Share Your Tips & Tricks!!!

11:57 a.m. on February 21, 2013 (EST)
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What are your personal tips & tricks when you are out, doing your thing? Everyone has a couple good ones they can share!

11:59 a.m. on February 21, 2013 (EST)
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I like to take breaks when I find a tricky area on a trail. Even if the trail is clear, spotting a cairn heightens one's senses, and helps morale... Eat a snack, rub my feet, build a cairn!

11:59 p.m. on February 21, 2013 (EST)
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drink water regularly, breathe lightly and listen to your surroundings

6:59 a.m. on February 23, 2013 (EST)
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Be in the moment.  Bucket list mentality should be left back home.  The objective isn't getting there; you already are!  In any case if there is such an objective it should be getting home in one piece.

Choose your company wisely.  Make sure you enjoy the company you bring along - nothing worse than sharing a fire with a bore.

If it is not fun, you are either doing it wrong, or doing the wrong thing.  Just because someone likes UL spartan camping, snowshoeing, or thru hikes does not mean you will.  Do what you enjoy.

Washing daily makes the outdoor experience feel so much better (and no I am not a clean freak).

Keep the secrets shared around the campfire to yourself.  What gets said on the trip is not repeated back in town.




10:25 p.m. on February 24, 2013 (EST)
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Leave a tasty snack and drink in your vehicle to enjoy as you leave to drive home.

Take the time to stay fed, hydrated, aware, & check your feet often for moisture or blisters starting to develop.

Enjoy the trip, the trip is the adventure, the destination is a validation of your abilities.

Keep your safety paramount, nothing is more important than staying safe. If you are with a group do everything you possibly can to be friendly, share, help out, and watch out for others.

As Bill S says, remember to stay found. In other words keep up with where you are on a map at all times, this is your responsibility not anyone elses (be self reliant). Practice doing this when you are not lost, so that if you ever are your skills will carry the day.

Realize that you will never stop learning - if you are smart.

Survival skills are good to have, but learning to keep track of where you are, stay safe, dry, comfortable, hydrated & fed, aware, and out of trouble, is a greater skill set. Maybe not as romantic as "survival" but better, trust me.

Mike G.


2:19 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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If bathing isn't an option, use handy wipes. Just taking off the sticky is very helpful at the end of a day.

Take goodies on a multiday that are a nice change of pace--something to look forward to, even if it's a stash of something like bite-sized snickers-- whatever. Remember the trip is about the WHOLE experience.

Best "trick" is to sleep WELL. A well rested hiker makes better decisions, enjoys the experience better, is less likely to get hurt or make poor choices.

Sleep warm, sleep comfortably, sleep full. And if necessary, get up and empty your bladder. You use a lot of valuable calories keep urine warm, and being uncomfortable robs you of your good sleep.

Lots of people are in such a hurry that they lose sight of getting into nature's rhythm.

Oh, and have fun!

9:48 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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Change socks, apply Moleskin or duct tape, air out your feet, etc at the FIRST sign of "hotspots" or chafing on your feet as you hike. The handful of times I've ignored it and thought "I'll take care of it at the next convenient stop" I have greatly regretted it later. Blisters will kill the fun of any trip quick, and really sap your energy because you change your stride and the muscles you're using. 

During cool weather, make warm drinks with each meal, it is very enjoyable and really restorative. 

Bring food you'll truly enjoy. 

As Trout said, have water and food waiting for you in the car. It is often needed or at least welcome at the end of a trip, and in some cases can save the day when your trip or someone else's goes wrong. 

Don't forget your sleeping pad in the winter. Sleeping on fozeness isn't happy. 

Take ibuprofen a the end of a tough hike *before* you feel sore. 

Study and know the topos for where your going *before* your trip, and know your water sources, etc. 

Share the wonders of the outdoors with the uninitiated, but only on some trips and choose your companions wisely on the others. 

Be still and silent enough to really see, know, and enjoy the moonlight in the snow, the cascading brook, the sighing of the trees, and all the beauty of it all. 

10:19 a.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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Don't build additional cairns if cairns already exist.  It spoils the wilderness experience.  Pack out what you pack in.  Use a Biffy Bag for your wilderness loo.  Don't overestimate your abilities.

11:00 p.m. on February 25, 2013 (EST)
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Definitely pack out what you pack in. Nothing bothers me more than arriving to a shelter and finding trash that others left behind. Leave no trace.

Hike with a trusted friend. You want to make sure if something goes wrong you have someone there to watch your back.

