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Hiking / Backpacking

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Old 08-10-2004, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Hiking / Backpacking

(I apologize for starting a second thread, but this topic I thought was too different from the first one.)

I've also been training to go on a backpacking trip, which I find VERY exciting. =D I've always loved camping and am highly involved in Girl Guides, (It's like Girl Scouts). I am the leader of two groups of older girls, Pathfinders and Rangers.

Anyway, to me backpacking trips seem like the next progression and a lot more adventurest. My co-leader has gone backpacking once before, and two or our rangers who graduated from the program have never gone. So we all thought it would be a fun adventure for the four of us to go on. =)

Does anyone else have any experience with backpacking?

I do have a little bit of concern (being overweight) and not being able to keep up. So I'd appreciate any bigger ladies prospectives.

Thanks =D
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Old 08-10-2004, 12:26 PM   #2
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Hiker and backpacker here and reporting for duty!

I have hiked various sections of the AT, many parts of the CT Blue Trail system as well as trails throughout the northeast.

If there's one bit of advice I'd like to impart on you in regards to not being able to keep up is PLEASE DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. Please please don't. Hiking is all about being outside and enjoying nature and looking around at something that's not a computer or a TV. Everyone has their own pace. I find that when hiking with a group, it's always good to let people know that they don't have to wait up for you - because that gets frustrating for both parties. Also, you don't want to let them get too far ahead, unless you're familiar with the area and the trail is well marked.

I used to hike with this guy who was like Super Hiker - he was very fit and very fast and I felt like a lumbering cow next to him. For a long time I would get very frustrated and upset with myself for not being able to keep up to his pace. I was very discouraged. Then I had to smack myself because this isn't a race! And it isn't fun to compare yourself to others and try to match their pace. So once I smacked myself, it became more enjoyable. We came up with a system of where he would go ahead of me at his pace, and after 20 mins or so (depending on incline, weather conditons, etc.) he would stop and wait and when I caught up, we would rest together until I felt ready to go again.

I've done lots of day hikes, ranging from 1 mile - 9 miles. I've gone backcountry camping a few times (along the AT) and have all sorts of equipment for that, if you have any questions about it.

I'm a little heavier now than I was when I did the majority of my hiking. I find that having a walking stick (I have a Teki pole) helps me with the declines. Going up hills and mountains leaves me breathless and makes me wonder why I ever bother to do it in the first place, but coming down is hard on my knees. So I use a pole to keep some pressure off my knees. Plus, if you ever hike alone, a walking stick is a good defense weapon.

So...now that I've typed my fingers off.

Where are you going? And for how long?

You're going to love it. At least I hope you do. Hiking is such fun.

I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

~Lisa
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Old 08-10-2004, 01:19 PM   #3
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I live in the heart of the Rocky Mountains! We go hiking quite a bit here and don't worry about not being able to keep up, I'm overweight as well but I do just fine. I've even hiked up on glaciers in Glacier National Park. Its great exercise and good for the soul as well. Go for it, have fun, enjoy the scenery, breathe the fresh air, and remember to stop and smell the flowers.

Michelle
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:12 PM   #4
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I'm going to Fundy National Park in New Brunswick. I'm really excited and looking forward to it, we plan on being away for 4 days, but since we are all new at the backpacking/camping thing we aim to go for 2 nights camping and see how it goes. Hopefully we'll want to stay out longer. =D If not, we just plan on doing some regular camping in the park.
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Old 10-08-2004, 05:12 PM   #5
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With backpacking, if you can, you'll want to get a comfortable pack and shoes.

I've found that Internal Frame packs (where the frame is inside) are much more comfortable. Lowe Alpine makes a good pack. Ones made especially for women are probably more comfortable, my husband likes my pack better than his! You'll want something that distributes the weight well, as you'll be carrying 25-30 pounds.

For shoes, you'll want something with ankle support. Vasque, Salomon or even Nike are good. Lots of companies make "trail" shoes, but if the trail has a lot of rocks, you'll appreciate the ankle support.

I just use an old ski pole I got at Goodwill for a hiking staff.

Hope this helps! Enjoy your hiking and backpacking.
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Old 10-19-2004, 03:34 AM   #6
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Well, I'm 323lbs and I hike out in the Rocky Mountains at least once a week. I'm up to doing 2 miles of a moderate intensity trail. When I moved up here to Denver last March, I was only able to do a quarter of a mile on an easy trail. And when I say easy, I mean families with small children were strolling along past me.

So, it can be done even by us fatties
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