It's something we do everyday and we've been doing it for decades, but we never really think about it! Walking is a motor skill, and barely crosses our mind. We are great at it, that is, until we are thrown into a type of terrain we have never tackled before. When it comes to hiking, walking is a different animal, and it takes time to learn how to walk on all the various terrains you will encounter in the out back. So, with that, this week we will take a look at how to walk in the outdoors.
Old Bridle Path, Mt Lafayette
Have you ever observed the footwork of a very experienced hiker? They tend to walk very efficiently, at a constant pace, often without looking at their feet. It’s something I do unconsciously now, but it took a couple of year of serious hiking to internalize.
Edmands Path, Mount Eisenhower
Take Small Steps
For example, we have a lot of very rocky trails in New England, especially in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. If you were to try hiking them by climbing up or over all of the rocks on the trail, you’d quickly burn out the big leg muscles in your legs and run out of gas.
However, there’s a way to preserve your energy on these long approach hikes. Instead of stepping on and over the big rocks, try to walk between them, taking the route with the smallest elevation gain possible. Taking small steps like this will preserve your leg muscles all day. It also makes it possible to keep a steady pace, which is physically and mentally less taxing.
When I’m hiking up a rocky trail, I try to visualize what it would look like if it a riverbed covered in water. I used to whitewater kayak quite a bit, so this is a natural thing for me to do.
If I were kayaking down such a river, I’d follow the easiest line, picking my way around the big drops created by the large rocks and following the gentlest slope downriver. That’s the line I follow (uphill in reverse) when I hike on rocky trails like this. It works great and keeps my legs fresh all day.
Article written by Philip Werner for Section Hiker, published on July 18, 2012
(Sunday, November 7, 2021)
I am still working on the web site, making small changes and tweeks all the time, but at the moment, more of my time is focused on planning and organizing the Iceland trip for 2022. That's right, we are going to Iceland, and there will be room for 13 lucky individuals (or couples, maybe even groups), to join in on the adventure! Most of the heavy planning is done. Now I am just building the itinerary and working on the transprotation schedules. Once I have all that done, I can set a price and it will be posted to the web page as an event. The year's end is fast approaching. We only have 5 more hikes this year. Two of those hikes are listed below, and 3 more will be posted soon for the month of December! I am also preparing to begin the 2022 Niagara Adventure Club Season! 2022 Season's Passes will be available starting December 1st. A notification email will be sent out when you can purchase your Season's Pass!
That's all the news for this week. As always, stay safe, and happy hiking! Lenny Burch Niagara Adventure Club