I have traded in my running shoes for a pair of my favorite hiking shoes; the Patagonia Drifter A/C. I highly recommend them for those who are flat footed and have pronation issues. As with running, you have to take good care of your feet and avoid blisters!
I am preparing for my 2nd annual Grand Canyon rim to rim hike. The total distance from the South Rim to the North Rim is about 23 miles. Last year, I completed the one day hike in about 13 hours. This hike is not to be taken lightly as every year there are several accounts of death and emergency evacuations due to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Why risk it?
If you are in good health and with the proper training, it is experience of a lifetime. Looking back at the South Rim from the North Rim when you are done is either a feeling of “I will never do this again”! Or, “Wow, I can’t believe I did it…I want to do it again”! The feeling I experienced was how very fortunate I am to be conditioned enough to accomplish what is considered to be one of the most difficult one day hikes in the U.S. I have begun my list of what I need to start training. Here some basic necessities for those starting a hiking regimen in 100 degree plus weather:
Comfortable with a pouch for a 2-liter hydration pack. Pack necessities: first aid kit, sunscreen, pocket knife, fine-tooth plastic comb to remove cactus needles, waterproof matches, head lamp, trail map, a 30 gallon trash bag (emergency poncho for a sudden rain storm) and, of course, water and food for your day hike.
Light weight clothing
I prefer moisture wicking, quick drying pants with zip-off legs for when the day heats up and a moisture wicking long sleeve shirt. If you can, get these in a UPF 30 or higher sun protection.
Wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
I recommend polarized lenses to help decrease the agitating source of glare that can create visual discomfort and potentially blinding glare.
Hiking poles for better balance and footing. Hiking downhill, they can decrease the amount of stress on your legs and joints.
Look into purchasing a bottle of my favorite mineral drops with electrolytes; Trace Minerals 40,000 Volts. I add up to a teaspoon of these valuable trace minerals to my 2-liter hydration pack to keep me going.
Lastly, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to start an exercise program, especially hiking in our summer heat!
I’m on my way now to do my first training hike of the summer season. Squaw Peak here I come! Until next time, Happy Trails!