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[pct-l] poor old Ray

I agree, I like this thread too.

As far as feet go, I think it all depends on each person's feet.  As 
I mentioned to John Vonhof (author of Fixing Your Feet) in a similar 
post last year, some people are litterally "tenderfeet" and other 
people seem to have feet of steel.  

For example, I never get blisters.  I can sit idle for months, then 
spontaneously get up and go trail run 15-20 miles up and down steep 
hills.  This results in no blisters, no pain, no discomfort at all in 
my feet.  

On the other end of the spectrum, my hiking/trail running buddy will 
train for months, running 40-70 miles per week, and usually running 
one 20+ miler on the weekends.  When we go on a 20+ mile trail run, 
he ALWAYS ends up getting blisters.  He uses Body Glide on the "hot-
spots", and has tried all sorts of different socks and other aids to 
try and prevent blisters.  Nothing has worked.  He ALWAYS gets 

In addition to blister prevention, one has to condition the joints, 
bones, connective tissue, etc of their feet for the sheer pounding of 
step after step on rugged trails with rocks, roots, etc.  I never get 
blisters, but I do have to condition my feet for this sort of 
pounding to prevent fatigue, stone bruises, and general foot pain.  I 
have found that just like Ray states in his book, if you just endure 
the pain and tenderness for 1-2 days, your feet will eventually 
strengthen all of that tissue and you will be able to walk on the 
roughest sufaces with no concern.  My friend who always gets blisters 
has the same experience regarding this sort of pain: work through it 
and it eventually goes away.

BTW, I don't waht people to get the idea that I am a mileage-nazi 
from my suggestions on my last post.  I don't do all those things all 
the time, especially not "don't talk to people".   But sometimes, if 
I want/need to make big miles, I will employ some or all of those 
suggestions.  I have found that time is just like weight: if you 
don't watch it carefully, then its easy to let things get out of 
hand.  For example, sompare the following iteneraries:

~16 hrs of daylight in the summer.

Task         Option 1     Option 2
breakfast     30min        1 hr
am break      10 min       30 min
get water     2 min        15 min
lunch         30 min       1 hr
pm break      10 min       30 min
Dinner        30 min       1 hr
extra break   0            15 min 
extra break   0            15 min
extra break   0            15 min
extra break   0            15 min
talk on trail 5 min        15 min
talk on trail 5 min        15 min
talk on trail 5 min        15 min
Stream X-ing  5 min        20 min
Stream X-ing  5 min        20 min
Stream X-ing  5 min        20 min
get up early  -30 min      0
hike late     -30 min      0
total         1 hr 22 min   7 hrs

Option 2 only leaves 9 hrs for hiking if you do NOTHING else.  If you 
are in the Sierras, then 2 mph is not realistic unless you are a 
total stud.  2 mph is "normal walking on flat ground with a light 
load".  Add elevation gains, and that will easily drop down to 1.5 
mph (less if its steep).  Add heavy loads, and its even less.  Add 
difficult terrain and its even less.  Add route finding/getting lost 
and that's even less.  Its very easy to drop down to 1 mph in 
difficult terrain, like snow or mud.  There is a HUGE difference 
betwen covering big miles in the Sierras vs big miles in the Cascades 
of No. Cal or Oregon.  I dare say almost no one covers 2 mph going up 
Forrester Pass.

There is a REAL difference between the above options.  One hour vs. 
7!!  At a  1.5 mph, thats an extra 9 miles!!  So if you are currently 
doing 12 miles, there is your extra 9 miles to get in a total of 
20+.  Look at the estimates that I put for Option 2, they are not 
unreasonable or unrealistically long.  Its just like weight: it all 
adds up.  You have to consider real time it takes to do things.  Take 
getting water, for example: its not just filtering or treating; its 
also locating a good rest spot, removing your pack (longer times for 
heavier packs), finding & taking out your water container, finding 
and taking out your treatment mechanism, assembling your filter set-
up (if you use a filter), treating/filtering the water, drying off 
your container, putting the container back in your pack, putting your 
treatment mechanism back in your pack, adjusting the items in your 
pack, invariably resting a little, put your pack back on, adjust the 
load, adjust the straps, get back on the trail.  Everything is like 
that, its just super-easy to take lots of time to do things. Its also 
easy to cut down the time it takes to do things :-)

In closing, I guess my montra is "it all adds up".

HYOH & peace!

> What a great thread!
> Refreshing first hand experiences from people who
> "Get It". I'll bet each of you, Dude, Jim & Ginny, et
> al, started your hiking careers with heavy packs and
> 'saw the light'.
> As far as feet being the primary show stopper, I
> disagree as well. When  I consistently do big miles, around 30 a
> day, my feet change. Yes, they're generally sore, sometimes they
> downright hurt. I get blisters which turn to calouses, which
> blister, turn to calouses, etc. Eventually, this stops. I achieve
> my '30 feet'. This is wearing trail runners and with liners or
> dress socks.
> Filtering water, taking breaks, chatting with people
> are all things I do. Like Dude suggests, starting
> just before sunrise and ending around sunset is the
> way I get my miles. If you average around 2.3 mph it's
> easy to get those miles.
> Caveat, in my opinion, doing that day after day, week
> after week, month after month is no way to hike. It's
> not enjoyable. HYOH.
> Scott Parks
> I agree with Jim.
> I never thought I'd actually hike as many miles in a day as I
> eventually did.  Most hikers don't start off doing 25 miles a day
> unless you've been doing 25 miles day hikes with a pack as
> training hikes.
> My advice is: don't get hung up on the miles, do what you can do,
> and soon you'll find yourself putting in more and more miles. At
> the beginning, do what your feet can handle, pushing yourself to
> do 25 miles/day will ruin your feet in the desert. Enjoy your
> trip. Its not a race, the only prize for finishing first is going
> back to work first.
> I feel sorry for the section hikers when it comes to miles.  They
> have to re-condition their bodies for every section, just when
> they start getting used to it, they have to stop.  In this way its
> much easier to do a thru-hike.
> Warning- after the hike getting out of shape happens just as
> quickly.
> Vivek
> <<
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