Author Topic: Tips for first long-distance walk  (Read 746 times)

sol

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Tips for first long-distance walk
« on: 22:25:03, 16/05/17 »

Hi,
It's great the join the forums  :)


I plan to do my first long-distance walking in 2 weeks from now, I hope to walk over 500 miles.
I'll use my tent for accommodation, and will cook daily.


Up until now, the longest walk I undertook was 3 nights in a tough terrain.


As I have no experience with long distance walking, I'd be happy for your tips, as things you'd take for a long walk (which you wouldn't in few-days walks), things to avoid and to notice.


Towel and shampoo are things that I think I'll take, which I didn't in my few-days hikes.
I wonder if a small pillow is worth the space in the backpack? so far I used my clothes / backpack as a pillow.


Also, what do you do when your tent is wet in the morning when you wish you keep moving?
Do you pack it up wet? do you dry it during the day if the sun is up?



How do you charge your camera / phone when finally needed?

Any advice is appreciated  :)


Thank you very much!
« Last Edit: 22:47:23, 16/05/17 by sol »

alewife

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6326
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #1 on: 22:47:18, 16/05/17 »
Welcome. For the distance you're planning I would say take a list of possible accommodation options and treat yourself from time to time with a B&b or even a bunkhouse or hostel. Give you the chance to wash and dry things and have a comfortable night. Really work on minimising the weight you are carrying, scrutinise every item to decide if you really need it. Take something that constitutes a comfort or luxury for those gloomy low morale moments, a hip flask with your favorite tipple or a decent bar of chocolate for example. Good luck with your trip.
Alewife


...beware of the bull!

tonyk

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1507
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #2 on: 23:15:31, 16/05/17 »
 
Quote
so far I used my clothes / backpack as a pillow.

 Same here.I tend to carry one change of clothes and use these as a pillow with the rucksack underneath for extra neck support.

 The tent,if wet,can be strapped to the outside of your pack in the morning and dried later in the day when you have a rest stop.

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 688
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #3 on: 08:42:01, 17/05/17 »
It rather depends on where you are walking in hot weather/isolated area etc but have a look at the equipment list this couple take http://walkinginfrance.info/.

Incidentally I wouldn't bother with shampoo a small bar of good soap will last longer and can be used for all washing.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

Islandplodder

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #4 on: 10:03:21, 17/05/17 »

Don't go too far too fast on the first day.  A lot of people find they are tired on the 3rd day, so don't plan too big a day for that one either.


If you are taking a towel make sure it is the lightest possible.  I either take a lightweight camping towel or a very small one I liberated from a sleeper train.
As has already been suggested, weigh everything and justify everything. Saving the odd ounce here and there may not seem much, but they add up to pounds, especially at the end of the day.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 781
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #5 on: 10:10:41, 17/05/17 »
Ive just finished a 12 day hike in France, I have done others over the years, some shorter, some longer. These are just MY personal views, other people will differ, in the end I think that over time you will just have to find out whats best for you.

Boots - I've tried them all, all leather, fabric/leather and hiking shoes. Personally I now stick to all leather and boots! My present pair are Brasher Superlights and on my recent walk they were almost perfect, no blisters at all (I buy women's versions, I've narrow ankles)  which as a hiker is GREAT! But to make them almost perfect I also use Sorbothane inserts, for me walking on a base boot with only basic shock absorption qualities, after a few days can be just too punishing on the soles of my feet. Why are my present boots only 'almost perfect', I still have to tie my own shoe laces!

Trousers vs. Shorts - Nowadays I always wear trousers. Unfortunately, I know a bloke in our city who contracted Lyme's Disease, he and his family have suffered so much! In the end its a matter of choice or both. One thing, make sure that your trousers are comfortable when walking uphill, I had to throw away a pair because as I hiked upwards, especially in heat, the knee fabric rubbed the skin just above my knees 'red raw'!

Baselayers - i believe in them but do not exactly like them that much, I normally prefer a shirt with a collar, but again I've tried them all. Given a choice now I would only go for synthetics. On a long walk everything needs washing at some point and I hate being Mr. Stinky. My reason for synthetic is that they tend to dry more quickly and personally I think are easier to wash anyway. Some might not agree?

Underwear - For me, needs to wash easily so again synthetic. I have and like Odlo.

Personal Hygeine - Everyone varies. Again, not liking to be Mr. Stinky I have an end of day hygeine routine which I try to rigidly stick to, I like the idea of going to go to bed feeling 'clean and fresh'. I personally carry two of underwear, two baselayers and wash one of each every day. They then dry pinned to the back of my rucksack as I walk. The same with sleeping gear, tights and top, synthetic.

Tent - Mine is one man and I like to be able to sit upright in it. Mine is a Marmot Pulsar 1P and I like it a lot. Its now discontinued but Marmot have come out with a similar model.

My oddities - I don't use a sleeping bag, I use a sleeping quilt and I dont use waterproof trousers, I use a rain skirt.

Rucksac - Mine is a 48L Osprey Exos, the size for me is just right and I think their carry system is excellent.

I could go on and on but I'll stop now!



sol

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #6 on: 21:38:37, 18/05/17 »


alewifem, tonyk, Jac, Islandplodder, gunwharfman


Thank you very much!


I couldn't ask for a warmer welcome  :)


gunwharfman, thank you for such a detailed post!
Where was your 12-day hike?

