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1) Get in top shape with a heavy pack.
“You’ll have more fun and are less likely to get injured on the trail,” says Appalachian Trail speed record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis. “I fill my pack with firewood or gallons of water.” For a 30-mile dayhike, plan to carry 10 pounds on the trail, twice that when training.
2) Wear trail running shoes or low-cut hiking boots.
You need cushion and flex. Choose the lightest and most breathable shoes conditions allow.
3) Shorten your stride and you’ll save energy.
With longer strides, your heel hits harder, which is like tapping the brakes.
4) Refuel every hour or two.
Carry a variety of sweet and salty snacks (about 2 pounds of food for an all-day epic). Add powdered electrolyte-replacement drink mix to your water.
5) During breaks, remove your shoes to let your socks dry.
Elevate your feet to circulate blood and refresh your muscles’ oxygen supply.
6) Find your all-day pace and adjust your schedule.
If your sustainable pace is 2 mph, not 3, just start earlier to allow more hiking time.