically a smooth liner and a wool hiking sock, the outer sock moves ...


42

I would say the answer is somewhat subjective, and in order to make a fair assessment you will need to invest some time. Carrying a 30-pound pack up and down hills with a week's worth of food and gear produces different stresses on your feet and joints than a water bottle and rain jacket. The fit may seem less perfect if the material between your toes starts ...


38

The key to keeping your back happy is to drive as much pack weight to your hips as possible. A side note on weight is that the lighter your pack overall, the happier your back. A lot of the packing order depends on your particular pack, but in general, the bottom of a pack is below your hips. Therefore, it is best to put something big and light in the ...


38

No, it would not be offensive. A survey of 200 pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago found that motivations were as follows, in order of importance: Exercise Adventure Peace, solitude, relaxation Spiritual (but not explicitly religious) A lifetime experience A religious pilgrimage (9.6%) To meet people. Source: Top reasons why people walk the Camino As ...


37

The only gear you need is a good, comfortable pair of running shoes and any cheap backpack (extra points for Hello Kitty). There is a popular belief, probably based on pop-culture images dating back to the 1960s, that people need big, heavy hiking boots, or that ankle support is necessary if you're going to carry heavy loads or walk on uneven ground. ...


36

You are using your old used sneaker-like city-shoes, sport-shoes or jogging-shoes to go hiking? Well, those are made for really flat paths without lots of surface irregularities and they aren't designed for rough conditions (wet and/or cold, difficult terrain, bigger loose stones and so on). Saying that, hiking shoes/boots are better for those conditions, ...


36

Anybody who has severe allergies which could lead to anaphylaxic shock should carry appropriate medication with them. Typically, that would consist of: An antihistamine (e.g. benadryll) An epinephrine auto-injector (aka "Epi-Pen") Benadryll is available over the counter and you should have it in your first aid kit. Epi is by prescription only (at least ...


34

For the purposes of defense, the only situation that comes to mind would be hiking through an area known for criminal activity ( think marijuana farm ). And even then, is a small handgun really going to help you ward off criminals with assault rifles ( it would probably just get you killed faster )? If you're thinking of situation involving large predators, ...


31

Lots of people have posted answers saying what they like to eat. However, the OP asked a very specific question, which was: "What is the most efficient food to take a for a 12-15 day hiking trip? [...] Assume I have no taste at all and don't care about eating the same tasteless thing every day if necessary." She specifically stated that her only criterion ...


31

The term you're looking for is "low-residue diet" or "low-residue meal" (for some reason, the medical community tends to avoid the term "poop" in their technical terminology). Simply googling on those terms will get you a lot of good advice; WebMD and Wikipedia are good starting points. A low residue diet is a diet designed to reduce the frequency and ...


30

You could use Naismith's rule which goes as follows: Allow 1 hour for every 3 miles (5 km) forward, plus 1 hour for every 2000 feet (600 metres) of ascent. A lot of hikers in the UK use this as a guide of course bear in mind terrain and altitude! and of course this is not appropriate at higher altitudes. Some sites recommend corrections to the above: ...


29

I actually had a site bookmarked for this very reason that provided some good, sound advice. I've always heard that a cougar (mountain lion) generally doesn't let you see it unless its considering attacking. 100 yards away or more that is unattentive to you Avoid rapid movements, running, loud, excited talk. Stay in groups; keep children with adults. ...


29

A mug outside the backpack is far easier to reach. In some areas, you will pass streams very often. During my first ever backpacking trip, with a group of Swedish people hiking Kaisepakte – Pessiskåtan – Lapporten – Tältlägret – Abisko in September 2005, most people had a mug hanging outside so that they could reach it immediately. Every 5 minutes or so, ...


28

Others will tell you exactly what to bring, maybe even recommend brands. I'm going to cover things at a much higher level, with a few specific tips. The basic requirements of camping match the basics of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Physiological needs (food, clothing and shelter) Safety needs (hope for the best, plan for the worst) Self Actualization ...