11:19 p.m. on February 26, 2013 (EST)
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Carry a small metal pencil sharpener on you, make shavings from

dry sticks found above the ground for your tinder.

Take care,

Dwayne Oakes

1:35 p.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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rob5073 said:

Don't build additional cairns if cairns already exist.  It spoils the wilderness experience.  Pack out what you pack in.  Use a Biffy Bag for your wilderness loo.  Don't overestimate your abilities.

 Yes--I'll vote for that one. 


And mini bottles of tasty beverages for after dinner while you watch the sunset!

2:42 p.m. on February 27, 2013 (EST)
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take care of your feet. bring a good bag. nothing sucks more than trying to sleep while freezing your ass off. bring good layers. have some comfy shoes and snacks waiting in the car (except in car bear areas). share the experience with a friend. leave word with someone who is reliable back home when to expect you back. pack out your toilet paper (and everything else). practice LNT, and above all, have fun.

6:25 a.m. on February 28, 2013 (EST)
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In winter: use body heat to keep things warm.  Put your spare gloves inside your jacket as you are coming up on a lunch spot or high point before a ski descent so they are nice and warm when you change into them. If you know you are going to need to use your climbing skins, put them under your jacket for a while to pre-warm them -- they will stick much better. If I have to switch between my prescription sunglasses and my regular glasses, I try to keep the regular glasses next to my body so they won't fog up when I put my goggles on for the descent. Anything with a battery, too -- cell phone, GPS.  Often a pack waist belt is enough to keep bigger items like gloves and skins from falling out, but I used to have a pile jacket with hugh cargo pockets inside that was great for that kind of thing. Water bottles get a bit awkward but if you have a cargo pocket you could also keep water from freezing. I have even heard of people on longer trips making yogurt using body heat!

11:32 a.m. on March 5, 2013 (EST)
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If I am facing a tough climb during a long trip I will start counting steps. After 100 steps I'll take a standing breather and then after 200-300 I'll take a pack off break. This has always worked to keep the climb manageable and also allows me the added bonus of challenging the step count if I feel a second wind coming on.

I also like to get early starts in the morning. This is to both beat the crowds and gives me more time at the end of the day either at a summit or at the next campsite.

12:08 p.m. on March 5, 2013 (EST)
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Don't  hurry.

10:18 p.m. on March 6, 2013 (EST)
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Survival basics should be a must for any backpacker. Both wilderness survival and CPR. It would prevent many problems, injuries, and loss of life.

Other than that I have to agree with just about everyone else. My number one is hydrate hydrate hydrate. Mainly being in the south where the combonation of heat and humidity can knock you on your rear faster than anything.

Whomeworry- you got it together on trail tips man. Who you bring with you can be a blessing or a curse. And there is nothing like a good scrub down and staying clean. It will always keep you comfortable. But, some I do have to say... some stories are just too good to keep on the trail. No matter how embarrassing.

Be aware of whats going on with your feet! Keep em dry and prevent blisters before they prevent your hike. Bring good tasty fuel for the trek. Nothing worse than trying a new bar that you have to force down to refuel. Another thing I do... research your area in regards to the local flora and fauna. It's really cool to find new things while out and about, and having an understanding of them. I would also have to say basic navigation skills, with and without a compass. I know too many people that carry one and don't know how to use it. Plus, I never forget my flask of Jameson for the evening by the fire.

10:15 a.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Lots of good tips! I agree with treating your feet well, they are taking the brunt of your journey. Use sock liners to reduce friction and hot spots. Take a few minutes to soak your feet in a cold stream, massage them at the end of the day, elevate them when sitting around camp. Use a designated pair of sleep socks that go on dry every night.

I have taken to using a solo-sized bear canister almost all the time. It also serves well as a raccoon canister, a rat and mouse canister, etc., which often are the bigger threat. Hanging a food bag is a pain, so no more looking for the right branch and multiple attempts to throw the rope over, etc. I know there's a weight penalty, but that is offset a little by leaving behind the weight of a 50-ft rope, and when I get to camp and can relax all that much sooner it's worth it to me.

There has been a bit of a trend away from water bladders with drinking tubes, but I find that I drink more when I have it readily available (rather than reaching back for a water bottle all the time) so I still recommend a hydration "system".

12:15 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Go with people you really like, not the ones that are available.

Go to places surrounded with senseless beauty.

Go in all seasons.

Go where others fear to tread.

Go slow enough to drink it in and notice things.

Go for longer trips if possible.

Go often.

7:28 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I still use a bladder with tube. I find I stay better hydrated that way.

