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25

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, ...


18

Someone who has overweight isn't normally able to carry more, so weight isn't as important. The height would be more adequate... Muscle strength isn't much important when you go on long hikes... Strength doesn't translate directly to endurance, often it's the opposite - people with smaller muscles are more endure and are actually able to carry more on ...


15

My ankles sprain easily. I have good quality walking boots that give good ankle support, because I need them. You may not. Everyone’s different. Yes, they’re heavier than runners, significantly heavier, in fact, but for my situation, they’re worth it. When I’m on rough terrain, and especially if I’m also carrying a heavy backpack, I can sprain my ankles very ...


14

Generally "X gives way to Y" rules can be found not just on trails but on open water (steam gives way to sail) and in rivers and channels, even on city sidewalks. They seem to be based on these (potentially contradictory) reasons: slower movers should allow faster movers to pass them and carry on away (after catching up from behind) more nimble entities ...


13

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 ...


12

There are many who nowadays shun boots and prefer to have lightweight footwear in all terrains and most weather conditions. It's worth having a look at Chris Townsend's website at http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com/. He has hiked many long distance trails, including some in the US and has put together an article on his blog about the topic of Lightweight ...


11

For night trekking, I use a headlamp. Couple of reasons: Keeps your hands free. (Useful when you are walking up steep slopes) No worry of dropping them flashlight (Had happened to me once where my flashlight rolled down the hill) Advantages of a flashlight over a headlamp: More powerful and directional. (No need to strain your head in weird angles to ...


11

The whole topic of sports equipment, sports health, and sports injuries is one in which the scientific quality of most of the information tends to be extremely poor. However, there is a group at Harvard that does research on barefoot running, and they have a web page with a lot of good information on it. As far as I've seen from browsing through their ...


11

Searching online I found lots of useful informations, like e.g. wiki says: The accuracy of step counters varies widely between devices. Typically, step counters are reasonably accurate at a walking pace on a flat surface if the device is placed in its optimal position (usually vertically on the belt clip). Although traditional step counters get affected ...


11

In the Grand Canyon, it's because it's easier for a human to get off the trail than it is for a mule. I suspect the same reasoning applies in most places.


11

The concern is valid; your basic plan should be to stay calm and not increase your heart rate. If other options for evacuation are not available, slowly walking yourself out is the best remaining option. The bitten area can swell quite a bit, so remove nearby jewelry or clothing to prevent them from turning into tourniquets. If you have a pen you can use ...


10

That depends entirely on weather conditions and the paths you plan to take. If you stay on cleared roads, your Icetrekkers should be sufficient (and may not even be necessary). The main problem will be snow, not ice. Hiking paths will generally not be cleared of snow, so you'd need snowshoes or touring skis. Additionally, if there is (or has been) heavy ...


10

Yes it does dry shoes much faster. When long distance hiking it is definitely a nice thing to be able to stop in town and dry your shoes overnight using newspapers. It will draw a lot of the dampness right out of your footwear. This is a known trick and many people will attest to its magic. First ball up some newspaper. I usually use two large sheets ...


10

Big, heavy "waffle stomper" boots are mainly a relic of the past, along with wool knickers and steel canteens. For most conditions, modern running shoes work far better. Any weight on your feet cuts down on your efficiency much more than a similar amount of weight on your back. Also, the heavier your boots get, the harder it is to keep from getting blisters, ...


10

I think there are several factors to consider when traveling alone. Pros You can set your own pace. For me this is one of the main reasons to hike alone. When with other people they often want to go faster than you and you end up breaking yourself trying to keep up or are slower/less confidant and you have to slow down/not do those 'interesting' scrambles ...


9

The category of shoe you are looking for is an approach shoe, the name comes from their use by mountain climbers as their shoe of preference for approaching a climbing pitch. They're lighter than hiking boots and are designed for trails and for scrambling. Approach shoes tend to have smoother soles than hiking boots but are usually sturdier than a climbing ...


