What to Pack for a Hike

Hiking pic

Image: rei.com

Retired CFO and SVP Reid Hackney enjoys participating in outdoor activities. Reid Hackney’s preferred outdoor pastimes include bicycling and hiking.

The art of packing for a hike requires a delicate balance between weight and necessity. Carrying too much weight leads to fatigue, but taking too few items leads to unpreparedness.

Here are some of the most essential items to pack for a hike:

– A map, a compass, and a GPS unit are essential. While you may be tempted to take a GPS unit alone, you could easily lose it, or it could lose its charge.

Extra food and water should always be a consideration. Hunger and thirst can kill. Always take a little more food and water than seem necessary.

Safety items, such as matches, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit should be mainstays in any hiking pack. Sports outfitters carry prepackaged first-aid kits for hikers. A knife can also play an important role in safety and may be useful for cutting bandages and fishing out splinters.


Ensuring a Proper Boot Fit When Hiking


Hiking Boots pic

Hiking Boots
Image: rei.com

With a background as a retail executive, Reid Hackney oversaw a full range of accounting and financial functions spanning distribution, logistics, and imports while working with a major retail brand. Also an outdoors enthusiast, Reid Hackney enjoys activities such as hiking and cycling in his free time.

When taking a hiking or backpacking excursion that extends more than a couple hours, one of major factor that comes into play is the fit of the footwear. As a rule, hiking shoes require a certain amount of breaking in, given that they will be traversing often-rugged and -uneven terrain. Even a slightly off fit will be noticeable as the miles progress in the form of tender feet and blisters.

To break in a new pair of hiking shoes, wear them around the house and in everyday activities as much as possible. Wearing the same socks as you plan to hike in, take them on extended walks and test them out. In cases of “hot spots” forming, apply moleskin liberally to protect the feet from blisters.

After a period of time, a twofold process will occur of the feet adapting to the boot and the footwear adapting to the contours of the foot. In cases where a good fit simply does not develop, swap them for a better-fitting pair before a major hike.

Preventing Common Cycling Injuries

Cycling pic

Image: active.com

Now retired, Reid Hackney is the former CFO and vice president of A’GACI, LLC, and former senior vice president of finance for Ascena Retail Group. An avid outdoorsman, Reid Hackney enjoys cycling around San Antonio, Texas.

Knee injuries are among the most common injuries plaguing cyclists. Typically caused by overuse, these types of injuries include medial plica syndrome, cyclist’s knee, and patella tendinitis. The best way to prevent such injuries is to maintain good knee placement throughout the duration of a ride or use shoe implants beneath the shoes. These types of injuries can also be avoided by slowly building up strength to reduce knee strain and pedaling in lower gears every once in awhile.

Hand and toes injuries are also frequent problems and can result in the hand or toes feeling numb or tingling. Numbness in the toes is generally caused by the nerves being compressed due to tight shoes or road vibration. It can be easily avoided by adjusting the shoes, keeping feet straight when on the pedal, and removing irregular seams pressing on the foot. Meanwhile, hand injuries can be avoided by keeping the wrist straight when riding and having a firm, but relaxed grip on the handlebars.

Finally, pain in the lower back or on the shoulders may be experienced by regular cyclists. Shoulder pain is generally linked to longer rides and comes about by putting too much weight on the hands or keeping the elbows straight. Flexing the elbow and moving weight to the body resolves these issues. In terms of lower back pain, cyclists may experience this if they ride for too long without a break or have a lot of stress on the spine. Ideally, the back should be kept straight and relaxed.