T Nation

Hikers and Wilderness Voyagers

A conversation with @wannabe about hiking gear spurred some conversation in our logs, so I’m starting a thread about wilderness activities.

Let’s talk about it all - gear, destinations, goals; hiking, backpacking, rafting, you name it. As always, pics are worth many post’s worth of words!

I’m tagging some additional people who may enjoy this topic, but everyone’s welcome.

@ChickenLittle @donnerschweer @jdm135 @SkyzykS @omats @OTHSteve @jshaving


Cool thread!

I’m leaving this week to fly to Utah. Planning on hitting canyonlands national park and arches national park.

I’m flying into grand junction and staying in Moab. I’ll be there a few hours before I can check in to my Airbnb so plan is to wear my swim shorts on the plane and take the short hike out to the mill creek waterfall and play in the water for a bit.

For canyonlands I will be spending all my time in the needles district. Plan is to hike the chesler loop trail and hit up Druid arch and maybe some smaller trails if I have time.

For arches I’m thinking of taking highway 191 out to the devils garden loop and exploring that area.

If anyone has any suggestions for those area or other parks that are close I’d be down to change my mind. Ideally I’d like to spend all day in the parks and make friends with single hippie girls at night :joy:


Depending on your experience level. In most park there the tourist trails and more challenging one. Often we count going up as twice as long as going down. Now think were you start.


In my experience hippie chicks Generally love it when you have free drugs.


Ah I see. I may be lacking what they desire then :joy:

Wife and I do some mountain trails in the White Mountains a couple times a year - since having our little guy we’ve stuck to smaller, easier hikes but he seems to be tolerant of it at this point.

Would like to get into it a bit more but don’t really live close to mountains (NH is about a 3 hr+ drive). Would also like to do some overnight hikes at some point too. This’ll be a good place to really get some info on where to start how to get some more in depth experience under my belt … love the outdoors.


Great idea for a thread. I like the app AllTrails for hiking trail information and reviews. There are typically lots of photos to preview so you can get a sense of what you’ll experience.

I’m a beginner hiker but I’ve gotten out on more remote trails when participating in trail runs. These are different than road runs because you have to “check in” at each aid station. I like knowing someone will come looking for me after awhile should I roll an ankle or take a wrong turn.

I’m hoping with time I’ll gain the confidence and skills to be more
Independently adventurous.

These are views from cold water trail in the back country of mount saint helens. Probably my favorite hike ever.


First (oops, second) pics in the thread! Me on Sandia Peak in February, 10,600’ elevation. Albuquerque is directly west, on the right side of the pic. Wind temperature was around 15* F, but I was sweating from exertion.

My usual hike-training grounds. The Sandia Mountains are in the background, around 15 miles east of where I took the pic.

Finally, taken on Mt. Taylor, an 11,300’ inactive volcano around 100 miles west of Albuquerque. Pic was taken in the summer, but the air temp was around 58* F after afternoon rain.



Thanks, that’s good info!

You pics are beautiful. The Pacific Northwest is an area of the country I’ve never traveled to. In terrain like that, I’d feel much more comfortable with a hiking companion and area knowledge.


Do you have any pics of the White Mountains? I’ve never traveled in either northern corner of the country.

I was thinking the other day about hiking ascent versus descent times. I agree, I think a 2:1 up/down time ratio is usually accurate.

Have you and your boyfriend hiked much this summer?

Pre-hike training - have any of y’all trained for a particular hike? What did you do?

I was hoping to climb some 14ers - mountains with a peak at least 14,000 feet high - this summer and fall. The only 14er I’ve ever climbed is Mt. Massive, a non-technical mountain in Colorado. I was 19, lived at 7,600 feet elevation, and was able to hike up and down the mountain with no prior training other than my regular exercising.

However, just as I am no longer 19 or living at that elevation, I’m sure I couldn’t hike a 14er without sufficient prep. In addition to weekly walking and walk-jog intervals, I generally ruck once a week and am up to four miles with a 29-pound pack at a mile elevation. I’m interested in hearing about other’s outdoor training, too.

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With the boarder being close and most lean to in national parc park near us being close it was not worth driving 4 hrs for a day hike with no where to sleep en route.

Still can’t cross over the US boarder.

I don’t blame you, a day hike isn’t worth four hours of driving to me, either. Do you hike anywhere in your province?

I do on my phone … will have to move them or upload them later … some nice views up there

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The fun stuff is a few hours a way and it was just about impossible to get day pass thanks to Covid restrictions.
We did some back yard walk. But not much more.
Hope for next year with hotel re opening so it will be more fun.

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That sounds tough. I’ve been reluctant to weight my hikes for fear of overuse injury. What is the primary improvement/ carryover to unweighted hiking or trail running that you think you might get from rucking?

It’s a different animal from unweighted hiking and running but, like with any resistance training, a slow build reduces the perceived difficulty.

That’s wise. I love hiking and having my outdoor gear along for the ride, so before starting I read up about safely hiking with weight.

The consistent advice said to start light, with a pack around 10 pounds; to only increase a couple pounds per week; and to only do one full-length, full weight hike/ruck each week, with the other sessions being unweighted walks or jogs and maybe one half-weight ruck. Everyone also said to never run with weight, as it’s simply too taxing, especially cumulatively.

My approach is actually the opposite - my goal is to increase hiking/rucking capacity, so I do unweighted walking and jogging to improve rucking :joy: That said, weighted hikes improve both the speed and endurance of my unweighted walks and jogs.

When rucking, I use a mileage tracker app and keep my pace at no more than 18 minutes/mile (I’m whittling back down to 15 minutes/mile.) When I jog, it feels much easier to move quickly without the additional 15 percent of my bodyweight on my back. Plus, my muscles don’t fatigue as easily, because they’re accustomed to hauling around extra weight while working non-stop for an hour.

I am excited about this thread, thanks @TriednTrue
Just returned from Alaska, where we went on several not-too-adventurous hikes the past few days. Gold Cord Lake was one. We’ve been to AK probably 7 times in the last 11 years but I don’t remember all the good ones.
Kayaking was the best kid-friendly activity of the trip though.





Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal

New Hampshire, White Mountains