Super Fabulicious Hiking and Outdoor Adventure Group Message Board › Why I ( Chris J
Walnut Creek, CA
1. I do a fair share of hikes in the moutains at higher elvevations. Hiking at elevations of 6000-10000 feet (most of my mountain hikes fall in that range) are more strenous due to the air being thinner, some may get elevation sickness.
Asking questions about previous hiking experiences helps to make sure everyone will be up for the hike.
2. Sometimes I want to make sure that my warnings, special notes, etc are read and the a questions may serve as a reminder.
I had cases like I stated about 3 times that a hike has a short rock scramble, complete with picture link and even question posted, just to hear one member say "If I had known about the rock scramble I would have not gone on this hike"
Another one on a 12 miles hike "oh I though this would be a 2hrs hike"
3. I want to make sure everyone is up for the challenge of the hike, you should not try to go from short hikes around 6 miles to 15 with lots of elavation gain, (at least not on my hikes)
You may walk a lot on flat ground, hit the Gym a lot....., but all that does not qualify you for a long hike over uneven terrain (like you find in the mountains) or off trail, while this is my opinion, I am not alone with that.
A recent newspaper article quoted a yosemite ranger
Some Yosemite rangers say they see changes in visitor behavior that suggest less experience.
Ranger Ed Visnovske, a veteran climber and mountaineer, noted that ankle and knee injuries are among the leading triggers of rescue and medical activity in the park. He suggested the average person's daily experiences no longer expose them to the kind of physical activity that would prevent those injuries.
"The lifestyle has changed," Visnovske said. "You could have somebody who is super fit, but their fitness comes from working out in a gym, which is a relatively controlled environment. Just walking around on uneven ground has actually become sort of unusual for people."
****A blog entry I pulled of the internet ******
First off, I’m neither. I have no identity crisis. However, I’ve had a few opportunities over the last few months to hike with people that were either gym fit or mountain fit. And even in my relatively poor conditioning (mostly my BMI, I’m actually in pretty decent trail shape at this time), I was amazed by the difference between being functionally fit (trail fit), and looking good (gym fit).
One of the biggest areas that that gym fails is at proprioception. It’s a word tossed around after major connective tissue injuries, brain trauma, or reconstructive joint surgeries, by physical therapist and surgeons. But it’s something that you need even when healthy. You never gain sport specific proprioception at the gym, no matter how good your gym fitness.
Don’t get fitness confused with proprioception, which is basically your body being constantly aware of it’s positioning. For example, your knee knows without you actively thinking about it that it is at maximum extension, thus you don’t hyper extend your knee. Your ankle knows where it’s maximum roll point is before you trip and fall, or worse twist and tear ankle ligaments and then fall. Slightly more complex, your quadricepts muscle knows when it should fire in relation to your hamstring muscle, a simple action that allows you to walk, run and sprint without injury.
Often you’ll see backpackers on the trail who could probably lose 15-30lbs, yet they are able to hike 15-20 miles and gain thousands of vertical feet with a 40-50lb pack, without batting an eye. They somehow don’t get injured or look uncoordinated, though everything you know about fitness and performance says they should. You could certainly call these people functionally fit. You put that same 50lbs on your standard urban gym rat and you are going to be in for a long day. As a matter of fact, that 50lb pack has a better chance of injuring that specimen of human kinesiology than someone who is has developed functional trail fitness
I may add to that list sometimes,
Feel free to add your experience, thoughts, opinions..... in a reply to this discussion, always interesting to hear other opinions and experiences
See you on the trails