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Justin Of Terrytown

getting started with hiking/backpacking

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I want to get into hiking/backpacking. I know I can't do any long hikes until I get into better shape but I can start with short ones.

 

I am wondering what books you recommend for beginners? What web-sites should I check out? What YouTube videos should I watch?

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I kind of grew up with The Complete Walker (I think it's up to the 4th Edition now), by Colin Fletcher, and Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, by the Seattle Mountaineers.

 

Most of the websites out there nowadays are geared more for folks that already have a few miles under their feet, and are mostly looking for new adventures or equipment reviews. Backpacker Magazine has a pretty good reputation, and I tend to reference the Backpacking Light website just to get new ideas on how to cut down on the weight of my gear.

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When I first started hiking, I didn't read any books.

Luckily started well before someone thought you needed a video on how to walk... :)

 

Short hikes to start. Bring water.

Helpful info when you're ready to tackle longer hikes are online (where most get their info these days).

Google backpacking 101, or backpacking tips for beginners.

Some good tips once you get past the marketing.

Getting started, you don't have to spend much at all to walk.

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http://alltrails.com/us/louisiana

 

This site shows a lot of trails in Louisiana, just getting out walking is a good start & slowly increase the distance travelled.

 

Once you feel comfortable with the distance now start adding weigh to your daypack.

 

Local BSA stores have great books for Scout and can be useful information as well as your local Library.

 

Good luck and remember that that first step forward is the hardest and it all begins with you. :D

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A walk in the woods, by Bill Bryson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Walk_in_the_Woods_(book)

 

Great book. But seriously, just get out and walk. Check out a bunch of caches to so and plan a walk to do them. Try sub 10km walks. This is how I got started. Never really been very fit and after doing lots of geocache walking I know can run 10km in under 1 hour.

 

Eventually you just need a comfortable pack, a way to carry enough water, a first aid kit and a way to contact the authorities if you get in trouble. In Australia that mean a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB/EPIRB)

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Just joined these boards. We don't do much geocaching, but we do a ton of backpacking. Anything we can do to help, please let us know. You can check out our website (non-commercial, just our personal site about how we backpack, and how we encourage others to do so) at backpackthesierra.com

 

You'll find everything from equipment and techniques to tons of hikes in the Sierra.

 

And if we ever do find a geocache, we'll let you know!

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REIs website has a number of very good tutorials about hiking and backpacking.

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For getting into hiking, I'd suggest looking at conservation authorities or parks in your area. Many will have trail maps and guides online with lots of useful info, and some will have paper copies that you can order for a small fee. For me in Ontario, the Backroads Mapbook is crucial, as are the guides for the major trails like the Bruce Trail. I keep a bookshelf with all the pamphlets, maps, and guides I acquire, and when I'm in a new area I check out the local tourism centre for trail guides there too (most have free ones). For Louisiana, you could try the Wildlife and Fisheries website [http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma] which has lots of maps of wildlife management areas with hiking trails.

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We do have a ton of information about this in our website: backpackthesierra.com.

 

But a caveat; that website is aimed at people who want to hike in the Sierra Nevada of California. If you are hiking in Louisiana, your conditions are going to be very different. And while some of the advice is still absolutely valid, things like the equipment list will certainly need to be adapted for your local area and conditions!

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