Hiking Philosophy From
Go Early: One key to a successful long
and satisfying day hike is to start early. Lose some sleep. Deal
with it. Itís okay. Think about it. Would you rather complete your
hike in the dark?
You can always sleep after the hike is over. Getting on the trail as
early as possible really makes sense. And depending on the time of
year, hikes can be prone to afternoon thunderstorms. Itís much
better to reach the midpoint by 10 or 11 AM and be well on the way back
during the more vulnerable afternoon hours. Another benefit of heading out
early is cooler weather. Less heat means less sweating, therefore
less water needed and a lighter load.
Itís simple: carry less, go further. A minimalist approach is
suggested for food, clothing, and other items. Each hike should be
planned by considering the risks involved. One advantage to extreme day
hiking on well-established trails is the reduced need for survival
items since its harder to get lost or hurt yourself.
No one is suggesting you should not
bring your single lens reflex camera with tripod, arctic parka for
that summer blizzard, first aid kit capable of heart bypass surgery,
enough food to feed everyone on the trail, and enough rain gear for
the 100 year flood. However, every pound you carry will decrease the
probability of your success. Of course, the tricky part is the extra
one pound you do carry could save your life.
Actually donít go fast. The goal is to minimize time on the trail by
developing a consistent pace with a minimum of rest stops. One can
usually spot a novice hiker by bursts of speed, followed by many
rest stops. The net effect is usually a slower trip.
Early + Light + Fast enables one to go Far in one day and return to
the creature comforts of a roof and indoor plumbing. A marathon-like
distance with large elevation changes are made possible by this
thinking. The personal challenge is to go as far as you can... what
someone else does is not the point.