SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Your breaks on trail days?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Dave Senesac Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3404
Joined: Jun. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 3:26 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most backpackers hiking trails take breaks when their body is too weary or unpleasant to continue pushing forward.   And the longer the day the more frequent that is likely to occur.  But what about taking breaks for other reasons?  

What do you and your groups usually do?

When we do take breaks lugging a backpack, that almost always requires stopping at any convenient spot there are boulders or logs etc capable of sitting on while still wearing a pack or onto which a pack may be set down.   Of course it is always easier to heft a heavier pack back up if it is off the ground resting atop on say a waist high boulder versus up from the ground.  

Most groups of course will take more breaks going up gradients than on level terrain or downhill due to the exertion.  On steep trails even a slow slow pace eventually requires a stop due to exertion.

A leader of a group may announce as a trail hike commences where they expect to take longer breaks.  Or a group starting down the trail catching looks at topos may casually discuss where they would like to try and reach and take a break.

Some may hike at a fast pace at higher exertion levels and take more breaks than those that choose a moderate pace and exertion levels.   And then there are the really slow or poky that lacking any steep sections that don't need to take breaks due to their low exertion levels but may do so for other reasons of enjoying their journey.

Some backpackers on trails of course push and push as though they are in an athletic event for speed, distance, or exercise, so minimize breaks as much as they might endure.  

Others take breaks whenever someone in a group asks for a stop because they are getting a bit too weary to efficiently hike keeping exertion at pleasant level.

Others may take breaks upon reaching expected map way points like a stream, lake, ridgeline, viewpoint, or pass.  

Some may take breaks at somewhat regular intervals like every 5 miles, every mile, or every quarter mile.

Some people of course drink a lot of water so may regularly take water breaks that requires dealing with removing a water bottle from a pack.  

And a few like to eat frequently so need to stop, remove a pack and find that PowerBar, Snickers, or handful of granola they finally could not resist making another step without.

And of course someone in a group may announce they need to stop, drop their pack, then without explanation wander off with a little plastic orange spade.

Then there are those that take breaks whenever they see something interesting to either examine, look at, or photograph although sometimes one may simply slow down for a few steps while enjoying a lingering view.

Something we do on more strenuous hiking days carrying our packs is break up our route into two hiking periods separated by an hour or three of lunch, resting, even napping.

And for this photographer there are sometimes enroute diversions where I may drop and hide my pack, grab my camera, then ramble off to some side diversion that could take minutes to hours before returning and resuming along the route.   Of course fishermen have the same fun when passing interesting waters.


--------------
...David

http://davidsenesac.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 2
nogods Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 6219
Joined: Sep. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 3:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a 5 mile rule.  Hike 5 miles then take a nap, hike 5 more miles, take another nap if there is more trail to hike, otherwise end the day.

I have a lightweight utlity hammock I made out of some silnylon I found on a walmart $1/yrd surplus rack several years ago.  My pack gets hung on tree with a tree strap and biner.  

You can see my pack hanging on the tree in this pic.



When I'm with a group I take my nap whenever the group takes a mid-hike break, only I seldom actually fall asleep when with a group.  But I do get to take all the weight off my feet and relax in a supine position.

When we are in a place without trees I have to suffer like the rest of the ground dwellers.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
desert dweller Search for posts by this member.
Greetings
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 9615
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 4:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only "sit-down" breaks I do are for lunch and at the end of the day. I'll stop a couple of times in the morning to take off the pack and retrieve the large water bottle to fill the smaller one that is on the pack belt. I like to keep my legs straight so I stand or walk around for a few minutes, maybe eat some snack that's in the top flap of the pack.

I wear my camera around my neck. It's held in place by a caribiner that's hooked to the camera strap and the pack shoulder strap. The camera strap is long enough so that I can bring the camera up to my face without having to unhook it. The camera stays inside a top buttonable shirt pocket till I need it. Having the camera accessable this way means  don't have to stop and retrieve the camera.

I'll stop a couple times in the afternoon, again to fill the water bottle on the belt. I won't sit down again till it's time to make camp.


--------------
Seek Higher Ground
Can you feel the silence


Photobucket
Flickr
YouTube
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
ponderosa Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 4267
Joined: Jul. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sometimes I take breaks because I'm tired or hungry.  More often I take breaks just because a particular spot of the world is just too beautiful to march through without lingering for a while.

