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Questions tagged [hiking]

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

106
votes
16answers
47k 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 ...
67
votes
10answers
14k views

When hiking, why is the right of way given to people going up?

When you're in a path and you encounter another group going the other way, it is said that whoever is going down should stand aside to let those going up pass through. Why?
66
votes
9answers
16k views

Etiquette of playing musical instruments on popular hikes

I enjoy hiking, but I'm not very well-versed with the general expectations other people have about noise, especially serious hikers. I generally do trails that take between 3-6 hours, usually up hills/...
60
votes
13answers
296k 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 ...
53
votes
5answers
14k views

Is ankle support a myth?

There seems to be an ongoing holy war with "boots people" vs "shoes people". A comment on this question caught my eye: ...Ankle support is a myth for most folks.... Now I've always worn boots and ...
52
votes
8answers
10k views

How can I get a GPS location for this tree on a distant hillside?

I want to hike to the base of this tree (circled in red in the photo). That's a hillside full of full grown trees beneath it, and it looks like over a full tree's height sticking up above the other ...
49
votes
11answers
15k views

How do I make people not be afraid of me and my dogs?

I like to hike, and I have two large dogs (German Shepherd, Presa Canario). After a long hike I look reasonably homeless (long hair, unshaven, muddy). Combined with two large, potentially dangerous ...
46
votes
5answers
8k 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, ...
46
votes
7answers
35k 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 ...
44
votes
11answers
10k views

Given limited space and weight what should I carry to get a fire going with damp wood?

Assuming firewood can be found, but it's likely to be damp, how can I best be prepared for getting a fire going? This is for a light hiking situation, so I'm not going to carry a sack full of kindling,...
43
votes
7answers
6k 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?
41
votes
12answers
30k 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 "...
41
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
38
votes
10answers
10k views

Mountaineering with a 6-year-old kid in winter

I'm planning to go to the Austrian Alps with my 6-year-old daughter in one week. We would like to go on Großer Priel, 2515 m. The plan is to go for three days (sleeping two nights in a tent on a ...
38
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
37
votes
6answers
14k views

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

I have two large dogs - a German Shepherd and a Presa Canario. I hike alone with my dogs in black (not grizzly) bear country. Do I still need to hang my food? Or will the three of us be able to ...
37
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
36
votes
12answers
37k 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?
35
votes
12answers
139k 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 ...
34
votes
11answers
37k 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 ...
33
votes
7answers
49k 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'...
32
votes
5answers
37k 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
2k views

“Official” providers of topographic maps per country

If I want to go to some contry, with no specific region in mind yet, I often have trouble to get good topographical information for hiking beforehand. I usually find it rather difficult to discover ...
31
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
45k 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 ...
30
votes
12answers
5k views

What gear should I carry along for winter emergencies?

This question is prompted by a real accident, in which a young, healthy and experienced hiker I knew was found dead from hypothermia ridiculously close to civilization. The assumptions behind it: a ...
30
votes
7answers
8k views

How can I clear spiderwebs in my path while hiking?

I went hiking this weekend in a national forest on trails that see little use. In parts there were many spiderwebs crossing the trail - sometimes full webs (which I could usually, but not always, ...
30
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
29
votes
15answers
6k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
9k views

Modern equivalent of a flare gun?

This summer I will be taking a rather inherently dangerous multi-day hike by myself. I was considering buying a flare gun since I will be out of cellular range unless there is something more modern ...
29
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
28
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
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 ...
28
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
29k 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 ...
26
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
2k 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?
26
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
435 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? Is it a good color book such as the Audubon Field Guide to North ...
26
votes
5answers
1k 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?
26
votes
2answers
4k 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. Somehow a dog from the first village decided to stick with us. We were OK with it. Then he was followed by a small Puppy. ...
26
votes
1answer
503 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 ...
25
votes
11answers
8k views

How to fight bugs when hiking?

What's the best way to repel flies and bugs when hiking in summer? Where I hike is not really humid (southern California) but it's hot on summer days and a lot of insects and flies gather around me ...
25
votes
5answers
30k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...