|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – May 2001
Are you a dayhiker who's ready for an all-nighter? A weekender longing to try a 5-day trek? Or are you ready for a thru-hike? Regardless of your skill level, here's the information you'll need to go that extra mile.
From Weekender To Weeklong Hiker
You've mastered the quick, 3-day escape to the state park down the road, and now you're drooling over a faraway 50-miler. Our advice: Start saving your frequent flier miles, and study the tips below to prepare mind, body, and gear for the challenges of a long, rugged hike.
Capacity of 4,500 to 6,000 cubic inches >>>>> $140 and up
Two pairs of wool or synthetic socks (plus two pairs of synthetic liners, if you use them), an extra set of synthetic long underwear, and a waterproof/breathable rainjacket >>>>> $250 and up
Should include prescription medications, blister treatment, bandages, a full-size SAM splint, one roll of 1-inch-by-10-yard cloth tape, ibuprofen >>>>> $25 and up
Supportive, all-leather uppers and minimal seams for maximum waterproofness >>>>> $125 and up
Pick Your Destination
To find your ideal 5-day trail, consult Web sites (start at www.backpacker.com/destinations), local bookstores, and trail clubs. After you get some leads, call the land-management agency and ask the backcountry rangers for information.
Roam At Will
Free yourself from well-trodden trails by learning how to use a map and compass. Here's a start: