A long multi-day hike or backpacking trip is very different from a one-day hike. Here are some of the most important things you need to know.
I recently ran 400 km in Northern Spain along the old pilgrimage routes to Santiago, Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo. My next plan is a four-day backpacking trip to conquer the seven most northerly Munros in Scotland. All this stuff is in my mind, so I thought I would share it with the class.
You will probably get blisters (and other foot pain).
Walking long distances is hard on your feet ̵
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that. If you can, find a boot and sock combination that works for you and stick to it. What works for me does not necessarily work for you and vice versa. So take the time to try different socks on one-day hikes to see what feels best. Some people prefer an inside and outside sock while others prefer a good merino wool sock.
While you can prevent as much as you like, there is still the possibility that you may get blisters. This is where proactive treatment comes in. As soon as you feel that a hot spot is forming, stop and stick a second skin square on it to prevent it from rubbing again. If you prevent the formation of bubbles, you can ensure that they do not spread.
If you get a blister, you can either cover it up and leave it alone or drain it with a sterile needle and then cover it up and leave it alone. Most doctors recommend that you leave it, but most hikers recommend that you drain it so that walking is less painful. If you have swelling, redness or pus, you should consult a doctor. An infected bladder is no joke.
And blisters are just one of many possible foot pains. There is a reason why foot-pain is a word and "hand-sickness" is not. Take care when things hurt and stop explaining why. You may have the wrong insole, bruises when walking on a hard surface, or your boots are too tight.
Do not pack too much.
If you are not an experienced hiker, your packing list is probably too long and your backpack is probably too heavy. Any additional item you bring increases the weight you need to haul for miles. You want to take as little equipment as possible.
That's right, you pack longer than just a few hours. So you need clothes, food and (possibly) shelter. You do not want to get into a storm without a rain jacket. Packing is about finding the right balance.
In general, you want to limit the weight of your basic pack (anything except food and water) to less than 10 percent of your body weight. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, your backpack should weigh less than 18 kg. If you weigh 120 pounds, you want a 12-pound pack. Of course, you must also consider your strength. If you have a muscular weight of 160 pounds, you can carry more than someone with the same weight that it is not.
How you fill your weight limit depends on where you go, who you are with and how long you want to know how the weather will be and how much safety margin you want. Remember, the easier your backpack is, the easier your hike will be. They move faster and are probably more fun.
It is impossible to create a complete packing list for every situation – there are too many variables. Here is a rough list of the basics and key information you can refer to:
- backpack and rain cover
- tent (if required)
- sleeping bag or liner and sleeping pad
- water bottle and treatment method  Hiking boots
- Two pairs of hiking socks
- Evening sandals or flip-flops
- Two pair of underwear
- One pair of hiking pants with zipper
- Two base layers  Two warm layers
- A weatherproof Outer layer
- A hat
- Toilet paper
- A trowel
- A toothbrush and toothpaste
- A topography map and compass
- A cell phone
- A spotlight  Blister plaster and a sterile needle
- painkillers and anti-inflammatories
- A small stove and a fuel bottle
- A saucepan and Dinnerware  You can customize this list as needed. Of course, if you go to a warm and dry place, you are packing things other than a wet and cold place. Do not forget the food!
Buy high quality equipment
If you're on a backpack, put a lot of emphasis on quality equipment. Most people probably use their hiking boots less than 10 days a year. If you're traveling for a week, you want to make sure your boots are held and your feet are not destroyed.
Similarly, a tent that is not waterproof is not capable of being worth much in the mountains. It's better to borrow good equipment from friends than to buy something that does not work.
However, there are ways to save money with outdoor gear. If you investigate, you will get the best equipment at the best price.
They walk slowly, but far.
If you normally walk fast through a paved city or on a nice path, you'll be surprised how slowly you move with your backpack on the hardest sections of the Camino Primitivo, which runs through a mountain range On average, we were at a little less than 5 km / h, including breaks, water breaks, and lunches – if it's shallow, you can move faster, but once you reach the hills, those heavy backpacks slow you down.
Also if you move slower, you can cover a decent distance A 15-mile day is pretty normal during 20-mile-days are a bit more difficult, but still achievable. These distances add up over a period of four or five days.
Playing it safe
If you are on a backpack or on a multi-day hike, you should play it safe. If you are not expected to return for three days, and if something happens the first time, you can be exposed to the elements for two days with a broken leg screaming for help that will not come until the hike you plan to navigate.