8:29 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

The objective isn't getting there; you already are!

I do believe we share a philosophy, Ed. I say it like this: The trail is the destination. Not the end of the trail.

Along those lines -- don't be afraid to just stop, just stand still and look and listen. It's okay to go out without going far or fast. If something catches my eye, I'll let it catch the rest of me. If it takes time for that quiet rustle to show itself as a creature, or for that flash of a bird to circle back, that might be the best-spent and most rewarding time of my day. I plan my trips to allow this time, and I choose to go solo so I'm not delaying or bothering anybody (and, truthfully, so they don't scare the creatures away). I can't imagine how much I would have missed out on if I'd treated the woods like a treadmill. All the birds and animals and flowers and bugs and everything else I'd never have seen.

I browse around BPL sometimes and I get the feeling some of them wouldn't like hiking with me very much. :)

6:11 p.m. on April 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Lots of good stuff here.

Comfort is key. Feet are your mode of transportation so pay attention and do not be afraid to stop and have a look. Sometimes just the way a sock is folded or the way a boot is tied is enough to make it better, also, tight is right but too tight is wrong.

I liek to have a set of "Clean & Dry" clothes for then end of the day. It doesn't have to be freshly laundered but I keep the same clothes clean & Dry for night time which is diff than hiking. Also when someone is cold at the campsite or in the tent...the first thing is clean dry wool socks, works most of the time. Cotton is the devil at altitude.

When hiking up a incline long trek at altitude, Slow Down, but don't stop. It still happens to me as well. I live at 9300' and often hike up to 12 & 13,000' peaks & saddles the problem here is overheating and lack of oxygen. Wearing too much on the hike UP makes it even more of a battle if you are already fighting for air to breathe. Do not wear too much on the way up, if you get cold you can stop and put on another layer but your body will heat up quickly no matter what so too many layers could cause concerns. Put the next layer on a the top. Also as I mentioned Slow down but do not stop. If I am having a particularily hard climb I will slow down even if to a crawl in order to keep moving and cool. I find that when I stop my body catches up and surpasses my breathing. I tend to heat up and then start to breathe harder, I can keep a shallow pattern if I just keep moving a long.

Oh and Hiking Poles are one of the best kept secrets out there. It is an extension of your arm which enables large step downs to be easier and step ups are a breeze.

More later.

8:24 p.m. on April 11, 2013 (EDT)
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PackerFever said:

..When hiking up a incline long trek at altitude, Slow Down, but don't stop...

 ..Oh and Hiking Poles are one of the best kept secrets out there. It is an extension of your arm which enables large step downs to be easier and step ups are a breeze.

 I find part of pacing one's self involves literally maintaining an efficient pace, that is the number of steps taken per minute.  Thus it may sound confusing to some when it is suggested to slow down on inclines.  This doesn't mean reduce the number of steps taken per minute; it means take smaller steps while maintaining the same number of steps taken per minute.  The concept is similar to peddling a mountain bike; you maintain the same number of peddle stokes all the time but reduce gears whenever it gets steep.  You work just as hard - and hopefully no harder - but the lower gear (smaller steps) reduces your speed.  You end up slowing down in the inclines, but still maintain the most efficient level of exertion.

I have a contrary opinion about trekking poles, however.  Poles serve mainly two purposes:

  1. They encourage arm movement which encourages a more efficient stride.
  2. They can be used to aid balance over tricky parts of a trail.

If one cannot discipline one’s self to move their arms correctly without poles, then I guess this is the alternative to obtain that result.  I don't have this problem, having done plenty of road work as a runner in my youth; pumping the arms has become second nature.

But if one is using trekking poles mainly to assist balance and stability over rough trails, may I suggest a long staff is a better tool for this purpose.  Trekking poles - even the most readily adjustable models - tend in practice to be set at a single height while being used on the trail.  This would be fine if all terrain obstacles presented the same, uniform challenge.  But terrain is different at every bend, and the ideal length of shaft needed for optimum stability varies according to the terrain.  The problem is there is limited capability to move hands about on the typical trekking pole to obtain an efficient working pole length for the obstacle at hand, without being forced to tinker with the pole's height adjustment.  This is awkward in many instances, and always a distraction.  A long staff on the other hand simply requires sliding your hand up or down its length to obtain different working poles lengths.  The action is intuitive and instantaneous, and you can obtain exactly the desired length every time.  I have compared the efficiency of those using trekking poles to negotiate obstacles to that of those using a staff, and the staff users always got through the obstacle more quickly.  The only way trekking pole users could keep up was to make do with the preset height of their poles, sacrificing stability and balance for speed.  I would not recommend spending a wad on a hi tech walking staffs; mine is a humble six foot length of those green plastic coated tree state poles you can pick up at your local hardware store garden center for about $7.  It is very light weight, the texture on this pole provides a great gripping surface, and it is definitely sturdy enough for this purpose.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against trekking poles, I also backcountry ski and find such poles perfect of the task at hand in that instance.  But a walking staff works better on dirt trails.