26

I've been a hammock backpacker for about three and a half years now. I love it. There's not a better way to backpack in the summer in my opinion. But despite numerous advantages to hammocking, there are some downsides (tradeoffs): The biggest potential downside, as others have mentioned, is heat loss from the underside of the hammock, something my ...


26

Your legs aren't as sensitive to temperture extremes. Right now it's winter here and I'm walking around outside with a regular shirt, a wool sweater, and a wind breaker on my torso. Inside I take off the windbreaker an sweater. However, inside or outside, I'm wearing the same single-layer pants and it's not a problem. My legs don't feel hot inside or ...


26

Liam's right that you can't/shouldn't overhydrate, but based on my experience it's easily possible to start the day under-hydrated. Maybe you're office-bound and don't drink enough water, or you've had a spot more alcohol the evening before than you should, or too much coffee... Either way, you start walking under-hydrated, and end up drinking more water ...


25

Rice. If you have fresh (or purified) water, an amazingly small amount of rice would suffice for 14 days. I've trekked the Cordillera Real for 12 days, and rice was the only reasonable option in terms of weight. A small set of spices - especially salt and pepper - dramatically improves its taste. If you don't want to eat the same food for 14 days, take ...


25

If you need to ask, the answer is almost certainly never. There are places (Northern Quebec, Labrador, Ontario and Manitoba near Hudson's Bay) where due to polar bear activity you should be accompanied by a guide/guard who will have a serious rifle and dedicate significant time to watching for bears while you do your scientific research or marvel at the ...


24

Okay - I found that both my Langmuir (Mountaincraft and Leadership) and my Mountaineers (Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills) have pretty good advice about lightning. I would advise anyone planning on heading out into the hills to read both of these excellent books - Langmuir is the book for British Mountain Leader Training, and the Mountaineers covers ...


24

To be honest I was dubious about getting something that I thought was gimmicky, but my son’s Scout troop was selling custom Buffs to raise group funds so I ended up buying one. A Buff is just a tube of lightweight, stretchy material. I’ve found them useful in three particular situations: They are thin, so can be worn like a hat under a bicycle helmet for ...


22

Hammocks are cold. The weight of your body compresses the clothes or sleeping bag, and air circulates underneath you, as opposed to a tent where you usually have a pad and the ground for insulation. It seems like it would be tough to stay dry in the rain in a hammock. It's nice to have a tent to get into in the rain in between hiking/playing and sleeping if ...


22

I found the best answer is tight underwear made from a slippery fabric with legs that extend just far enough down to cover where things rub in the crotch area. I currently have a pair of Underarmor brand that work very well. They are made of a stretchy but slick synthetic fabric. The garment stays in place on the skin. That means the skin doesn't get ...


22

Roland Muser wrote a book, Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, based on surveys of 136 long-distance hikers, each of whom spent 3-6 months on the trail. Some relevant quotes (p. 133): Two or three hikers had run-ins with local inhabitants, and some reported uncomfortable hitch-hiking incidents. More seriously, two hikers were ...


21

Blisters usually form when your socks get sweaty and things start to rub around. When I first bought my pair of boots, the man in the store told me to wear them around the house for an hour every night for a week or two before my trip. This gives you a chance to break in the leather slowly over time, while keeping your feet blister-free. Obviously, this ...


21

The answer is very dependent on the prevailing weather conditions where you are active, and what your budget is Synthetic Advantages: Lower overall price. Maintains thermal properties when wet. Does not reduce loft in high-humidity/ sweaty sleeping conditions. Easier to clean. Disadvantages: The loft does not last as long as down (3-5yrs vs 8-10yrs) ...


21

The risk is that the blisters will get worse and worse, and continue to interfere with your hiking experience. They can get larger, more painful, and eventually tear open and risk getting infected. This process can happen fairly quickly - from the first time you notice pain in your feet, blisters can develop in < 15 minutes. I haven't personally tried ...


20

Well, this can somewhat depend on the type of backpack you have and the length of the trip you're planning to take (so how much you will be carrying), but there are a few general principles that apply to almost all situations: From the bottom up: The sleeping bag. Most backpacks have a larger, seperately-zipped area at the bottom that is the most ...



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