Hiking Tips You Haven't Heard Before
By Steven Gillman
Do you need
these hiking tips? You do if you ever get blisters or twisted ankles
or knee pain. In fact, I stopped getting blisters at all over ten
years ago. More on that in a moment. First, lets look at some basic
preparation and precautions to take when planning a hike.
Hiking Tips - Preparation
If you haven't done anything physical in a while,
you really should try to get in shape before taking a long hike or a
backpacking trip. Not only will it make much more enjoyable, but the
process of getting ready will point out any problems you might have
(sore back, knee problems, blisters, etc.)
Take a hike near home with a fully loaded pack to
see how far you can comfortably go. If you are going to be
backpacking in running shoes rather than hiking boots, you'll want
to strengthen your ankles. A simple way to do that is to hike on
uneven ground. This will flex and exercises your ankles if you do it
at least several times in the week or two before your trip.
If you will be traveling in the mountains, try
bicycling to get ready. This uses a lot of the same muscles you use
when hiking uphill. Of course, regular bicycle rides are also a fast
way to boost your aerobic capacity. That can help you walk faster
Buy the right equipment before your hiking or
backpacking trip. To be honest, on a short hike you can get by with
almost anything. But if you plan to be deep in the wilderness, get
some decent clothing for that purpose. Jeans get soaked easily in
the rain and stay wet, which is uncomfortable, and can be dangerous
if it is cold outside. A nice hat can keep the sun out of your eyes,
and a rain jacket can keep you safe and warm.
Carry enough water. If you have any problems with
pain when hiking, you should probably carry aspirin or other pain
relief, even on short hikes. Map and compass are a good idea of
course, and tell someone where you'll be.
Hiking Tips - Taking Care Of Your Body
I stopped getting blisters the moment I gave up
hiking boots and hiking socks. They create a hot, humid environment
that is perfect for creating blisters. Even on longer backpacking
trips, I use thin nylon socks and lightweight running shoes. You may
want to try it. Chances are, you'll never go back to heavy socks and
boots. If you are worried about ankle support, strengthen those
ankles! (See above.)
You should also develop a routine for keeping your
feet dry and comfortable. Stop occasionally and take off your shoes
and socks. Air out your feet for a few minutes. If the socks are
wet, replace them and hang the wet ones from your pack to dry.
Remove any sand or small sticks and stones from your shoes. If your
feet get particularly hot, soak them in a cold stream for a while.
Do this, and you'll get a lot more comfortable miles out of them.
If you get knee pains when hiking, the long term
solution may be special exercises to strengthen the surrounding
muscles. Short term, you can buy a simple elastic knee brace to see
if that helps. You might also want to try arch supports. They cost
less than ten dollars and can help stop knee and back problems that
are related to over-pronation (flattening of the foot when walking).
The combination of these two seems to have cured my knee problems.
What if you are out hiking and get sudden knee
pain? Here are a few tips: Icing the knee for a while with cold
water from a stream or with snow can help. Resting with the leg
elevated usually helps a little as well. Making a walking stick from
a branch or small tree and using it especially on downhill stretches
can take some of the pressure of the knee.
Still too painful to walk? The inner bark of
willows and poplars contains a compound that is similar to aspirin.
You can scrape the spongy bark off and make a tea of it, or try just
chewing some up. Better yet, just use the hiking tips in part one
and be prepared.
Copyright Steve Gillman. To get the ebook "Ultralight Backpacking
Secrets (And Wilderness Survival Tips)" for FREE, as well as photos,
gear recommendations, and a new wilderness survival section, visit:
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Gillman
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