9:07 p.m. on April 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Wow, we could debate this all day only to find we really do not disagree much. However a pole in each hand does indeed work as an extension of my arms / hands and of course it is better than no pole or staff at all. But if we were made to pick sides I could go on and on about the benefits of two poles. One for each hand to extend when stepping down several consecutive rocks. once you pass the rock where your left pole is, like in skiing, it becomes history and you are already on to the next pole which is already providing stability where as your "study" on staff users would show that once the obstacle is passed you would then need to reposition the staff and regain balance before moving on to the next obstacle. The balance which was already there with your other pole.

Anyway we are not here to argue I prefer fruitful conversation instead of adversarial debate and we certainly have our own beliefs. I can add that poles have added many years to my wifes hiking life. Many years ago neither one of used poles. She would twist, sprain, hurt, her knees almost any time we would go on extended day hikes or backpacking. Sometimes we would go over rough terrain and she would be fine. Then the slightest turn and we were done for the day or for hours. Since she has now been using poles for over 10 years she almost never has those issues. Of course some of it is being in better shape but a lot of it is attributed to her poles and the added control she has stepping up, over, down and around obstacles. slows you down and gives control of pace.

I swear by poles and my brother in law uses a staff. I think that some kind of support is so important that I have been trying to convince my 89 yr old father in law to use rubber tipped poles just for walking around since I cannot get him to buy a Segway. He thinks a cane is for "old" people and he does not like the current walkers. I mentioned the poles and he seemed to warm to the idea, he said he sees the advantages since we made him use them hunting the last years of his mtn hiking life. But who knows, like I said anything is better than nothing. I see the "Cool" kids and youngins hiking with nothing all the time and recall the times when just stepping down something with a little more stability would have been great. I now look at non pole/staff users as someone waiting for an injury. Floating along and expecting to jump down , up, or across a trecherous area without assistance is just waiting for a twist or sprain. I am still very young at a healthy 45yrs and snowboard like I am still 21 but I also understand injury and recovery time which is extended on the trail when you wish it could be shortened.

Many times I do not use my poles. Short hikes, or even times on the trail when I just attach them to the pack. But having them along even on simple climbs and descents is never a negative. I don't think I have ever returned from a hike and said "Well I wish I didn't have those" However there are times when they just reside on the pack instead of in my hands. Either way we are talking about having a more enjoyable and safe experience and I don't think anyone can argue with that.

9:20 p.m. on April 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I forgot to make a point about the length / adjustability of poles vs staff as well. If there is a long stretch to reach all I do is cap the handle of the pole with my hand and reach out. Sure in this case a staff is longer but I think the tradeoff is negligable. If I have to reach that far maybe I am over extending and should rethink the route in that 4 ft section.  As far as on the trail, my poles are set at the appropriate length I can count on that length and I know exactly how long they are, I can count on it and have a strap to prevent slipping. I only have to adjust if snowshoeing in deep show and the poles are sinking to the bottom (without baskets) while I am still on top of the snow.

Either way we are all outside hiking and there is nothing incorrect about that.

10:37 p.m. on April 11, 2013 (EDT)
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PackerFever said:

I forgot to make a point about the length / adjustability of poles vs staff as well. If there is a long stretch to reach all I do is cap the handle of the pole with my hand and reach out. Sure in this case a staff is longer but I think the tradeoff is negligable. If I have to reach that far maybe I am over extending and should rethink the route in that 4 ft section.  As far as on the trail, my poles are set at the appropriate length I can count on that length and I know exactly how long they are, I can count on it and have a strap to prevent slipping. I only have to adjust if snowshoeing in deep show and the poles are sinking to the bottom (without baskets) while I am still on top of the snow.

Either way we are all outside hiking and there is nothing incorrect about that.

Nothing wrong with a debate; this is an advocacy of ideas, not a confrontation.  Others can learn from this exchange.  Upon our conclusions the readership will have a solid base of knowledge to make thier own choices.  That is my intent herein.

