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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. ...


13

Two ways to get started on a hike: with either your right foot, or your left foot :P First and foremost you need comfortable footwear. Doesn't matter what it is to get started, I've led people over mountain ranges and all they wore were cross trainers. When you get more serious into it, then you should determine what type of trails you want to hike on and ...


10

Start small and simple. The important thing is to get back into the habit of walking long distances and times again. You probably haven't walked a mile in a while. For starters, walk around your neighborhood. Walk to the store. Walk to the movies. Walk to the bar (and stumble home again). Google maps provides walking times, distance and directions.; ...


7

I do a lot of strength training when not backpacking, and try to keep my protein up around ~140 grams per day, on average. I asked a related question over on the fitness.stackexchange.com site, and at this point make all my own meals (usually with my dehydrator) because I find pre-made-hiker-food to be junk. The lightest protein source I know of is simply ...


7

I assume you're talking about the south base camp in Nepal, which is the more popular destination. The typical route gains about 8000 feet over 40+ miles, which is really quite gentle, although the net effect of all that altitude is significant. It's mostly class 1 with some class 2 (rough trail/scrambling), so no technical skills required. ...


6

The question has the tag "mountaineering," but most of the time when I hear people say that you need boots with ankle support, they're actually talking about trail-walking. The cases of hiking and mountaineering are qualitatively different. For mountaineering, one big reason people usually don't use lightweight running shoes is that often there is talus, ...


6

I don't understand why you're so centric around protein. There are protein bars, some of which contain over 20g of protein. There are also freeze dried meats which is actually more protein dense(higher protien-weight ratio) than protein bars. Freeze dried foods generally offer the best weight to calorie ratio, because they have almost no water weight. Even ...


6

Most of the answers seem to be telling you how to walk so I'll assume that's covered. I think part of this is motivation as well - one thing I have enjoyed is getting a hiking book with some destinations to see, which will get you out of the house and going to see something instead of just wandering around. Maybe check this book out: 60 Hikes within 60 ...


6

The most important thing is a bottle of water, which you can carry in any kind of backpack (does not have to be a special one for a start). Further more, it depends very much on what terrain you like to go hiking. Comfortable running shoes are fine if the trail mostly consists of normal soil, but I would recommend hiking shoes with ankle support if you ...


5

The single most important piece of equipement you need is a good reference on the hiking trails around where you live. Read it through, pick a few that you want to do. Those books usually give you a good idea of how long it takes and how hard the hike is. For the rest, Ben Crowell has a pretty good answer. Do a few (or just one) hikes and adjust your ...


4

As others said, you don't need special equipment. Shoes: If you're going on sufficiently marked, easy short trails, you can even do it in bad shoes or barefoot. Our family, including my 6 year old has covered enough trails under 3 miles in Crocs. Having said that, I do most of my shorter hikes in running shoes, and longer ones (6+ hours) in hiking shoes. ...


4

Hiking isn't too different from walking, except that the terrain may be rougher (depending on the path) and navigation might be more difficult (again, depending on the path). I am in the northeastern U.S. and can tell you that most people already own the equipment to hike many of the most difficult all-day mountain trails in my region. You're not even ...


3

While Patrick's answer here clears many of the points, I would like to make up a few points about warm-up routines and acclimatization. A few points may sound very specific to you and not really generic at all. For us, Indians, that weather is not really what you can call normal and pleasant, with the gradual (if it is) gain in altitude adding to a wee bit ...


3

Another good idea would be to remember back to your Boy Scout days. Scouts are required to always to bring their ten essentials: Hydration (Water bottle ... probably 1 or 2 liters) Illumination (If you won't be out late, you can probably leave this) Extra Clothing (A lightweight jacket that still keeps you warm) Pocket knife (multitool) Matches ...


3

The other answers covered what you need as far as equipment goes - which isn't much - but I didn't see any that talked about what you need to know. You need to know about any potential dangers and how to avoid them. For example, in the DFW area: know how to recognize and avoid the types of poisonous snakes (and any other dangerous wild animals) that live ...


