Apr 16, 2012 - Magda Willemse
What causes cramps in your legs abd what do you do to prevent it. And, if you should get them whilst hiking, what do you do then? Please help! I love this article
Nov 12, 2012 - kEn
Anybody read this page???
eat bannanas and raisins, and water. Good luck!
Dec 01, 2012 - Hiking Dude
amit - There is no magic food. Consulting a doctor would be the best thing to do. Taking ibuprofen on hikes can help. Exercising and building up leg muscles before going on strenuous hikes can help. Drinking more water almost always helps. Keeping electrolytes replenished in your body while you are hiking is a good idea - fruits, sport drinks, trail mix.
Apr 18, 2013 - bg
why leave all your cotton clothes at home? a good piece of cotton can be useful if you get lost and need to filter water or make char paper is cotton not a good material to sweat in??
Apr 19, 2013 - Hiking Dude
bg - Cotton absorbs water and takes a long time to dry. It is a great contributor to hypothermic situations, which is a bad thing. If you are in an arid climate, a cotton t-shirt soaked in water can help keep you cool but that wet t-shirt can also chill you when the weather cools down.
It's fine to have a cotton bandana, but no one is going to be making char cloth in the wilds. Pouring water through a cotton cloth can trap some of the big particles, but bacteria will go right through so it doesn't filter.
May 27, 2013 - John Roseman
Thanks Hiking Dude! I'm 71 and planning a Colorado 14'er hike with my daughter (I'm not experienced beyond day hikes). Your site information is very practical, well thought out, and has been extremely helpful with planning. I appreciate the work you have put into it. Do you have suggestions (or sources) for an older hiker?
Jun 01, 2013 - Dennis
Amit, knee pain felt especially when stepping up is often a sign of chondromlacia patella. This can be treated with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), NSAIDS (such as ibuprofen), and physical therapy (aimed at strengthening your quads in particular which helps the patella "track" correctly). There are also physical aids (such as Cho-pat straps and braces) that can be worn while hiking.
Oh, I'm a former Fleet Marine Force Corpsman with over 20 years of military service caring for Marines.
Oct 15, 2013 - Jerome Johnson
HIking poles save me, seems like, every time out. Also great for tapping logs and rocks for critters, crossing creeks, they come in handy at the campsite (tarp poles, spear, lamp post, pot passers).
I was having "fall out of bed", literally, cramps from mountain biking and hiking long distances. I mean these were bad. Legs mostly, but not entirely. I started taking a product called Recoverite after the hikes/bikes. You mix w/water. I'll still get a little bite from cramps, but nothing like I was getting. I still eat bananas etc., but this stuff works. At REI (no association with either.)
Please tell people!! A) Toilet paper takes a LONG time to bio-degrade. Bury it and the stuff that goes with it. I bring a garden claw instead of a little shovel. Much faster. B) Rope and string around trees does NOT degrade, and with do GREAT HARM to the tree as it continues to grow. C) Christ Lives. Really.
Nov 09, 2013 - Dineh
Hi... What can one do to avoid rashes in the inner thighs that occur due to friction between the thighs as a result of long hours of walking
Nov 12, 2013 - Hiking Dude
@Dineh - Body Glide is a popular choice to help prevent chafing, so is plain zinc oxide. Synthetic underwear rather than cotton can help, such as Under Armor with a 6-inch long leg portion. Improving air circulation to help keep the area dry can help - some people wear kilts when hiking, some wear no underwear, some wear mesh shorts that let air through. Washing yourself every day on the trail to keep clean is also a big help.
Jan 06, 2014 - Anon
me and my friends are planning a 6 mile hike and this was very useful information
Feb 23, 2014 - Wium la Cock
Cycling, static or real bicycle, and/ or leg extension exercises in the gym strengthens the muscles around the knees as well. It helps.
Aug 16, 2014 - EJ
@Hiking Dude - I myself have made char cloth in the wild, just as a just in case. One thing I didn't see mentioned was to have broken in foot wear, in experienced people should understand that it's a HUGE mistake to be taking even a day hike in new foot wear. I would like to see you talk more about the survival scenario, it does happen that even the most experienced get lost, or someone in the party gets injured, reality recognition is KEY.
Aug 21, 2014 - Hiking Dude
@EJ - There are lots of wilderness survival websites out there with great information on the topic.
I do have a few pages of info at Hiking Safety
May 22, 2015 - Todd Bolgrin
Hello! I appreciate all the helpful info. I've successfully raced long distance mountain bikes for years and learned one simple thing and it applies to hiking too. CONDITIONING and NUTRITION/HYDRATION are vital. if your strong physically and keep your body fueled right you can go on forever. You can avoid nagging injuries and aches and pains. just keeping the core strong between hikes is helpful, especially if you're going for a long trip.
