Hey people. Well, I am going hiking this saturday, the whole carrying the big bag, camping when night falls. it's a 3 day thing and I have NEVER hiked before in my life, I admit I am not athletic at all. I do go for bike rides a few times a week, but I am not at all in shape. and I was just wondering what type of things I need to Bring, or if anyone has some advice for me that would be awesome. I am very nervous, cause the ppl I am going with have been doing this most of their lives. Thanks
Posts: 98 | From: Alberta, Canada | Registered: Dec 2002
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hey Avrie, why not ask the people you're going with since you mention that they go backpacking all the time– I'm sure they'd love to share their knowledge. While I love hiking, I'm not the most knowledgable backpacker, but know a search like on google would bring up tons of useful sites.
Do you have an outdoor rec store near you? I find stores like REI to be a little intimidating, but the employees are very helpful (of course, the equipment itself can be very expensive!) Speaking of equipment, what are your fellow hikers bringing?
Do you have to bring your own food and tent and such, or are they providing it all? If you're indeed backpacking, I'd make sure your pack fits right. Same for hiking boots– my sister has a friend who hiked the Incan Trail with just some clothes in a garbage bags and a pair of cruddy old tennis shoes, but good shoes certainly make the trip more pleasant for yourself and others.
Remember the phrase, "Take only pictures, leave only footprints" or something along those lines? Be prepared to take back everything you take with you– stuff like biodegradeable toilet paper is good if you're just "finding friendly bushes" when it comes to toilet time, but I figure your camping hosts are bringing that.
I also got this advice from a seasoned backpacker– only bring stuff that can be used for at least more than one purpose, i.e. duct tape for repairing everything. Of course, bring plenty of safe drinking water for drinking, rinsing, cooking, etc.
As for exercise, your hosts probably aren't planning to climb Everest during your hike, so I really wouldn't stress out about being out of shape, considering a week really isn't enough time for some intensive training. Bike riding is pretty good exercise already, though. You could talk about your concerns about physical limitations with your fellow hikers ahead of time to make sure the hike is manageable and safe and such.
I love camping– it's a great way to bond with people and enjoy wildlife (although urban ecology is pretty cool, too, especially with so little "wilderness"– I'll get off my environmentalist soapbox). My only peeve is that supplies can get so expensive, especially when you're just starting out.
Anyhow, talk to the people you're going with– they'll know exactly what you need and have oodles and advice. Good luck!
------------------ "Tear up the cloak of indifference that you have wrapped around your hearts! Make up your minds before it is too late!" ~Sophie Scholl
1) NEVER wear in a new pair of hiking boots on a big hike for the first time. If you're going to get new boots or shoes, take'em for some test walks aat least a few times on the street before you plan to use them for long, mixed-terrain hikes.
2) Let the more experienced hikers with you know you're new at this so they can slow their pace some, or pick less challenging trails.
4) Pace yourself, and take breaks when you need to, not before you think you may well pass out and die.
What you described sounds like backpacking. You should try to pask as little as possible, and bring ony 22 pairs of clothes (one to wear, the other for if u get wet). I just got back from a trip like that (except it was a week long) and I packed 3 or 4 sets of clothes, whcich was a big mistake. One of my friends got dehydrated because he didn't drink enough water. A good way to prevent this is to invest in a couple of 32 oz. Nalgene bottles from your local camping store. They're a hard plastic, so they wont break, and they hold a lot of water (2 quarts should get you through the day). Another tip is to drink a quart before you start hiking, because that gets water into you and you can always refill before you leave your camp. Make sure u get a pack cover and a first aid kit as well, and a water pump (because you'll haveto purify any water you get, and it doesn't leave a nasty taste like iodine). Camp stoves are good, and you'll want to make sure u have something to use as a bear bag (bag used to suspend food so that bears don't get it). A loty of this stuff you should talk to your group about, because if they havea stove or coking stuff, you shouldn't need to worry about it.
Lastly, make sure u get socks that aren't cotton, and tyhat you get moleskin and/or other blister treatments, because if you get a blister and it pops, it could get infected, and then you're screwed.
Hope I helped.
------------------ If you can't say something nice, then don't say something nice.
uggh. my now-ex-boyfriend just called me. he's been hiking the Muir trail in Yosemite, and now he's got a purulent injury that needs medical treatment. I'm going to rescue him tomorrow. originally, he asked me to drive about 350 miles out to pick him up. HA! i'm willing to help, but even i have limits. So i gave him travel info on how to get on the train and come down.
So, with that said, make sure one of you has a fully charged mobile phone. Keep it turned off and only use it for emergencies. If my boy didn't have his mobile on him, he'd probably be a lot more screwed right now. btw, even if it says no signal, try making the call anyway. especially if it's an emergency.