3

This question is extremely subjective, so anyone with experience will (and should) come up with his one personal way. What I will describe is therefore just an idea of when and why to use shoes with ankle support. The distinctions between the two types that cause the different application exceed the (no) ankle support: boots (ankle support) stiff sole ...


3

AlbertaParks.ca is the resource about all parks in Alberta. I find the maps perfectly easy to read myself. If you want to see where all the parks are, just use google maps, it highlights all provincial, National, and even some regional parks in green, and shows you all roads.


2

I've done some short stretches of the AT in near-by areas of NY state which should be about the same as the AT in CT. The trail is well-marked and well-traveled. Wildlife is mostly the standard small woodland animals, but there can also be bears. We have not had trouble finding suitable trees for hoisting a bear bag and have not had a problem with that. ...


2

One trick not yet mentioned, but surprisingly efficient: When I start sweating in this area (and I'm out in the woods where I won't meet a lot of people) I usually just open the zipper on my pants. This helps wonders to boost air circulation, thus preventing sweating. For me this also 100% prevents the hiking rashes. Sometimes I walk for an hour like that, ...


2

Agreed. The Audobon guides are the best that I know of because you can search in the flower section, the bark section, or the leaf section for your target tree. Not familiar with the apps, but I'm sure they do the same thing if not more. My personal favorite for tree walks with kids? The Silbey Guide to Trees. Here's why: Really good color drawings ...


2

I just came in from a 3 mile hike and I am the kind of person you're talking about. It took me 1 hour on a flat surface, well maintained trail through the woods. So 3 mph is a good general rule of thumb for your average joe on level ground, no heavy backpack, no speed competition, but no stopping to smell the roses and take pictures, breaks. etc. I'm not ...


2

Yes, you are seeing it right, I am answering the question right away, but I intentionally asked this question so that I can have more views and opinions about it, specially the ones that contradicts what I think. I would rather prefer to have it decided upon what I am planning to do on-field. If I am going at a route that involves Rock-climbing, I don't ...


2

That sounds very strange to me- the leather itself seems like the last thing that would be letting water through, especially if treated with waterproofing products. My immediate thought would be to look at the stitching, including the tongue and gussets. How many pieces make up the uppers? If it's more than one, check those seams as well. Do you notice ...


1

When I was in the British Army, the officially recommended way to soften new leather boots and to keep them waterproof was to fill them with cooking oil and leave for it to soak through the leather (some will eventually ooze out, so don't leave them on the carpet). You can drain the oil and store for future reproofing. Your socks might smell like ...


1

You asked about equipment & training. What you didn't ask, but may be useful is where to hike and who to hike with. There are hiking & outdoor clubs all over the place. Most of them will accept beginners. Start on easier hikes and work your way up. You'll also get a chance to ask others on their equipment choices. To find these clubs, just do a ...


1

Use MeetUp to find local hiking groups. They can lead you to great hikes, and provide company and safety in numbers. @njzk2's answer has good recommendations for equipment you should consider for any hike. I used to use the Afoot and Afield series of books to find good hikes in my area.


1

Start small and work your way up, walk round your local parks etc. You will probably be surprised how many options there are even within a short distance of where you live. Also start with what you are comfortable and build up from there. Challenging yourself is good, but deciding to do something you're obviously unprepared for and failing horribly is only ...


1

Yes. Lots of farms rent llamas. Most require at minimum a 1/2 day "orientation" course in how to handle a llama. This includes things like the care and feeding of the animal, as well as how to pack the animal properly to keep the load manageable and balanced. An overnight with a handler would be more than sufficient to give you the skills you need. Llamas ...


1

You should keep in mind: DEET is not an insect repellent that will prevent insects from landing on your skin! DEET is a contact poison that will be very unpleasant for any insect who gets into contact with your skin - they essentially 'burn their feet'. This prevents mosquitoes/black flies/knot/... from stinging you, but they will still try to land on your ...


1

I used to carry a multi-bladed knife when doing very long hikes. I eventually put it in my car where I found many uses for it like cutting off tags on newly purchased clothes. I think I own the knife because I think it is cool to own. : ) The only useful tool on a folding knife might be the small blade that allows you to make holes in things. I think it is ...



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