Addressing the sense of a secure grip on the pole:  I have no argument trekking poles are sure gripped when gripping the ends of the poles.  But if you have to grip the pole at mid shaft, the smooth surface typical of most trekking pole shafts can be slippery.  Some cover the pole shaft with tape or other friction surfaces, but this can upset the balance and feel of the pole in hand.  The staff I suggested has no gripping issues.  I have never had my hand slip, but I have seen staffs others use that probably have unreliable griping characteristics.

I think one of the most glaring inconveniences of a staff –at least my kind of staff - is it does not fold down for easy stowage when not in use.  I just carry it, holding it at mid shaft, the staff aligned parallel to the ground.  It is light so this is of no consequence.  If one wanted to lash it to their pack, however, it would stick up several feet overhead and snag low hanging tree branches.

Addressing your wife’s twisted joint issues:  I cannot comment on what circumstances caused her problems, nor why she seems to be beyond them now.  But I found when me and others in my group start twisting ankles and such, it results from overextending ourselves, that the wise thing to do is stop before that point is reached, and be in better condition on future trips.

I do agree some of our points are stylistic.  Likewise some trails are better traveled with trekking poles.  I guess I should have said a staff is better suited to rougher trails.  This point is most apparent where the trail obstacles are considerable, as described in what you refer to as the 4 ft section of trail (above).  I do most of my hiking in the eastern Sierra where these four foot sections are frequent and often more like fifteen yard sections (or much longer stretches of trail near passes and other imposing land features).  On such stretches the trekking pole user may have a continuous third point of contact with the ground, but going down hill over rough sections they usually also compromise their balance by excessive bending at the waist and knees, and leaning forward to establish a pole plant on terrain that often lies two feet or more below their boots.  This is a critical observation, for our sense of balance is best maintained keeping our heads level, relative to the horizon.  When we tilt our heads off this plane it alters the relationship of our inner ear to gravity, and impairs our sense of balance when we need it most.  Sure one may rethink where they can plant a pole and reduce this problem, but often alternative pole positions are compromises (that is why we sought the original pole location in the first place). 


1:31 a.m. on April 12, 2013 (EDT)
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ha ha ha, I love how you create situations which then prove your point. Fisrt off my friend you are saying that in "More Rugged Terrain", the Sierras  your method may be superior. etc etc. (Kind of like the Valet in Ferris Buellers Day off saying "What country do you think we are in? when asked if he spoke English") (No offense intended, just humor) I have to say, where do you think I hike, the mall? I live in Summit County Colorado, Breckenridge, and hike at altitudes from 9300' plus daily and often over 13k and up to 14,000'. I usually have 3-5 miles in on the Colorado Trail or more rugged terrain before breakfast and when we "Get Away" we usually set out to southern Utah Sandstone Canyonland Country where any mis step could kill you. My father learned the hard way when wating to meet me in Utah last summer. He went for a "Short Hike" before I arrived and ended up with 4 fractures in his pelvis, a broken wrist, bruised liver, 4 cracked ribs and black eye, a bruised ego and trip out of the desert on a gurney after I found him and called S & R. 

Anyway I assure you that even hiking at the mall can be dangerous but I get clausterphobic in malls. I prefer to start out in a "Remote" areas and hike toward the "Primitive" areas.

I have never had to grip the pole on the shaft unless I am just carrying the pole. I also referred to a section of trail as being a 4ft section since that is all you really deal with at the time but it was an arbitrary number. 4', 15' it doesn't matter. One needs to deal with the obstacles which are currently in front of them at the time and I like having positive traction at the end of each arm.  As far as the wifes knee issues. I think it was an old skiing injury that took a couple years to work through.

Just having fun my friends and as you said  "Upon our conclusions the readership will have a solid base of knowledge to make thier own choices."

Oh, I like the poles with a spring inside the shaft for better joint flow as well. Think Compression.

2:55 a.m. on April 12, 2013 (EDT)
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I have no idea what the trails are like that you hike.  But not all mountain trails are rugged.  Referring to the Sierras as “superior” are your words not mine.  I intended no such assertions; that is like saying blonds are superior to red heads!  If it will keep the peace I’ll take one of each!  Right?  Personally I find the Rockies quite lovely, one of my regrets in life was I did not move to Boulder back in the early 1980s when I had the chance.  As for SW Utah I have spent literally weeks exploring in Zion NP, and hiked every trail there on the map and several hundred miles off trail there, in the boonies.  In any case I find nothing superior about crude trails with big steps, drops, and hazardous footing.  Personally I prefer trails with better engineering.  For example: The Inca Road (network of trails) in the mountains of Peru.  They would be embarrassed at what passes for trail engineering up here.

