First things first, get yourself a proper trails App!
There are a lot of apps out there, but I can vouch for two excellent options. Packed with features, easy to use, and FREE. Search by location for all of the trails near you, they include navigation to trail heads, navigation/tracking during your hike, user reviews and ratings, pictures of the trail, difficulty ratings, best uses, restrictions (pets, directional, multi-use, etc), and more. You can save the trails you've done, and keep a list of ones you intend to do. Fantastic apps! Check em out here (the pics are links)
Trails and Covid19
We need to be cognizant of using the trails responsibly during a pandemic. I found this useful resource
Keys to success and great times on the trail
Footwear could make or break your hiking experience. Your running shoes might be comfortable, and hold up for a few hikes, but are not up to the task out on the trail long term. Your hiking footwear needs to match the conditions, and be comfortable. If you're gonna hike on a regular basis, you will want to have dedicated hiking shoes/boots with thick treads. Here is a great guide to selecting the right hiking footwear.
Blisters are the enemy! Look for blister-preventing double-layered socks. They are fantastic! Click Here for a comprehensive guide to preventing blisters
Carry the essentials. Use this guide from the Mountaineers Books to determine which essentials will apply to you and your type of hike. This article doesn't just list what you need, it goes into full detail on each item, and can cater to your specific type of hike. If nothing else, carry a first aid kit, sun protection, extra clothes (socks!), and extra water and food. Pick the lightest and smallest options that will get you through the hike, and then a little bit more.
TIP: To carry water, rather than carrying cumbersome bottles or buying a new hydration pack, simply buy a bladder like this one that you can fit inside your existing backpack for a fraction of the cost!
On-trail nourishment: Shoot for foods that are nutrient and calorie-packed for it's size and weight, shelf stable (IE, avoid fresh fruit or produce, meats and cheeses, etc). Aim for dried fruits - much lighter - as part of a healthy trail mix. Peanut-butter and jam sandwiches are fantastic option as well.
How much food should I pack? Backpacker.com suggests that for most backpackers who plan on hiking all day with a heavier pack, you should aim for 25-30 calories per pound of body weight, per day. If you’re going to do a shorter day of hiking (less than 2 hours) or covering less strenuous terrain, you can scale it down to 21-25 calories per pound of body weight, to stay properly nourished.
Refine your technique. Hiking is more than just walking! Even walking the flats with a weighted pack on your back requires you to tense up your core to support the spine, and use your glutes for proper hip extension every step you take. Not doing so will leave you exhausted and sore a LOT sooner. Consider using hiking poles if you are going to be facing elevation changes during your hike (click here for hiking pole tips). Here are some more technique tips for when you encounter uphill and downhill situations.
If you have additional tips, tricks, or hacks not covered here that work for you, please include them in the comments! Happy trails!
Welcome to the Broad Scope Narrw Focus Blog! I hope you find a lot of useful and applicable information as we explore the broad world of Wellness together. Check in often, as there will be new posts weekly! Enjoy