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26

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, ...


22

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, ...


15

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 ...


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 ...


15

According to regulations in Tanzania, you can't climb Kilimanjaro without a guide. That means you will 100% be with somebody that understands the nature of acclimatization and has likely been up many many times previously. When you hire a guide, or book a guided trip via a company, they will also take care of permits for you. Most companies automatically ...


15

By "black bear", I'll assume you mean Ursus americanus, the North American black bear. These bears are opportunists and aren't looking for a fight. In all the encounters I have had with them in the wild that I know of, they have run away as soon as they noticed me. I probably had many more encounters where the bear noticed me and took off before I noticed ...


12

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.


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 ...


12

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 ...


12

No, there is nothing on the AT that justifies carrying a firearm. The extra weight and space is much more of a detriment than the extremely unlikely and frankly inconceivable case where a firearm would be a help. Since the AT crosses many jurisdictions, there may also be legal issues that could vary every few miles. The whole concept just doesn't make ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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. ...


9

I wrote up some notes here that me be helpful. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a big deal. It doesn't require a lot of stamina or strength, because the need for gradual acclimatization severely limits how far you can go every day. It's not legal to climb without a guide, and when you pay for a guide, you're also typically also getting a lot of support, which is ...


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

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

Consider whether you really need to have dry shoes before going thru all the trouble. In the winter, wet footwear can be a serious problem. However, when it's warm out there is really no danger from wet shoes. The only issue may be that you simply don't like the feel of it. In situations where its warm enough and there is no real danger from wet shoes, ...


8

An adult person burns between 100 to 150 kcal additionally per 100m elevation gained. Moreover, if you carried some common back bag you should add around 50 to 100 calories per hour. If the bag was very heavy you should add around 200 calories per hour. Of course, these are only average values - for a more exact calculation we would need the weight, age of ...


8

Here are two pretty useful articles on the correct way to use poles: one shortish one and one longer quite comprehensive one. There are several aims in using a pole. Primarily (IMHO) is to reduce strain on the knees/ankles. Additionally they they provide extra stability on rough ground and can make going uphill easier. The disadvantage is they result in ...



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