Experienced Hiking: Tips and Advice

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The definition of experienced may take many forms. To one, it might be having many years under one’s belt. To another, it could be hiking many peaks in a short amount of time, increasing hours spent on the trails, but not longevity in the activity. An experienced hiker constitutes both of these, both longevity and peaks covered. In any activity, repetition means experience and practice, and hiking is no different. To hike, one must follow an almost religious regiment, keeping calorie intake in the 3000’s, and fitness at optimum level. One also must keep a steady level of hydration if one wishes to combat the heat of the Arizona sun. Even if not in heat, the amount of energy one is expending during a hike is on the order of magnitudes, and the hiker must be wary of overexertion. Knowing one’s limits when hiking comes with experience, and experience is gained through repetition of the activity.
Proper hydration, or lack of it, is another important factor in experienced hiking. Symptoms of dehydration that one should be wary of whilst out on the trails or backpacking includes a dry mouth, dizziness or lightheadedness, and a headache. The amount of water needed per person varies from individual to individual, but from personal experience, carrying a 2 liter bladder of water for a 3-4 hour morning hike is acceptable. Time of day is also an important factor in water consumption as well. Out in Arizona heat, it would be optimal to consume more water in midday or early afternoon than it would be in early morning or late afternoon, where temperatures are much cooler. If I were to exercise for 60 minutes, based off of my body weight (130lbs) and environmental conditions (hot and dry), it would be wise for me to consume about three liters of...

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...ty foods along the trail must also be consumed. Two to three liters of water on any hike is an absolute necessity, as are electrolyte drinks. Proper gear, such as time and terrain conditional clothing, hats, sunglasses, water packs, and proper footwear are required to do anything in Arizona’s trails. Planning everything down to the route you will take up a mountain, to how you will get to that route, and how long you spend on that route are vital. From experience comes preparedness, and from preparedness comes experience.

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