Why shouldn't we wear cotton socks?? and the blister idea is a gooder. i found out yesterday that we are hiking somewhere in British Columbia and it's a 13.5 km to our site. I am getting excited about it but still nervous, i am allergic to bee/hornett stings and i have asthma, that's why i am SO nervous. but I want to have the best time possible.
Avrie, are you anaphylactic (deathly allergic to stings)? If so, be sure to carry two or three epi (epinephrine) pens with you. If you don't have them, or know what they are, they're needles that help keep the swelling and vomiting to a minimum in the case of an allergic reaction (my brother's allergic to peanuts, and carries epi pens with him everywhere). Perhaps some Benedryl would be a good idea too, in case of a more minor reaction.
You should be safe from hornets/bees if you don't panic when you see them. Just keep really still, and they should buzz along their merry way. Since you're hiking with people who are experienced, I'm sure they'll understand, and be extra-cautious about hornet nests and the like when you're with them.
good luck and have fun! I'm jealous, BC is beautiful this time of year.
cotton doesn't dry very well, and wet socks create friction against ure foot which causes blisters. You should wear 2 socks: A thin pair made for hiking (usually pretty thin) and wool over it. They dry quickly so you won't be as likely to get blisters. Get lightweight pants, because that's easy to carry, and a shirt made of nylon or another lightweight material that wicks away moisture easily. Also bring a small shovel to dig catholes (small holes you crap into) and toilet paper.
------------------ If you can't say something nice, then don't say something nice.
I know it's a little off topic and all, but how is it with him at your house, considering he's a recent ex and the situation could be really awkward or uncomfortable or just annoying? (I bet having to drive those 350 miles or so, as far as initially thought, would have been really annoying!)
Uh, to make it on topic, I'll ask if he has any hiking advice...
his advice, if you're injured, stop hiking. corollary: learn to cut your toenails correctly. also, it's easy to have good food on the trail. lots of supermarkets have yummy dried soup mixes and pastas that can be packed up easy and taken with you.
ahh Eco, he and i are okay with each other. he needed my help specifically because I can get my dad to treat his injuries for free. it's not awkward at all 'cause we've been honest with each other. He knows I'm seeing other ppl and vice versa. but yeah, he's here for medical reasons, and he's doing quite well now
Is it true if you wear pantie hose knee high things under wool socks, you won't get blisters?? and are wool socks good for back packing?? cause thats what i got?? Posts: 98 | From: Alberta, Canada | Registered: Dec 2002
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hm, i've never understood the wool socks thing. i've always had bad experiences with them. cotton is my personal fave. i find that wool socks -even thinner ones- make my feet sweat horridly. cotton (given that they are quality cotton, not el cheapo) socks tend to keep my feet cooler & drier.
i'd suggest testing a couple pairs of each out just in normal walking prior to choosing what to take. find out which your feeties like, as you may find that you love wool but dislike cotton or vice versa -and on the trail, either one wrong can mean serious ouchies.
yes, the pantihose trick works. it can be a life saver. it's ideal too when it's too warm for 2 layers of true socks. it reduces your friction while having less insulation involved.
another aide is to bring some cold cream (preferably) or some vaseline. you can either smear a large amount (gushiness) on your feet before putting on your socks or (as may be good since this is new for you) waiting until you realize if/where your rubbing spots are when walking & then sliming them specifically. if you do this, remember to wipe it all off at night & reapply clean later. can keep you both from blisters and junglerot between your toes from your feet being sweaty & bound all day.
How about visiting your local ranger station? I work summers at the Olympic National forest station and they have such a wealth of information there like you wouldnt believe. As for the socks they make nylon sock liners (REI or Swains)that not only help stop blisters but help keep your feet dry. Also your gonna wanna check out the fire restrictions. I dont know if your heading into the park or not but here in the forest NO CAMPFIRES about 3,500 feet even if it is at a fee ground. Also all back country fires are strictly off limits since 7/25, but like i said make sure you check or you might get mighty big fines
------------------ "Only the foolish would fear Foxfire." Kolbrun; Juniper order
a tip on how to handle being attacked by a bear
i learned this in bio class one year when my TA was a granola grad student who tracked wolves as his research.
if you are being attacked by a bear, lie down on the ground on your belly, legs separated, hands behind your neck and elbows out. this will make you pretty flat to the ground and difficult for the bear to flip you over. if the bear can't flip you over, it can't disembowel you however, it can still take swipes at your back.
Well I went backpacking and it was hell, i was scaredout there and i had asthma attacks but i did not get stung which is good, i had more fun on the way down, but i guess all in all it was fun but i am not to sure if i would do it again
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