--------------
The harder the toil, the sweeter the rest.
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
Tigger Search for posts by this member.
Woods Pouncer
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11755
Joined: Apr. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 4:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It really depends on the trip and I usually let those that are in the group decide as I could hike and hike and hike....

That said, we usually have to take some sort of break about every hour to confirm location on the map and readjust so we don't get too far off course. We'll also stop for about 30-45 minutes for lunch.

There's been a few trips where we need to make a specific location to stay on target to reach a particular goal but that is pretty rare. There's usually only a few of those trips a year and everyone who is going knows about it in advance and are prepared to hurt.


--------------
If I'm going to be lost, in the woods is where I want to be...
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 6
GoBlueHiker Search for posts by this member.
Obsessive Island Hopper...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 15914
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 4:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Pretty much what ponderosa said. ^^^^

I don't have any set schedule for breaks, or anything so rigid.  Depends on the hike, and what I want from it.


--------------
Wealth needs more.  Happiness needs less.  Simplify.

www.RainForestTreks.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 7
TravisNWood Search for posts by this member.
W Y O M I N G
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 16321
Joined: Apr. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 5:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just take a break when I feel like it, for whatever reason. I'm solo, so it's my call.

But I do prefer good vistas and good rocks. Often the weather adds a challenge to the selection.


--------------
Location — Wyoming
Webpages — Cloud Peak Wilderness MapsRocky Mountain Wildlife
Photos — Bighorn Mountains — Wyoming Steppes
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 8
RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
Double Arch, Arches N.P.
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11303
Joined: Jul. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 5:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Pretty random, for us. We take breaks for all the reasons Dave listed, I think.  Photography breaks are individual and seldom involve removing the pack. Eldest Son and I need to be fed every hour or so.  Second Son runs out of water after about two hours.  Then it's lunch time. . . We generally have Loretta mileages and aim to get to camp in the early afternoon, so no hurrying.

Well, the last day of a trip often leads to a non-stop high-speed hike as the scenery dwindles and the call of the burger gets louder.


--------------
Writerly thoughts, book reviews, and random short fiction found at
The Ninja Librarian Blog
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 9
Dave Senesac Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3404
Joined: Jun. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 6:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another issue with breaks is length.  

For decades both myself solo and with groups, we've taken a fair amount of breaks and almost all are just short stops of 30 seconds to 2 or 3 minutes without removing our backpacks, usually just sitting on a convenient group of boulders or logs.   Something to get the pack weight off our feet and give muscels a chance to relax and normalize.  Over five miles when fresh without much uphill that might be a short break every mile or so with maybe one or two longer 5 to 10 minute break added in where we actually remove our packs.  If a trail is all uphill at a fair gradient, our short breaks will increase as we are in no hurry and most interested in maintaining a pleasant level of exertion while enjoying what is along the route.


--------------
...David

http://davidsenesac.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 10
RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
Double Arch, Arches N.P.
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11303
Joined: Jul. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 8:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good point.  If we take the packs off, it's usually 5-10 minutes (long enough for a trip into the woods).  Stopping and admiring the view (real or conjured by a need to pant) is 30 seconds or something.  Anymore, at pack-off breaks, the boys get about twice as long as I do :p

--------------
Writerly thoughts, book reviews, and random short fiction found at
The Ninja Librarian Blog
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 11
Woodswoman Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7015
Joined: Aug. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 9:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Since I like to look at wildflowers, rocks, tracks, trees, leaves, well, everything, I take a lot of breaks  :D  I also take a lot of photos; hence, more breaks.

As for my backpack, I rarely take it off, except during a lunch break. If there's a good place to sit, I will sit for a few minutes. If there's a good view or something interesting to watch, I will sit for a long time...

I'm out there to enjoy what's there. I don't want to miss anything. That's why I'd rather not hike with a group - I don't want to follow whatever rules they might impose.

You all know the saying...Hike Your Own Hike.


--------------
"...in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks."   ~ John Muir
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
CajunHiker Search for posts by this member.
GEAUX TIGERS!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 22754
Joined: Jun. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 10:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ponderosa @ Oct. 09 2012, 3:25 pm)
QUOTE
Sometimes I take breaks because I'm tired or hungry.  More often I take breaks just because a particular spot of the world is just too beautiful to march through without lingering for a while.

