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Long Distance Hiking Tips

Long Distance Hiking Tips

Long Distance Hiking Tips

provided by Adventure World Magazine

The tips below are from Adventure World contributor and long distance hiker, Justin Lichter. We will also be posting sample packing lists from Justin for several regions.

The first day of spring has passed and Old Man Winter’s wrath is starting to give way to spring weather. It is a great time of year to start planning and looking into a long distance hike or expedition; or a shorter hike.

Here would be a few pointers that I would recommend.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

You haven’t planned enough if you haven’t thought about a lot of things for your trip. The route is one thing and the most obvious. However you should also be looking into how frequent and reliable the water sources are, how often you might be able to get more food or purchase food at a store, the weather for the area during that time of year, and fine tuning your gear. No doubt you will have some nerves at the start of a trip, but if you plan well and are comfortable with your gear going into the trip then that should ease the nerves a little.

2. Train

As your trip begins top take shape you will ideally start to train for the experience beforehand. This will help make your trip as enjoyable as possible as well as getting you used to your equipment. This will help your feet get ready, and if need be callused, for you to break in your shoes and help your hips and shoulders get used to wearing a backpack. If you prepare beforehand then you’ll be ready to hit the trail when the time comes and the mileage that you planned for the trip won’t be daunting. The training will also help in your planning because it will let you know what distances and terrain are obtainable for the trip in the time that you have.

3. Gear Up, But Not Too Much

Research the gear that you would like to use on the trip. Do as much research as possible looking online and asking questions of shop employees, but definitely do NOT just ask shop employees. Some store employees are great, but each has their own personal opinion and they might not even have done the activity or been to the terrain you are looking at doing. My typical gear list has many recurring pieces of gear, but there are also many things that change depending on location and time of year. This helps to keep your pack light by taking only what you will need. For example, there is no reason to carry a 3lb. -20 degree sleeping bag if you are heading out to the High Sierras in the summer. Chances are you can probably get away with a sub 2lb. 30 degree sleeping bag, especially if you plan on sleeping in a tent because that will add about 10 degrees to your sleep system. Get your system streamlined and dialed beforehand and then only take what you think you’ll need. If you don’t use it every day then generally you don’t need it. Also, try to make things have multiple uses. For example, I use a half length sleeping pad and then use my backpack for the lower half of my sleeping pad. This saves about 8oz on my sleeping pad and makes it more packable since my backpack won’t be needed for anything else while I am sleeping.

4. GO!!!! And Have Fun!

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