Long Distance Walking - Day Hikes, Through Hikes

Slap47

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Really great post. I started hiking a few years ago, and agree it does wonders for body and soul. On poles: I never hike without them. There is a technique to using them efficiently, and once you've got that they will reduce wear on your leg joints and give your arms a bit of a workout. I've also avoided plenty of trips and falls using them. Also water: a bladder with bite tube saves a lot of faffing about getting bottles from your pack and makes it easier to balance your pack, but most importantly, drink the stuff: if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Map and compass, and the ability to use them, and a whistle. Especially when hill walking. Basically, if I have to get lifted off the hills by mountain rescue, it will be because of shitty luck and not because I'm an unprepared sped.

You should make a walking stick. Wood is naturally light and sturdy and you can customize it with brands, beads, etc.
 
So long hike is over, 4 glorious days of continuous hiking 68 miles.
Well I say that I got over ambitious with day 1 and did 21 miles, and it had a knock on effect throughout.
Needless to say, I was pleased with how things went, despite the fact that my feet got beat up and it's taken a few days to rest up and recuperate. It was fun though, good walking throughout Kent if you have the time.
 
What shoes/boots did wear? Did you take a rest day? 21 miles day one is fucking insane. Well done

Thanks.

I had hiking boots, some older leather boots from a decent brand that I wore in Spain and have now retired.
This last trip was to be their last as they're starting to finally fall apart after 2 1/2 years of constant use.

I bought the boots before doing the research and finding most people wear trail runners or short boots, long ankle support isn't really needed, and they are weighty.

I didn't take a rest day, though in retrospect that was something I should have done. I was over eager.

In most sensible terms, top mark should be 10 miles per day with half rest day in-between or 20/30 with full rest day in-between. By then end of day 2 the bottoms of my feet weren't very happy and day 3 was consequently a lot slower with more breaks and painkillers.

I always learn these things the hard way it seems, by day 4 I was back into the older habit of taking small breaks every 2 hours, taking a hour every four. By day 4 adaptation meant 14 miles/2 segment was do-able, though this did tend to wear on the joints by the end.

Rest days would have been easier to add in, if I'd been in a country that had more accessibility to overnight camping or a cheaper accommodation system. (The Spanish municipals at 5 euro a night are a God send.) So I had to stick with the planned 7 day schedule, 4 on the road, 3 in the location traveled to.

I could have split it 2/1/2 and then 2 days at destination. All part of the learning experience for the future.
 

Thought precriminal

Quota exceeded. Precrime arrest imminent.
kiwifarms.net
So long hike is over, 4 glorious days of continuous hiking 68 miles.
Well I say that I got over ambitious with day 1 and did 21 miles, and it had a knock on effect throughout.
Needless to say, I was pleased with how things went, despite the fact that my feet got beat up and it's taken a few days to rest up and recuperate. It was fun though, good walking throughout Kent if you have the time.
What shoes/boots did wear? Did you take a rest day? 21 miles day one is fucking insane. Well done
My 2 cents:
Boots are indeed overrated for all but the most demanding terrain and conditions. I forgot who first pointed this out, but essentially 1kg on your feet is equivalent to 10-20kg on your back.
There are certain skin peeling problems I had hiking in boots that I was totally unable to resolve, but they have never even remotely been a problem since I started hiking exclusively in trail runners for the past decade or so. The other solution to friction related issues is to wear 2 pairs of socks. This is something I've been doing for many years as well. In the ideal, you want a tight fitting base layer made of thin, lightweight material (something like "Coolmax"). On top of that you want a sock made of heavier stuff, ideally also slightly looser fitting to accommodate the sock underneath.
If you want socks actually designed and marketed for this purpose check out the brand Injinji (pretty expensive as far as socks go, however).
 

Buster O'Keefe

Enjoys offal
True & Honest Fan
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My 2 cents:
Boots are indeed overrated for all but the most demanding terrain and conditions. I forgot who first pointed this out, but essentially 1kg on your feet is equivalent to 10-20kg on your back.
There are certain skin peeling problems I had hiking in boots that I was totally unable to resolve, but they have never even remotely been a problem since I started hiking exclusively in trail runners for the past decade or so. The other solution to friction related issues is to wear 2 pairs of socks. This is something I've been doing for many years as well. In the ideal, you want a tight fitting base layer made of thin, lightweight material (something like "Coolmax"). On top of that you want a sock made of heavier stuff, ideally also slightly looser fitting to accommodate the sock underneath.
If you want socks actually designed and marketed for this purpose check out the brand Injinji (pretty expensive as far as socks go, however).

