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Backpacker Magazine – January 2013

Mileage Master Skills

Going the distance? Use these tips to ease big-mile trips.

by: Rachel Walker

You can do this IT band stretch in the field. (Supercorn)
Photo by You can do this IT band stretch in the field. (Supercorn)
You can do this IT band stretch in the field. (Supercorn)


Protect Your Feet
Improve your boot-break-in and foot-care techniques.

>> Focus on fit
Shop in the afternoon (when feet are swollen), get your foot measured every time you browse shoes (it expands with age), and ask a fit expert to suggest brands that match your foot shape (Keen shoes often have a wide toebox, for example). Wear the socks you plan to hike in; you should have toe wiggle room and no heel movement. Trekking for months? Don’t buy multiple pairs: Conditions (and your feet) will change during your trip, so buy locally midhike.
>> Break in boots
Put in at least 20 hours of dayhiking (with a weighted pack) on new, stiff footwear, beginning at least a month before your trip. If burly, full-grain boots won’t give, dab a little mink oil on the leather at the problem spot.  Prevent and treat blisters The best way to treat blisters is to avoid them. Always carry Leukotape (first defense) and moleskin (for problem areas), and patch any hot spots immediately. For blister-care tips, visit

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Your are so right ! major knee pain on the way down from snow creek trail in yosemite in/12 3000 ft/el desent with 40# pack , level ground could not come soon enough !!!!! now I use poles/pills on long desents with heavy loads they really do help ! tks for advice.


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