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 781
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #7 on: 09:55:19, 19/05/17 »
Portsmouth to Gatwick by train, Flew from Gatwick to Nice, bus to Grasse, hiked 12 days on GR4, finished at Manosque, caught a coach to Marseille, then flew from Marseille to Gatwick.

Then I had trouble! I arrived late and there NO trains to Portsmouth! Choice was to catch late one to Brighton, wait for about 4 hours then catch the first morning train to Portsmouth, 30 + pounds! There is NO WAY that I am going to sit around on Brighton station for 4 hours in the early hours, too many dodgy people lurking around! I decided to stay in the airport, I inflated my blow-up pillow, found a seat near the arrivals section (with others) and just went to sleep, easy peasy, even if I did wake up with a bit of a stiff neck. M & S foods was open all night!

What I actually did was to buy a ticket from Gatwick to Portsmouth (16.50) for the next morning (the 4.57am) with a change at Brighton, just a 20 mins wait. By now the commuters were now on the march and were mostly going to London. One 20 something young man, stood out, he was well dressed, sitting on a station bench, rocking from side to side, couldn't focus on anything and was drugged up TO THE EYEBALLS! He was in a real mess! I judged that he worked in the City. Everyone ignored him. I was home by 7am.

quixoticgeek

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #8 on: 14:40:53, 19/05/17 »
I plan to do my first long-distance walking in 2 weeks from now, I hope to walk over 500 miles.
I'll use my tent for accommodation, and will cook daily.

Up until now, the longest walk I undertook was 3 nights in a tough terrain.

As I have no experience with long distance walking, I'd be happy for your tips, as things you'd take for a long walk (which you wouldn't in few-days walks), things to avoid and to notice.

Look after your feet. Keep an eye on blisters and hot spots, try to get to them before they happen. Some people wash and powder their feet at the end of every day. Doing 500miles on blisters is not fun.

Quote
Towel and shampoo are things that I think I'll take, which I didn't in my few-days hikes.
I wonder if a small pillow is worth the space in the backpack? so far I used my clothes / backpack as a pillow.


Yes. Definitely. I have the Exped Pillow UL which is very comfy, very light, and much more useful than the clothes in the stuff sack method. Especially as I often don't have much by way of spare clothing to put in a stuff sack...


Quote
Also, what do you do when your tent is wet in the morning when you wish you keep moving?
Do you pack it up wet? do you dry it during the day if the sun is up?


Get a small microfibre towel, wipe the condensation from the inside of the tent, and any moisture you can off the outside, hang the towel off the outside of your pack to dry as you hike. This will keep your tent from being too damp when packed. Where ever possible air the tent. Stop for lunch at a dry spot? spread the tent out to dry (along with sleeping bag).


Quote

How do you charge your camera / phone when finally needed?


I carry a Power Monkey Extreme which gives me a few charges of the mobile or camera from the internal pack, and the power pack tops up as I walk along from the solar panel across the top of my pack. Seems to do the trick.


Have a good trip, tell us all about it on your return.


J
--
Http://b.42q.eu/ - Beer, Bikes and Backpacking.

sol

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #9 on: 22:47:00, 19/05/17 »

Hi,
Julia, thanks for the great advices!  :)
I keep learning a lot!
Does your sleeping bag get wet in the tent that you spread it out to dry during lunch stop?
By the way, you got an awesome blog! just saw it now!


Thank you gunwharfman.
What's your next hiking destination?  :)

quixoticgeek

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #10 on: 02:53:38, 20/05/17 »
Hi,
Julia, thanks for the great advices!  :)
I keep learning a lot!
Does your sleeping bag get wet in the tent that you spread it out to dry during lunch stop?
By the way, you got an awesome blog! just saw it now!


I tend to use a bivvi bag rather than a tent, which does increase the condensation a bit. But even so no matter how hard you try unless you're shivering cold you are going to be getting moisture into the bag from your body, not to mention the dew that makes everything a bit damp on many an evening. As such it's good to air the bag as much as you can. Moisture reduces the insulation properties.


Thanks, I have a bit of a back log of articles to post on there, some recent trips, a couple of kit reviews, that sort of thing.


Quote

Thank you gunwharfman.
What's your next hiking destination?  :)


Netherlands or the Ardenne, I ended up in A&E with a badly sprained ankle a month ago, so I'm forced to take it easier than I'd like. It's driving me crazy.


J
--
Http://b.42q.eu/ - Beer, Bikes and Backpacking.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 781
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #11 on: 13:06:13, 20/05/17 »
I started the year with great plans to hike for up to 12 weeks, but not all at once. My plans have to be rethought due to a member of my extended family becoming ill. at the moment I fancy hiking a couple of National Trails in the UK (easier to get back home if needed) but the one that I would love to do is the GR20 in Corsica. I had planned to hike the GR11 in Spain from July onwards but I suspect that is the one which I will definately have to cancel. I have now have to wait and see how things unfold, at the moment making a firm decision is difficult.

sol

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #12 on: 22:07:58, 24/05/17 »

Thank you for sharing Julia and gunwharfman .


gunwharfman, I'm sorry to hear about your family member, I wish him (her) to get well soon.

Lazar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
Re: Tips for first long-distance walk
« Reply #13 on: 00:26:27, 25/05/17 »
My mistake on my first was carrying to much blisters after the first day