I prefer boots but maybe that's because if there is a bog neaby I'm going to end up in it. Totally agree with the 2 sock method, in the UK market there are lightweight 'liner socks'. What are your thoughts on poles?
 

Azazel

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I live in suburbia hell but I love going on long walks through the 'burbs, zoning out or listening to podcasts. Unfortunately I get fucked because of my job, I'm often on-call even on my days off and when I get called in it's usually because something is real bad fucked and I need to be at work in like an <hour. Even when I'm not on call my co-workers will call me to ask about specific things only I can answer. So being hours out into a wilderness with no cell service would be...not ideal. And getting people to cover on-call shifts is a nightmare in paperwork.

Anyway, I wish I lived closer to hiking trails. I went to Alaska this year for vacation and tried some of the hiking trails and loved them, but because of the group I was with I didn't have nearly enough time to properly enjoy them. I could have easily spent my entire trip just exploring their trails. It was honestly a bummer, I want to return to Denali park and hike through it.

Great OP thread btw, I'll definitely use it as a resource if/when I can ever do proper hiking.
 
My 2 cents:
Boots are indeed overrated for all but the most demanding terrain and conditions. I forgot who first pointed this out, but essentially 1kg on your feet is equivalent to 10-20kg on your back.
There are certain skin peeling problems I had hiking in boots that I was totally unable to resolve, but they have never even remotely been a problem since I started hiking exclusively in trail runners for the past decade or so. The other solution to friction related issues is to wear 2 pairs of socks. This is something I've been doing for many years as well. In the ideal, you want a tight fitting base layer made of thin, lightweight material (something like "Coolmax"). On top of that you want a sock made of heavier stuff, ideally also slightly looser fitting to accommodate the sock underneath.
If you want socks actually designed and marketed for this purpose check out the brand Injinji (pretty expensive as far as socks go, however).

The boots purchase was based partly off of prior experience and newbie enthusiasm. I got so used to living in very rugged wilderness where boots were pretty much essential and moving 5km an hour was optimistic if you weren't on a cut trail.

That said every time I've been out on a hike, the trails have been fairly well maintained so now I've retired my boots I'm going to get a pair of trail shoes for any major hiking. The boots I might get resoled and use exclusively for winter normal use, but I agree it's unnecessary weight where it's not needed, and you really start to feel those extra kg in the last days.

As for the double sock method, I've done it before with middling results. I got blisters from it, and found it less problematic to just vaseline my feet up and use just my wool hiking socks, so that's what I did for this trip. I got some blisters, but I think that was due to have let me feet get too soft, and it was mainly the sides of the big toe, so easy to drain and rest overnight.

I'm a chauvinist against pole use. But I guess they can be useful for steep inclines.
Even Kilian Jornet appears to be using poles in this video, whereas I know he eschews them in most races:

I'm a bit mixed with walking poles, they are nice in rougher terrain and I recommend them if your in a situation where your going to be carrying a lot of weight and going up and down a lot of hills. At the same time, you want to train your body to be able to handle the weight on it's own. So it's a mix.

More than anything else though they come in handy for difficult terrain. I have a walking stick that I fashioned myself and it's my preferred walking support for ascending hills or walking over swampy or boggy terrain.

This race looks amazing!

Were you humping all your camping gear?

Yes.
Minus the micro sleeping bag and a few other items, I put some others back in so it was effectively same weight.

I live in suburbia hell but I love going on long walks through the 'burbs, zoning out or listening to podcasts. Unfortunately I get fucked because of my job, I'm often on-call even on my days off and when I get called in it's usually because something is real bad fucked and I need to be at work in like an <hour. Even when I'm not on call my co-workers will call me to ask about specific things only I can answer. So being hours out into a wilderness with no cell service would be...not ideal. And getting people to cover on-call shifts is a nightmare in paperwork.

Anyway, I wish I lived closer to hiking trails. I went to Alaska this year for vacation and tried some of the hiking trails and loved them, but because of the group I was with I didn't have nearly enough time to properly enjoy them. I could have easily spent my entire trip just exploring their trails. It was honestly a bummer, I want to return to Denali park and hike through it.

Great OP thread btw, I'll definitely use it as a resource if/when I can ever do proper hiking.

