by Diane Spicer
Hiking questions are just one part of the sometimes steep learning curve all beginner hikers face.
And you should never be afraid to ask them.
As a former professional educator in university classrooms, I always told my students:
"There's no such thing as a dumb question."
But in reality, there is, at least for hikers.
Let's be clear.
A dumb question is one you never ask.
You'll never get the best hiking tips unless you ask!
And you know what curiosity did to the cat, right? (Poor little kitty)
Need another reason to pipe up and ask your questions about hiking gear, route planning, and other trail concerns?
Because every question about hiking has an answer.
So don't leave holes in your hiking skill set by keeping your questions to yourself.
I don't pretend to know the answer to every question a hiker might ask me.
[Not that I wouldn't like to be in that sweet position! But hey, I'm human.]
In reality, I do have decades of trail time under my boots, on varied terrain, in all seasons. So I might be able to answer your question.
And there's also my training as a scientist to fall back upon.
If I don't know the answer myself, I'm pretty sure I know how to go about locating an answer.
Ask your question as a service to our hiking community.
If you're wondering, others are, too.
Hiking For Her will answer your question so everyone can see the answer and be able to chime in with their own ideas and suggestions.
Group think, focused like a laser on your hiking question.
Win-win-win, don't you think?
Ask anything you're wondering about hiking, and receive a detailed answer from Hiking For Her. Plus, other hikers can chime in with their own suggestions!
Click below to see Hiking For Her's answer, as well as ideas and suggestions from other hikers...
How can I avoid or minimize foot/ankle swelling and lower leg rash?
In Spain we hiked 5 - 8 miles daily for 6 days over varied terrain. The weather was a comfortable 80 degrees (there was intermittent shade). There …
How can I avoid a rash on my ankles (under my socks) that occurs during hiking?
I wear liner socks and hiking socks. It is a raised rash that is tender and sore and lasts 24 hours after taking off my socks and boots. It is NOT a …
Send in your questions for a private answer from Hiking For Her.
I'll be posting some of the questions I've received, along with my answers, anonymously in the hiking question archives here.
No tidbit about hiking is too trivial or unimportant to ask about. If you're wondering, chances are other hikers are wondering, too.
And I'm not shy about admitting when I'm stumped.
So I may have to "put you on hold" virtually while I go in search of an answer to your question.
Use the convenient form at the bottom of the page to "Ask Diane A Hiking Question".
And then watch your in box for an answer.
And who knows? Your question might end up on this website, or in my free monthly newsletter, for other hikers to learn from.
Remember, I always welcome rebuttals or additional information to supplement my answers.
Nothing like pooling our resources, right?
How many hikers does it take to find an answer?
As many as it takes!!
Here's a great hiking question to get us started, from Megan:
"I am beginning to hike on Sundays only until summer, where I will go more often, so I can't be in pain. I first went last Sunday and my thighs are SO sore and have a burning pain when walking up and down stairs in work. Do you have any suggestions to help lessen the pain after hiking?"
1. Stretch before you hike. I have a web page on this, with ideas for how to stretch your thigh muscles.
2. Drink lots of water during and after your hike.
3. Stretch at the end of your hike. Use the same stretches as for #1.
4. Go for daily walks, even 20 minutes is long enough. This will get your thighs used to the idea of walking for many minutes at a time.
5. Stop using elevators and escalators; walk up the stairs every chance you get!
6. Soak in a warm bathtub filled with Epsom salts. See my web page on anti-inflammatory actions for more ideas.
7. You might consider if your back pack was too heavy, and if your foot wear supported your feet enough.
8. Do you use hiking poles or walking sticks? Using them will take some of the load off your legs.
9. Consider getting a professional Swedish or deep tissue massage. This moves the toxins out of your muscles faster - it's lactic acid and other metabolic by product which are making you miserable!
10. You might have to modify your diet if you're going to work up to really long hikes - more proteins (lean meat or fish) and lots of vegetables. This will help you repair faster from your training hikes, and you won't be as sore."
Now you have an idea of how detailed my response might be when you ask me a question.
And you're welcome to email again with follow up questions.
Something you should know:
Many people ask me why I do this (for free).
Experienced hikers were generous with their advice and answers when I was just starting out. Now it's my turn.
So ... what are you waiting for?
Contact me with your hiking question!
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Photo credits: All photos on this website were taken by David Midkiff or Diane Spicer.
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