Looking for tips for a new hiker

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Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby JeremyB » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:47 am

I am just getting into this and I would like some tips and recommendations for gear and other things. Mostly I am looking for a good pair of hiking shoes and some protection from poison ivy. But tips on how to not hurt myself would be great as well. Also cardio recommendations, you all know the trails requirements for stamina, luckily I live on a 200 ft tall hill that can be used as a make shift trail system if need be.
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Re: Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby Jim » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:24 am

Don't over think it. A hike is just a walk in the woods.

Here is a good resource. https://www.backpacker.com/

Just get outside and start walking for conditioning.
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Re: Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby steve l » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:31 pm

And break in the boots!
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Re: Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby JeremyB » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:18 pm

Thanks and do you have any tips to break in the boots other than just using them and walking a lot?
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Re: Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby bikehikefish » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:23 am

Boot fit is more important than brand name. Go to a store than can help you with fitting, even if the boots cost a few dollars more.

Also consider low top hiking shoes instead of boots for more comfort. The old theory that boots provide ankle support is now widely regarded as myth; shoes that have a last that matches your foot provide a stable platform that prevents ankle rolls.

Most modern hiking boots/shoes require minimal break-in because of the soft leather and mesh construction, as opposed to the all leather boots of years past. Here is a link where you can start researching:

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice ... boots.html
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Re: Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby Jbf » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:58 am

Regarding boot fit: The previous suggestion to visit a store that can help fit is the best way to do it. I've found that the rockiness of the Ozark Trail makes it important to have a fairly sturdy sole (a good shank). It's tempting to go with a light weight shoe but there's always a trade off for going light.

Fitness needs are different for everyone but a certain level of cardio fitness will make your hiking more pleasant. I've found that exercising your joint support muscles is very important and often neglected. Most injuries in hiking occur in the ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder. This is mainly because in everyday life these areas aren't asked to do as much or with as much weight and stress as in backpacking or hiking with a day pack. Try isolating these joints with small amounts of weight.
Ankles: Calf raises.
Knees: Squats with no weights.
Hips: Leg raises.
Shoulders: Lift arms to side and the front with just enough weight to work rotator cuff.

Regarding gear: Don't get carried away with reading others opinions or the lightest or most expensive. Buy some sturdy, mid range gear and go out with it. As you become more experienced you'll keep what you like and replace what you don't. Meeting hikers on the trail and seeing first hand other gear options is very helpful.

Have fun out there!
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Re: Looking for tips for a new hiker

Postby Homespun » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:48 am

"As difficult as walking" gets my vibe sometimes. All the above messages say good things. The more popular a trail is, the more a highway for pedestrians it is, save more unbeaten paths, such as State Forests, for future adventures when the popular choices have already given you time under the trees.
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