Yes, this.

--------------
"Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once." - Chris Rose
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
WalksWithBlackflies Search for posts by this member.
Resident Eco-Freak Bootlicker
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 9841
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 10:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a hard time passing up a good sittin' rock or log. It doesn't matter where it's located, but it can't be any ol' rock or log. But if it meets the criteria, I'll stop.

I'll also stop for toads, salamanders, snakes, interesting rocks or other small things that grab my attention.

If I find wild edibles, I might stop for those too.

And cute hiker girls.


--------------
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 14
bill g Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 406
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 09 2012, 10:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've got to ask, how many days trip you'd you do that involved an off day? We had one-and a half off days when hiking JMT on a 22 day trip. The half day was waiting for a resupply station to open. Most of my hikes are a week or less- usually solo most w dogs so no off days.

I understand this on long thru hikes but that doesn't apply to most bpers.


--------------
you don't know what you got till it's gone
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
Double Arch, Arches N.P.
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11303
Joined: Jul. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2012, 12:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bill g, sometimes we plan an "off" day into a week long backpack.  But usually we cover more miles that day than on the others--we just do it without the packs.  I am totally incapable of lying around camp all day.

--------------
Writerly thoughts, book reviews, and random short fiction found at
The Ninja Librarian Blog
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 16
ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
Clear Creek
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 12389
Joined: Sep. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2012, 10:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

First thing in the morning, I can hike for about 90 minutes without a break, then I want one about every hour.  I like to plan most of my uphill before lunch, if at all possible.  Some terrain requires slogging uphill after lunch, so my breaks may get longer, or I call it a day somewhere about 3 PM.  Since I like to get started hiking by 8, this allows me a decent distance for my day, and some relaxing time before dinner.

It wasn't always like this.  I used to hike from sun up to nearly dinner, but those days are now in the past.


--------------
Everything I know, I learned by doing it wrong at least twice.

"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."  Steve McQueen
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 17
Squilax Search for posts by this member.
Grumpy Old Bear
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1042
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2012, 9:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In addition to a lunch break, I like to stop and fish along the route when in fishing country. I also like to jump into a swimmin' hole if I find one along the route.

I remember the last GNP trip I was on, we stopped and swam at the water crossing just before the Cosley Lake campsite. We took about an hour to swim and wash off the trail grime. When we arrived in camp, about 10 or 15 minutes further down the trail, we were all cleaned up and refreshed. That was awesome.

On a trip in the Smokies with my son, we stopped along the way at a really cool swimmin' hole. Did this over our lunch break. That was fun, too.


--------------
Steve
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 18
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 23582
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2012, 11:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It varies.  I usually do my biggest trips in March and November, so daylight is precious.  On average I take pack-off breaks of 10-15 minutes after each 90 minutes of hiking.  The hiking is longer and the breaks shorter early in the day, although a long stint is possible in late afternoon if I'm short on time.  One of the breaks in early afternoon will be 45 minutes or so for lunch.  Stopping for water can also take a while.
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 19
balzaccom Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 570
Joined: Dec. 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2012, 12:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We hike as a couple, but usually not in  larger group.  We general stop every 30-60 minutes just to check in with each other and drink some water.  We don't sit down, and these never last for more than a couple of minutes.

We might take a five to ten minute break in the middle of the morning to drink, eat a small snack, and adjust anything that needs adjusting.

Then hike to lunch.  After lunch we'll hike on the same pattern, but we are usually in camp by mid-afternoon, so no further food or sitting down on the trail.


--------------
Balzaccom

Check out our blog and website:  

http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 20
balzaccom Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 570
Joined: Dec. 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 11 2012, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Somewhere I read a great comment, that the speed of a group is inversely proportional to the number of people in that group.  Two people always hike faster than three, etc.  

If someone stops to take a photo, the next person needs to tie a shoe, the next person wants a bathroom break, and somebody else needs to change his shirt.

And a ten second photo becomes a fifteen minute rest.


--------------
Balzaccom

Check out our blog and website:  

http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
19 replies since Oct. 09 2012, 3:26 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Your breaks on trail days?
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions