Hot answers tagged

43

As a CDT through hiker, off-trail ultramarathon runner, and general fan of cross-country travel, I feel somewhat qualified to speak to this question. Moving off trail tends to be slower than moving on trail. Exactly how much slower depends on many factors. I generally walk 3 mph (~5 km/h) on a well maintained trail with reasonable (less than 1000 ft/mile ...


34

Carrying less weight makes a big difference. My packing follows the "be prepared" style more than the ultralight one, but even I admit it's easy to carry too much. Stepping cautiously especially on descents and trying to avoid dropping too much on one step are both important. A pair of trekking poles is very helpful, and you might need to lengthen them ...


31

Soak the mug in a sink of hot water to warm it up quickly. Be prepared to pry the gas cartridge out quickly, perhaps using small screwdrivers or needle nose pliers. The thermal mass of the gas in the cartridge will help slow it heating. Some shaking may help. Then, don’t do that again;)!


26

As excellent as the previous responses have been (and they all have great advice), I'd add that you want to be FLEXIBLE. Stretching is crucial, and not just for your knees. Hip flexors are a very important part of the equation too. Stretch all the muscle groups in your lower body. Your knees will be affected primarily by your quad (thigh) muscles, but all ...


23

This is called horse packing. It is a totally different outdoor activity to hiking. There are places you cannot go with horses/mules and caring for an animal is a lot of work. Some people love it and horse pack even though they could hike on their own. Other people hate it. Getting into horse packing is a big investment (the animals are not cheap and there ...


20

Before marking any trails, please speak to the forest service or whatever local authority is in charge of the land. They likely have established methods for trail marking that should be followed, and using other means may even counteract their conservation efforts. In many areas, marking trails is illegal. See this article for an example. Marking a trail may ...


15

I endorse what @James Jenkins and @StongBad said about being unable to manage and take care of a mule if you are too out of shape to hike alone. I upvoted their answers and your question. Many trails are serviced by a packer, and you can hire the packer to haul in your stuff on a mule and also haul you in on mule or horse, and then haul your stuff and you ...


15

The coefficient of expansion of mild steel is about 12. The coefficient of expansion of 304 stainless steel is about 17. This means the cup expands more with heat than the cannister, so warming the whole assembly should loosen it. If it was a porcelain, glass, stoneware or other pottery cup, the advice would be the other way around. Coefficient for ...


15

If you want the quickest way to mark a trail, you could go for forestry marking paint. Some brands will advertize around 5 years of permanence. It requires careful placement of your marks so they are visible along the trail but this is true for any type of marker anyway. The advantages are: No need to carry physical marks No need to carry ancillaries like ...


15

The answers you seek are not easily quantifiable - for instance, a very fit experienced hiker might walk 50+ km a day on flat, open (i.e. not brush covered) terrain, but might only do 5-10 (or less) on steep, thickly forested hills. Some people can walk more than 100 km in a day - on urban streets/race tracks, but would be unlikely to sustain this day-after-...


14

Assuming you are not opposed to it, preemptively taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen before your knees start hurting and then re-dosing later if it is a long hike can help to keep swelling / inflammation down. [Edit regarding anti-inflammatories: By all means consult your doctor about safe dosing & frequency before beginning use in your ...


13

Make sure you are using your knees correctly. Body mechanics is a big deal. My doctor was on the road to a knee replacement 25 years ago, and decided he really did not want that. So he learned Tai Chi from an real expert. Tai Chi, as designed, is to train proper body mechanics (in a martial arts context). This made him rethink how he used his knees, and ...


11

Source: Wikimedia Commons Probably the easiest and most durable version is the use of cairns. Provided there is enough rocks around, they are easy to build, unaffected by bleaching of the sun and weather. If they are built big enough, they can even be seen at a certain level of snow.


10

A few decades ago, I raised Saanens goats as part of a small farm. I also liked to hike. I did some research and found that 'pack goats' where in use in some places. The have a number of positive attributes that make them a good choice. I have actually had them on the trail a few times They eat brush so can browse for food along the trail (this may be ...


10

The key for cold weather clothing is layers ...some tips (some from experience, some from reading/hearing from others): Use layers, especially on your top body Wear something on your head (you lose a lot of warmth through your head) (moved up by comment of bob) Your body (chest/back) is most important to keep warm Use not thick clothes, but more thin ...


10

Put a few drops of oil into the mug where it meets the canister. If the oil can seep past there, into the mug, add as much oil as possible. See whether you can twist the canister out. If not: Chill the whole assembly. Get tools to handle the mug and canister. Heat the mug in very hot water, and pry it out. Twist as you pry.


9

similar to the Highlands in Scotland or Scandinavian fjell Not in Germany. Although they share some similarities at a first glance, Scotland and Scandinavia have become two quite different landscapes due to a different history of human impact. In Scotland (and other hilly areas in the British-Irish isles), well over 99% of the original forest was removed ...


8

Blisters are more a function of improperly fitting/not broken in footwear than the specific type, although some kinds can be worse than others. Heavier and stiffer boots take longer to break in than light running shoes for example. I would get the type of footwear that works best for the terrain and size and break them in properly before going on your hikes....


8

Well, I would say taking more time is a very valid option. Also if you know you have knee trouble you could reduce distances to an extent where you do not have to walk for hours with exhausted muscles. From my experience, pushing yourself over the point where the joints lose sufficient muscle support is when you start to have fun the next days. Therefore, ...


8

(None of the other answer combines all of the points which I think are critical) Train. Joints (like tendons) need slower and steadier training than muscles, i.e. they react slower to training impulses. You should not be doing 12 hour plus hikes unless you have been training for at least several hours per week for years. This also applies to carrying weight....


8

Update: I have found some photos of sheep tracks which clearly show that they do not travel directly up a hill. The first first one of switchbacks comes from this website by Chris Collison, where it is claimed the sheep eroded the path over many generations, in other words, it is not man-made. The second shows that they prefer to follow a contour. Here is a ...


8

Pretty much as per @Bob1. I would not start out on this GR without having experience (and good equipment) of camping 2-3 nights in a row minimum, several times. You should also be able to do a 15-20km walk with about a 25-30kg backpack and after having slowly built up the equipment. You don't need to be a super-hiker starting out, but you do have to ...


8

We already have two good answers pointing out that you should start small. However, I would like to add another point--you also need to do shakedown hikes with the gear you actually will be carrying--including the max weight of consumables you will need. I get the impression you have it much easier in the consumable department than we (I'm in the United ...


7

I also have feet which are blister sensitive, but I'm not overweight. In principle, everything that 'dampens' your steps, avoids blisters, but cost energy. So it's a tradeoff. This includes for example thick/extra socks, soles. My experiences with hiking and walking events: About shoes: Not too long, this causes your feet to move inside your shoes back ...


7

Apart of what has already been said, I have some additions: Walking backwards on the descent Obviously, this only works if the terrain allows it (e.g. paved streets or at least some kind of easy path - be careful and safe!). It takes away a lot of strain on your knees and you can use that as a break for your knees while still continuing to walk. Besides, ...


7

This answer is based on research and my experience hiking in the United States, specifically the Midwest and Northeastern US. I mostly focus on deer season, because that's the big one in this area. Be sure to find out which hunting seasons are most popular in your area, and look up the specific dates. Blaze orange and ANSI orange are very similar. In fact, ...


7

There are multiple types of winter hiking that you may refer to. First there is the winter hiking trails. These are often found in or near ski resorts. They are often groomed and can therefore be used with normal boots, no snow shoes required. There trails are typically leading from one cable car station to another or from town to town. Lower in the valley ...


7

How did this happen? Yes, the mug was warm. But also, the gas canister got colder. It is stored in liquid form, but you use it in gaseous form. That means as you use it, the liquid gas must boil. To transition from liquid to gaseous state, the liquid gas must absorb heat energy equal to its latent heat of vaporization. It steals that energy by chilling (...


7

Permanent trails in NZ were marked with cut up bits of Venetian blinds - the aluminium ones and preferably white, nailed to trees with stainless steel (IIRC) nails. You can (could) often get these free from people renovating their homes. Now people seem to use triangular orange trail markers, as a more modern system - they go for about NZ$ 0.45 per marker ...


7

Distill by fuel (doesn't work well on the go) Technically you could distill the water, but this takes a long time and uses a lot of fuel. I'm not sure how many ounces of water you can distil with an ounce of some fuel, but I am willing to bet the conversion rate would be too terrible to be practical. And even if you used scavenged wood, you would have to ...


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