I can relate, I had a particular job where I wasn't really allowed to unwind because it was essentially a 24/7 gig.
In those cases you really owe it to yourself to have a word with your boss and find someone else who can shoulder the responsibility a bit, or delegate it directly and also make them understand that when you are away your away, no if and's or buts.

It took me a while, but once people realized they couldn't come to me for the easy answer they miraculously started to be able to think for themselves, and every carried on as normal.
 

Freedom Fries

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I prefer boots but maybe that's because if there is a bog neaby I'm going to end up in it. Totally agree with the 2 sock method, in the UK market there are lightweight 'liner socks'. What are your thoughts on poles?
I'm a chauvinist against pole use. But I guess they can be useful for steep inclines.
Even Kilian Jornet appears to be using poles in this video, whereas I know he eschews them in most races:
IMO poles become a lot more useful as the weight on your back increases. If I'm gonna carry around a heavier load between 30 and 40 lbs for a nice long backcountry wilderness trip, I want those poles to protect my joints and help take some load off. If I'm taking a day hike staged from a camping spot or popular park trailhead, I won't use them.

Re: Shoes
I am pretty big, so I find a decent pair of burly hiking boots to be nice. I like not having to worry about slipping as much when scrambling or steep terrain. I like being able to ford snowdrifts, streams, and puddles without getting my feet wet. I like the extra ankle support with a big pack on.


I found this blog post about some blood tests this guy did before and after hiking for a month super interesting.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2125031/what-happens-your-body-thru-hike
There's also research that shows being outside for 3 days straight does some wonderful things for mental health particularly for those with PTSD or some anxiety issue (that said working out regularly also super helps with mental health, so idk if that's from the outdoors or from exertion).
 

Thought precriminal

Quota exceeded. Precrime arrest imminent.
kiwifarms.net
There's also research that shows being outside for 3 days straight does some wonderful things for mental health particularly for those with PTSD or some anxiety issue
Anecdotally, I can say that often when hiking, especially when going downhill on relatively easy terrain, my mind tends to enter a kind of flow state and I notice a significant improvement in my concentration or simply the ability to visualise stuff in my mind.
 

Freedom Fries

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Well I realized I have a couple days off coming up next weekend and will be nearish to the area anyway, so on a lark I figured I'd ask if anyone has any experience with backpacking around Ashville, NC.

I'm looking for a 2-3 day hike but will settle for an overnight if it comes highly recommended. I was thinking of just trying to find something fairly low altitude in the Nantahala National Forest and hope to get lucky and catch a little color. I'll end up going either way, but any advice would be welcome.
 
Well I realized I have a couple days off coming up next weekend and will be nearish to the area anyway, so on a lark I figured I'd ask if anyone has any experience with backpacking around Ashville, NC.

I'm looking for a 2-3 day hike but will settle for an overnight if it comes highly recommended. I was thinking of just trying to find something fairly low altitude in the Nantahala National Forest and hope to get lucky and catch a little color. I'll end up going either way, but any advice would be welcome.

That's something your probably gonna have more joy with by checking in with local hikers associations in the future.
 

Freedom Fries

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True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
That's something your probably gonna have more joy with by checking in with local hikers associations in the future.
Ended up going to some REI forums/trail resource and Alltrails like usual and doing a 2.5 day, 2 night hike in the Great Smokey Mountains National park and hitting a smaller state park later for a night and half a day. It was nice.
 

Dubu Kimchi

kiwifarms.net
This is a nice thread. I am hoping to get back into hiking next year, specifically segments of the Baekdudaegang, the major mountain range of the Korean peninsula.
 

Slap47

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These apocalypse times are a good time for walking. It's pretty much empty everywhere so you can go anywhere.

My only advice is something that probably wouldn't haven't happened to you anyway. Might as well learn from my mistake anyway just incase. If someone buys you a gift of polyester underwear don't choose a hike as the first time wearing it. You don't want to find out while on the trail that you are allergic to it.

I had a similar experience. Hiking is a boxer game.

Great OP thread btw, I'll definitely use it as a resource if/when I can ever do proper hiking.


Survivorman started a Youtube channel that is pretty informative.
 

Buster O'Keefe

Enjoys offal
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Unfortunately I'm in West Bongland, and am likely to get asked to produce a hiking loicense. I had to cancel a walking holiday in Wicklow over Easter: the weather was perfect, it would have been a fantastic trip.
 

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