Archive for June 1st, 2010

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Great Smoky Mountains

In preparation for our hiking vacation to the Smoky Mountains last week, I looked up some hiking tips to see what hiking experts have to offer. I found the hiking.biz website and they offered some great info. They list a hiking checklist so you don’t forget essential gear (and if you didn’t think you needed certain gear, it’s a good reminder to be safe and pack well–and light)! One of the things I love about hiking is that I can see so much more than if I travel by car or bike. And there’s nothing like being miles from civilization in the mountains to bring out the MacGiver in me. I will tell you more about our great hikes last week in future posts!

Hiking tips that would make MacGiver proud:

• Tell people you know where and for long you are going hiking in case you get lost or injured.

• Don’t wear cotton–if it gets wet it stays wet and can freeze. Not good, especially for socks!

• Bring an extra pair of socks in case they do get wet. Great tips on hiking socks here.

• If you hike in mountains, bring rain gear. Weather can change radically in a short period of time.

• Pack light!

• Use camelpacks or hydration packs versus water bottles. They are easier to carry and use. The water tube can easily attach to your pack and you can walk and drink water at the same time if need be.

• Bring high energy food like Larabars or Gorp. Even on a day hike you never know how long you may end up being out.

• Bring a basic first aid kit. Blisters can ruin a hike–Mole skins and bandaids are a must. A Snake bite kit can save your life.

• Bring warm clothes and leave them in your car to change into after a long day of hiking. Great if you get wet!

• Pack a pocket knife or multitool. A MacGiver Must!

Hiking poles or sticks are extremely helpful for rocky or elevated terrain. I use snowshoe poles year round and they really help me get a better upper body workout as well as get me over streams and tough inclines.

• Bring a lightweight flashlight. You may end up hiking back in the dusk or dark depending on where you go and how well you can gauge daylight!

More tips here.

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