- Take a five to ten minute break every hour,
eating and drinking during each break. When resting, lay down
and elevate your feet above your heart. Take off your shoes
and change your socks.
- When leaving a campsite or a rest stop, walk
a few yards away from the site, then stop and look back for
items that you may have left behind.
- Use alligator clips to hang wet socks from
your pack as you hike. They will dry out so you can change into
dry socks a couple of times during your hiking day. Attach these
clips to a shower curtain clip and attach it to your pack. Now
those alligator clips are always handy.
- Walk at a leisurely pace that you know you
can keep up all day. Relax and stay in tune with nature as you
walk. Remember you are doing this for the journey, not the destination.
- On ascents, lace your boots loosely around
the ankles to allow plenty of movement. On downhills, avoid
toe jams by seating heels in the backs of the boots and tying
laces tightly around the ankles but loosely at the toes.
- Gaiters keep debris and
rain out of your boots, but the commercial kind retail moisture.
Try making your own by cutting a slit along the center and bottom
of nylon socks from just behind the toe to just in front of
the heal. Punch small holes along the sides of the socks and
attach a line that runs across the sole of your boot at the
instep. The socks will stretch enough to slide this line off
your boot when removing the gaiters. Put the socks on and pull
them up your leg a bit. Put your boots on, slide the socks down
over them and attach the line at your instep.The front of the
sock will fit over your boot's toe or you can cut off the front
- Try Trekking Poles: they reduce the wear and
tear on your knees and enable your upper body to participate
in the hike.
- To save internal water breath through your
nose instead of your mouth. Walk at a pace that allows you to
not sweat profusely.
- If you are 100% certain of your next water
supply, carry just enough water to get you there.
- Water weighs 2 lbs./quart and is much more
important to your survival than food. So plan your water supply
- Filter all water on the trail unless it is
coming directly out of a natural spring.
- A one liter nalgene container weighs up to
6 oz. before you add water. A one liter Platypus bladder weighs
about 3/4 oz. which is why I carry my water in them. One liter
soda bottles are also lightweight.
- Use a drinking tube clipped to a shoulder strap
to drink from while hiking. You will be more inclined to drink
enough during the day.
- Carry a mixture of baking powder and baby powder
and apply it to appropriate places a couple of times a day.
Some people experience chafing, in their arm pits as they swing
their arms all day, and in the crotch. This will help prevent
the problem. Another alternative is to do as Ray Jardine does,
and wear Spandex shorts.
- To prevent leaving behind gear always leave
a pocket open until all items taken from it are returned.
- Bugs: I don't like to use Deet (it dissolves
plastic so what is it doing to my body). Try other things first;
wearing light colored clothing, taking a head net, putting on
long pants and shirt, selecting campsites that are high, dry,
and breezy. On the other hand Deet does have a good safety record
and millions of people die every year from mosquito carried
- Spray your clothing with Permethrin (available
at REI and other stores). This stuff repels and kills ticks
and mosquitoes. Follow the directions on the container for application