9

This is a bad plan for several reasons. YakTrax are not well suited for this situation. YakTrax are more specialized for people who want to go running on city streets in places with cold winters. For mountaineering, they're basically useless. They don't give enough extra traction. Microspikes or crampons would be more appropriate. Roping up is a ...


9

The safe and courteous way to handle an encounter with stock (horses, donkeys, etc.) is to step off the trail to the downhill side, and also to talk to the riders. This helps the animals know you are a human and not a predator, and it moves you clear of their path should they spook. Horses are prey animals and may be sensitive to potential threats from ...


9

My experience of mountain huts huts is mainly from UK and Europe. Standards in other parts of the world may vary. Mountain huts come in a wide range of different varieties. At the basic end you have unmanned huts or bothies. These can range from very basic with just a roof and wooden bunks to put your sleeping kit on to reasonably nice with beds, stove, ...


9

Tree's generate water as part of the respiration process (not to be confused with photosynthesis which is different). This happens at night and day. This is relatively static day or night. Photosynthesis alters dependant on sunlight, respiration (being the process of producing energy) does not. Respiration will alter dependant on the time of year, i.e. ...


8

I doubt a definitive list exists. But here is an algorithm to create your own list: What altitude-based things make climbing a peak require gear? At what altitude do problems in step 1 start occurring? What non-altitude-based problems might cause a climb to require gear? What peaks nearest me are this height or less? Here are my personal answers to ...


8

Single use water bottles are nice, like Steed mentioned. I use those a lot. The downside is that most filters don't readily attach to those bottles, which means I often wish I had a third hand when pumping water. Whenever I have space in my pack, I like to use a hydration bladder. You don't have to take your pack off to drink or ask someone else to hand you ...


8

I would say there is no point in walking briskly. With a heavy backpack, it's a no-no for me. I have observed and have struggled with the same problem when I started off towards some serious trekking with genuinely elevated/steep climbs with a heavy haversack on my back. The sack that I usually carry weighs about 18 kg. People who are advising you to walk ...


8

I tried out both options when I started night hiking and can share the following observations: Flashlights are generally more powerful and directional - you can point a beam of light much further away; useful if you are trying to see further around you, for example to determine where each fork in the trail leads. Headlamps are less powerful for the same ...


8

Endurance and muscle strength are completely different things. From my experience and observations, hikers are usually thin (or even very thin) and big, strong muscles doesn't contribute to endurance. Often, because large muscles require more energy, they may be handicapping the hiking endurance. I've observed no endurance difference between big man and ...


8

Ben Crowell already answered the "why minimalist" angle better than I could have, but he didn't specifically talk about Vibram FiveFingers (hereafter VFF). This is intended to complement his answer. Generic pros of minimalist footware Little or no heel drop. As with other (true) "minimalist" footwear the VFF have little or no heel drop. This works with ...


8

Any advice is greatly appreciated; I can't really afford new boots Well there goes my #1 piece of advice - I don't want to rub it in too much at all, but it just goes to show how important it is to make sure your boots will be comfortable before committing. At this point it sounds like they're just a poor fit, they shouldn't be causing that much pain ...


7

Just like you I enjoy hiking in VFFs and I wondered how it would be to do a long backpacking trip in them. I chose the seemingly short 74 mile PCT section in Washington state, that has about 20,000' of elevation gain and loss and most of the trail is rocky. First day was great, just as any day hike, even with the heavy pack. Although my feet started to hurt ...


7

When I go hiking with my wife or a mixed group, we don't use any fixed figures of x%. Instead we all know roughly what weight we are happy carrying, and if someone feels they could carry more they will offer to help out someone who appears to be struggling or overloaded. In general, if you are experienced hikers, you will have your pack size/type pretty ...


7

The recommended depth you mention is standard Leave no Trace guidelines for most regions, and strikes a balance between: Getting it out of site (and other feet) Keeping it from running off Keeping it near the layer of organic soil Burying too deep can be a problematic from a health and safety standpoint, since pathogens have been known to survive for a ...



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