 If you wish for the context of what I mean by “more rugged terrain” I was explicitly considering the trails along the eastern Sierra versus western Sierra.  The trails on the east side are simply steeper and include vastly more obstacles.  Note I am talking about the trails themselves, not the terrain they journey over.  I have also done plenty of hiking throughout SW Utah, finding the trails mostly smoothly contoured, with relatively sparse sections where trails have abrupt 18” – 24” series of steps up rock jumbles, benches and outcroppings.  Perhaps this is because sandstone is relatively easy for trail engineers to cut through.  Perhaps it is also because I have done mostly the more popular venues there where the trails are better maintained.  Yet the nearby Grand Canyon does have some very rugged trails, like the Hermit’s Rest Trail. But those trails are very steep, and seldom maintained, according to park personnel.  Likewise my hiking in various Front Range areas were over trails that also had mostly even grades.  But then the Front Range is an aged mountain range that had time to pulverize the talus and alluvial deposits, and round out and cover the sharp features that might lie beneath the alluvium on the shoulders below the escarpments.  The Sierras on the other hand are a young range and the eastern Sierra a place where close to a two mile vertical gain occurs within a eight mile distance as the crow flies. 

The image above is of Mt Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48, as viewed from the nearby town of Lone Pine.  It should be self evident from this image that the Eastern Sierra is very steep

In any case both SW Utah and the Front Range have plenty of rough terrain off trail.  I am sure both these venues also have more rugged trails than I encountered, but generally I found that the eastern Sierra has the most rugged trails overall, among the regions in the lower 48 I have hiked.  Again my context describes on trail use, which is what the majority of hikers deal with. This link to a fellow Trailspacer's trip report will provide some insight as to what I mean by rugged trails.


10:08 a.m. on April 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Sure the Sierra as well as the Tetons, the Sawtooth range, and many other places including the Rockies each have their share of rugger terrain, I love it all and would not dare to comapre most difficult section, mile, etc. Our points were more closely related to ease of getting through with whatever assitance we use. We agree that hiking with some sort of staff, poles etc is a benefit as opposed to free handing. Although I am seeing a lot more poles and staffs out there I am still amazed when I see people who look like they are struggling and could obviously benefit from poles, yet their opinion of poles is almost like it is a weakness, while I think it is a strength. When I see someone struggling I usually stop to see if they have enough water and food as well as a map and see if they need anything. Of course nobody ever asks for anything but I am really just giving them a quick once over assessing their situation. I am shocked to see the level of unpreparedness there is on the trail. I certainly do not think everyone needs to carry a lot of gear, as we all know many of us could get by with a water bottle and a knife for quit awhile if we need. But it is obvious when you come across someone who is unprepared. All you can do at that point is assess and move on.

Hey wait, I got off track again. :) Getting back on path of our convo I would like to talk about Utah a moment, without really making any points related to our discussion. Specifically southern Utah which is anything south of I-70.  Beginning in Eastern Utah and moving toward the west the Canyonlands and more specifically the west side of the Colorado River (The Maze) and south by Sw from there and many other places are extremely rugged and challenging. I have found that hiking in these areas are both mentally and emotionally rewarding, but they are NOT Easy. I am talking about some of the most remote areas in the lower 48, (Park Service words) and No you cannot pull up in an RV to a paved spot. Anyway as you already know from your adventures in western Utah Sandstone canyons can be very dangerous and challenging. I agree with you that a place like Zion has much less degree of difficulty since they are a well traveled National Park and the tourists expect flat trials, hand rails, and a friggen Ranger every 50 yards (Even though some of my friends are Rangers). Zion is a place I avoid. But the rest of the region has untamed hiking and I would recommend any of about 500 trials where you could go and have fun and see less than a dozen people over a couple days. 

Am I rambling again? So be it. Maybe I need a hike, where should we meet up?

2:01 p.m. on April 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Hydration is very important.

I tell my scouts to keep the chatter to a minimum as you exhale/speak you release water.  If you breathe more through your nose you will lose less water.

I set my watch to go off every 15 minutes.  Everyone drinks when the alarm goes, whether you’re thirsty or not.  If you’re thirsty you are already dehydrated.

Also, check the feet at regular intervals (Regular intervals are deterred by the length and terrain of the hike). At rest stops everyone takes their shoes and socks off for inspection by their buddy.

December 6, 2019
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