Thanks for posting this information -also the comments we're helpful too, I found it all useful and will implement some of it into my next hike! :)
Jun 28, 2015 - Nick
As above, good nutrition does wonders for recovery and progress. It also helps you think positively. Stretching before exercise is great for preventing injury too.
Jun 06, 2016 - Ken Reiners
63 yr old make w/bad knees (ortho dr. says need to be replaced). My tips for hiking w/bad knees. 1-get into a reg cycling program. I bike 100+ miles a week/15mph. Muscle buildup really helps support knee joints for hiking. 2-lose weight if you're over ideal weight. Obvious I know, but really helps. 3-tried a variety of joint supplements. One that has really helped me is Baxyl's Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) a joint lubricant. 4-buy quality knee braces that fit you (consider professional help in fitting & be prepared to spend a little $). I have a pair of DonJoy hinged braces that work well for me. 5-drugs like Aleve, etc., help but there can be complicating health issues if used too frequently. I use them only when doing hikes exceeding 3 hours or so in length. 6 and last-stay hydrated. Even getting slightly dehydrated causes more stiffness and joint soreness than you otherwise would experience. Consider carrying an electrolyte along with water.
Jul 18, 2016 - Dazza
Great article! I'm planning on walking some of the South Coast of England in a couple of weeks,
and then thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail next year, the tips and tricks from this page will be really
Jul 27, 2016 - Marty
Hi I'm 14 and I'm going on an 83 mile hike down in New
Mexico at philmont scout ranch. I was wondering if I
should bring a camp chair? And what type of camp shoes
I should wear while I'm in camp. Anything helps thanks!
Jul 31, 2016 - Hiking Dude
@Marty - Your camp chair is extra weight you will need to carry for
the entire 83 miles just to be used when sitting in camp. If
that's worth it to you, then go ahead. But, the ground, a log, or
a rock work fine for me. A small square of foam padding to sit on
would be easier to carry, for sure.
Camp shoes are another luxury
that add weight. Crocs are popular and lightweight.
Mar 21, 2017 - Corina
Boyfriend has bad knees.
of his knees swell sometimes
on hikes and no more then 7
mile sometimes there 10
He is training forJMT 5
to 7day hike.
any advice for
Mar 23, 2017 - Hiking Dude
@Corina - Medical advice should come from a doctor. Simple
inflammation from overuse can be eased by less use, elevation and
rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, strengthening of the muscles and
joints. But, ask a doctor what to do.
Mar 23, 2017 - Corina
Jun 15, 2017 - Runner
Wondering if anyone has hiked from St Ives to Mousehole, Cornwall, UK and has any advice?
My daughter and I are hiking 47 miles there in a few weeks.
Nov 07, 2017 - Corina
Bofriend was happy that 5days ARE
overJMT. Only one bad thing.
bus never came to pick there crew
up at the hotel there were staying
at. One had to hitch a ride where
there 🚗 was park then come bavk
to get the rest.
May 30, 2018 - Wade
Jun 05, 2018 - Wade
I am planning a hike with my college and was looking for some tips
and tricks. Fortunately I found this article. Really helpful. Thanks.
Oct 15, 2018 - John Mathew
Great share! These tips are really awesome! Though hiking is
such an unforgettable memory to save in your mind, one should
really choose their hiking all about very carefully. As a great
experience obviously develops with great actions. North
Yorkshire 3 Peaks have bought you this great experience with
their Open Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge. They provide you with
the awesome hiking experience along with your dogs even as they
have dog-friendly hiking arrangements. So go get your best ever
hiking experience only with NY3P.
Dec 19, 2018 - William Talaber
The "experts" who say NOT to take anything cotton wearable with
are full of cow-puckie! They don't specify the weather
conditions or the time of year. As a spare change of shirt or
pants, I'll go with cotton and have a good method of fire
starting with me(or two). If you think you might need to filter
some water; how about taking several coffee filters with you???
They weigh nothing, take up little space and filter better than
the bandanna! There are many YouTube videos devoted to what a
serious hiker should pack with. Use your own discretion in what
you will, or won't, find a use for. An 80 lb. pack is fine for
the Marines, but not for the "day" hiker....
Dec 19, 2018 - Hiking Dude
@William - Cotton absorbs water and takes a long time to dry.
It is a great contributor to hypothermic situations, which is a
bad thing. If you are in an arid climate, a cotton t-shirt
soaked in water can help keep you cool but that wet t-shirt can
also chill you when the weather cools down. It's simpler to
just not take cotton clothing.
It's fine to have a cotton
bandanna or coffee filter paper, but they will only trap some of
the big particles - bacteria will go right through so they don't
make water potable.
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