Adirondack Outdoors Summer 2014 Issue : Page 50

By KEvIN MACKENZIE Tips AN FOR amBItIouS DAY OF hiking M o st people who enjoy st renuou s h i kes began with short walks and built endurance over time. If they’re like me, they developed experience over a period of years and made a few mistakes along the way. As they evolved, they likely developed an organized and effi cient method of prepara-tion that, in the end, led to safe, enjoyable outings. Climb-ing this learning curve tends to teach a person much about him or herself as well as the external environment. Most of the tips below are applicable to any type of hike, long or short. My purpose is that you think of them in the context of an ambitious day-hike. The following subjects touch upon topics that, in hindsight, were impor-tant to me as I pushed myself to new levels on the trail. knoW your Body and Train: Have you tested your physical and mental limits to fi nd out what you can or cannot do? If so, good! If not, then err on the conservative side until you know how your body and mind react under stress. Ten miles into a trek is no time to fi nd out that you’ve ‘hit the wall’ and can go no farther or have forgotten some piece of essential gear. The key is to build up to the next level slowly and strategically so any mistakes are merely annoyances, not catastrophes. Training is impor tant while prepar ing for any situation in life. The type and degree of training needed is determined by the scope of the specifi c goal. Sometimes Rich McKenna and Alan Wechsler put their training and experience to work. Credit: All photos by Kevin B. MacKenzie. 50 SUMMER 2014 ISSUE

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