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NITEMAN3D's Photo NITEMAN3D Posts: 14,874
4/9/18 11:48 P

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URBANREDNEK stole my thunder and there is little I can add to improve on that information, so I will just ditto and underscore the maintaining an enjoyable pace part. During the winter months, my "hiking" is pretty much urban walking on the sidewalks of our town and a rail trail that I incorporate into most of my walks. The more pleasant months draw me to the mountains and parks surrounding our town. I'm very fortunate to live in an area where I'm in close proximity to both the Appalachian Trail and all its spurs and the American Discovery Trail as well as many parks and battlefields. I came very near to buying trekking poles last year when Woot had what seemed like a nice set on sale and will probably go for it this year.

Another point touched upon is safety. I often go alone and I make sure that DW and Rangers know where I am. At seventy, I stand a better chance of flopping over, but it can happen to anyone of any age, so make sure somebody always knows where you are.

One other point, have you folks checked our Google Earth Pro yet? I'm impressed.

Happy hiking!

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Dave A.- South Central PA, USA

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain

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URBANREDNEK Posts: 3,992
4/3/18 11:14 A

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Hi there!

I'm an avid hiker - primarily foothills and some lower mountain trails (I live near the Rockies in Canada). I don't do multi-day anymore, but still carry a full pack with 3 days worth of bare necessities (including first aid) for 2 people (I hike with my husband). I've had enough nasty weather / trail surprises in the past that I am a wholehearted devotee of "being prepared"! I haven't had to use any overnight gear for ourselves yet (knock wood!), but have often pulled out food / water / first aid for other hikers who weren't so well prepared for where they ended up...

We are lucky to not have hip issues, but both my husband and I have bad knees. We both wear braces when hiking hills, and I don't leave home without my trekking poles (referred to as "BYOR": Bring Your Own Railing). We both are also fanatical about properly supportive footwear (currently USA made Danner boots for both of us - don't waste your time with the Chinese made version). We both have worked with Physical Therapists for our knees, and make sure to daily do the exercises prescribed to maintain the muscle around our knees (for me, squats and lunges - especially single-leg squats - and being very conscious of using proper walking technique). When not hiking, we get out for walks in our local parks (mostly dirt trail, minimal hills) every day that we can. I also have issues with degenerative discs / sciatica / piriformis syndrome, so I use a foam roller most days for piriformis release, and make sure that I do a full stretch after every walk.

Since I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis and some neuropathy issues, we are very conscientious about not overly pushing our pace, planning frequent rest and food breaks (every couple of hours at MOST when we're in the hills), and making sure that we start well fed / hydrated. We check in with ourselves every 20-30 minutes to do a self-inspection and make sure that we have enough energy and low enough pain levels to keep going --- or if we feel that we are at about 30% of our "limit" for the day (time and energy to turn around and get back from where we are, with a bit of leeway) then we turn around and head back. We take this very seriously, and will NOT "push our limits" out in the back-country unless absolutely necessary. We are out there to enjoy ourselves and the world, and being safe is paramount in that enjoyment!

If you have some joint issues, and are new to hiking, I would strongly encourage you to get in a visit or two with a Physical Therapist and get some knowledgeable advice on your walking form, whether a brace would be helpful for you (and what kind), whether trekking poles would be helpful for you (and lessons on how to use them properly), as well as some techniques for stretching and myofascial release that will keep you in top form. I'd also suggest that you invest some time in researching basic necessities for your pack (food / hydration / clothing / first aid / navigation / communication) so that you are always prepared.

Since you've got your beastie with you, you also need to make sure to have food / water / collapsible bowl / first aid for him / her too --- so keep that in mind when laying out your pack! Even if your plan is only to be out for a couple of hours, a change in the weather with an uptick in temps and wind and drop in humidity can cause your dog to need a LOT more water, and relying on ponds / streams / puddles isn't the best choice (especially if your dog has a sensitive stomach).

The main thing is to stay safe - and enjoy!

Sir Terry Pratchett:

"Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."

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FOOTTREKKER's Photo FOOTTREKKER SparkPoints: (2,229)
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3/30/18 8:06 P

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I was just wondering if anyone does any hiking? My black lab and I have really been getting into this. I even bought a back pack to put things in that I will need. If you are a hiker, where do you hike? How do you deal with hip and knee problems?

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