What better source of getting the best hiking tips than from the people who hike 20 miles regularly? Since 1775, the United States Marine Corps has been studying the most efficient and safe way to move under the heaviest load. Whether they’re hauling heavy duty gear or AR-15s with accessories, they know how to properly hike. Speaking of accessories, if you need a red dot for your firearm, check out Richard Douglas red dot sight reviews. Follow along below to learn 6 of their simple yet effective hiking tips from the US Marines to improve your hiking experience and even double your mileage.
Pro-tip #1: A lot of water
If you pack up for a hike with one bottle of water, maybe two, let me stop you from making that mistake. You can never have enough water on a hike. It is best to bring 2-3 full canteens or a few bottles of Gatorade or Pedialyte to stave off dehydration and replenish electrolytes as you sweat.
Pro-tip #2: Avoid blisters by bringing extra socks
This is non-negotiable if you are hiking for a long period or over rougher terrain. Even if you are already accustomed to carrying a lot of weight on your back, hiking will easily cause heat blisters here and there, especially when going downhill. Change your socks if you plan on going more than 5 miles, your feet will thank you later.
Pro-Tip #3: Give yourself a break
Corporal King, an active duty US Marine said, “When I first began hiking, I wanted to just trudge on to whatever my objective was, hell-bent on getting there by any means. It wasn’t until I joined the Marine Corps that I learned that a break in hiking is not only a necessity but in the long run will help you reach your goal much quicker.” A helpful rule of thumb is a pause every hour of hiking or every 3 miles, whichever comes first. You deserve it bud.
Pro-tip #4: Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain
Only pack what is essential. Yes, you can maybe fit a lot more items and gear but you have to take into account the distance being hiked and if your body can withstand the toll amount of weight put on it over an extended period. Prioritize only what is essential.
Pro-tip #5: You do not need Pick-Me-Ups!
A pinch of tobacco, a drag of a cig, or a can of Monster before or during a hike, are some of the easiest causes of exhaustion too early into a hike. Once you gain enough conditioning and experience, you will be able to hike better. A preferable alternative is a Jolly-Rancher or some trail mix. You only need a little sugar to make your hike sweeter.
Pro-tip #6: Prevention is better than cure
Save the hassle, pack your items the right way from the start. It is best to pack heavy items tight close to your back and pack the lighter items around it. This is a tried and true method, yet you will never believe how many people pack their hiking gear in all sorts of random ways making the hike uncomfortable due to constant readjustments. Taking a little bit extra time to pack properly can make a huge difference.
Nature is beautiful and hiking is an amazing outdoor activity to go out and experience its wonders. Once you apply all these simple tips, you will not only master hiking like a Marine but also avoid distractions and unpleasantries, making the only difficult part of your hike to be saying good-bye to the amazing view. Happy Rucking!
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