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How to start Hiking, or Prepairing for a bugout.

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posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 01:37 PM
As I always say here. I am not a survivalist, but I am a mountaineer, a hunter, fishermen and all around backcountry devote!

With that in mind let start by saying, if you want to have any hopes of successfully donning a BOB and heading for the hills, you need to get in shape, prepare yourself so a hard hike becomes a nice carefree stroll in the woods.

Turns out that right now I am in the unique position of helping you.
You see this last fall I blew my knee out so basically I've spent all of autumn and winter sitting on my butt and it's time for me to get off my arse and start training.


First and most importantly good hiking shoes. Not everyone likes boots--- I tend to look for lightweight waterproof trail shoes.

now no two people have the same kind of feet so what works for me probably will not work for you. but for the sake of giving you a starting point, here's what I look for in a shoe design.

I tend to have flatfeet so I always look for a shoe with a heel and arch support. If I wear flat shoes, no heel, my feet hurt at the end of the day and if I have a heavy pack on, so does my back. so for me, something as simple as having a heel really does make me a happy camper!

One word of advice don't cheap out on footwear.

What to wear

hiking is just like any other aerobic exercise so you should dress for it.
On a cool day like it is here I'll wear sweats pants and sweat shirt. a hat to keep from sun burning my bald spot and because the weather can change so fast I might have a windbreaker tied around my waist, just in case. If I were heading into deep woods or backcountry you dress for where your going!

Where to Start Hiking

Right now I'm doing that whole rehab thing so I started by walking around my house flexing my knee building my strength back up.
Rather than drive my daughters the few blocks to school I started walking them. I get exercise, do something useful and slowly extend my range.
Even a small little town like mine has a list of walking trails with how far each one is, start to finish.
Every other day I walk the lakeside trail here. it's listed as .9 miles. No that's not much but remember I have to build myself back up, not do to much to soon. This being a loop I can stop at one lap of if I'm feeling good go for another.
I plan my hikes for every other day. Same you would strength training. For those of you in big cities you can always join the ranks of mall walkers.

For these short jaunts I do take a small day pack. Carry just a bit more weight each time. that weight can be something like extra water, warm bad weather clothes, or just stuff it full books, books can be surprisingly heavy.

In my case I'm dealing with the bad knee otherwise I might pickup a pair of ankle weights.

Low mileage trail and easy terrain.

It's gonna take me a while to work up to tackling Grays

So for now I'm happy hitting the back roads around town.
If I were to think like a survivalist this walking to the edge of town would allow me to plan multiple routes if I had to get out fast and since this is wildfire country that is always something we keep in mind.

BTW I always pack my fishing pole. Ya know an old fisherman like myself is gonna want to have something to do when I get to river, my turnaround point, and the spot where I take my break before heading out again.

Ready for a real hike
State Parks and National Forests typically have a good variety of trails or unpaved walking paths. It is best to hike with a partner. If you don’t know anyone who hikes, check with local hiking clubs. Or sometimes campgrounds have naturalist lead hikes; check with your campground host or ranger to see if group hikes are arranged. Often trails are in remote areas and it is best to have someone along for safety.

Even walking around town I keep my cell phone handy. What with my bad knee I might have to call the old lady in to pick me up.

So look that's it really... Start small, work your way up to longer and longer hikes...Pick places you like to go... It makes it all the easier if your enjoying yourself while you build your stamina. Might want to carry a walking stick. round these parts we got rattle snakes but the real prob is all the stray dogs. My wife is generally my hiking buddy so is our girls, it's something the whole family gets into, fresh air sunshine exploring new places.

You can think of it as prepping for bug out... but no one said you couldn't have a little fun in that prep.

posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 02:20 PM
reply to post by HardCorps

Hey, thanks for this thoughtful post! As the weather has been warming, hiking is something I've been wanting to get more into. I've been focusing on fitness in the gym, but I am more than ready to get outside too. I recently went on a short nature hike lead by someone who works at a conservancy. It was a great beginner trail, and incorporated learning about plants as well. It made me think that hiking is something I can do with my family, it's great exercise (I was tired after that short hike!) and it can also be fun and informative. I definitely plan to get out and explore local trails.

posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 02:26 PM
reply to post by MojaveBurning

Maybe we need to start a list of places to go, what to do there and miles covered.
if for no other reason than to encourage each other and hear about some cool places we may want to visit

posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 02:43 PM
I have to disagree with sweat pants and sweat shirt. Cotton is the enemy in cool or cold weather.

Fleece or wool are always better. You should pick materials that stay warm when wet.

posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 02:44 PM
I use to be a hiker and still have my hiking boots ($300) beckoning to me from the closet; thinking about taking it up again along with birding. I also bought a few pairs of expensive wool hiking socks, which are worth every dollar as they are warm and cushy thick. So, shoes and socks are extremely important and the shoes should be snug but not tight.

A piece of advice I have to offer is to avoid sweating, because if you are in adverse weather conditions you will get cold, so for underwear spend the money and buy the high tech material that wicks away moisture from your body; do not wear cotton.

When hiking I would always find a good sturdy stick to assist me in climbing and maintaining balance. But, if I take it up again I will look into buying a hand-crafted hiking stick to my specific height requirements.

Also, learn what poisonous plants and insect/animal dangers to avoid in your particular area.

Happy trails to you.

posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 02:47 PM
reply to post by Answer

I did say, 'Round here'
In my part of the world SW Colorado we have cool morning low 30's then get to a high 50s to low 60s as our afternoon high. to me that's warmish.
I do keep an eye on forecasts though, I gave up taking my hike today because they said it might snow but right now it's 48 light wind and nice an sunny...

Should have known better than to trust the stupid weather lady... but she really does know how to fill out a sweater!

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 06:20 AM
Good advice .. only thing would add is for people to break in their shoes first to avoid blisters .. and pack extra socks

posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 08:59 AM
I thought a few tips on how to break in hiking boots would help.

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 06:00 AM
reply to post by HardCorps

Great read and I love all the tips. I good pair of boots is a must have. Also good socks. I have found alpaca wool is what I like the best.

posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 10:25 AM
Actually, you are the second person within two weeks that have mentioned alpaca wool being the best.

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