hiking merit badge l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Hiking Merit Badge PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Hiking Merit Badge

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 27

Hiking Merit Badge - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Hiking Merit Badge.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

Hiking Merit Badge

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Hiking is a terrific way to keep your body and mind in top shape, both now and for a lifetime. Walking packs power into your legs and makes your heart and lungs healthy and strong. Exploring the outdoors challenges you with discoveries and new ideas. Your senses will improve as you use your eyes and ears to gather information along the way.


1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while hiking, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn, sprained ankle, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, hyperventilation, and altitude sickness.

2. Explain and, where possible, show the points of good hiking practices. including the principles of Leave No Trace, hiking safety in the daytime and at night, courtesy to others, choice of footwear, and proper care of feet and footwear.

3. Explain how hiking is an aerobic activity. Develop a plan for conditioning yourself for 10-mile hikes, and describe how you will increase your fitness for longer hikes.

4. Make a written plan for a 10-mile hike, including map routes, a clothing and equipment list, and a list of items for a trail lunch.

5. Take five hikes, each on a different day, and each of at least ten continuous miles. Prepare a hike plan for each hike.*

6. Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in one day following a hike plan you have prepared.*

7. After each of the hikes (or during each hike if on one continuous "trek") in requirements 5 and 6, write a short report of your experience. Give dates and descriptions of routes covered, the weather, and interesting things you saw. Share this report with your merit badge counselor.

*The hikes in requirements 5 and 6 can be used in fulfilling Second Class (2a) and First Class (3) rank requirements, but only if Hiking merit badge requirements 1, 2, 3, and 4 have been completed to the satisfaction of your counselor. The hikes of requirements 5 and 6 cannot be used to fulfill requirements of other merit badges.

What to Bring: A Hiking Checklist

What you take will depend on where you are going and how long you plan to be away, but any backpack should include the following:

Candle and matches

Cell phone

Clothing (always bring something warm, extra socks and rain gear)


First aid kit

Food (bring extra)


Foil (to use as a cup or signaling device)


Insect repellent


Nylon filament

Pocket knife

Pocket mirror (to use as a signaling device)

Prescription glasses (an extra pair)

Prescription medications for ongoing medical conditions

Radio with batteries

Space blanket or a piece of plastic (to use for warmth or shelter)



Trash bag (makes an adequate poncho)


Waterproof matches or matches in a waterproof tin

Water purification tablets

Whistle (to scare off animals or to use as a signaling device)

Always allow for bad weather and for the possibility that you may be forced to spend a night outdoors unexpectedly.

It's a good idea to assemble a separate "survival pack" for each hiker to have at all times. In a small waterproof container, place a pocket knife, compass, whistle, space blanket, nylon filament, water purification tablets, matches and candle. With these items, the chances of being able to survive in the wild are greatly improved.


Injuries and illnesses that can occur while hiking

  • Hypothermia
  • In cold weather, your body may lose heat faster than you can produce it. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. It can make you sleepy, confused and clumsy. Because it happens gradually and affects your thinking, you may not realize you need help. That makes it especially dangerous. A body temperature below 95° F is a medical emergency and can lead to death if not treated promptly.
  • To care for someone with hypothermia:
  • Dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance. While waiting for help to arrive, monitor the person's breathing. If breathing stops or seems dangerously slow or shallow, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
  • Move the person out of the cold. If going indoors isn't possible, protect the person from the wind, cover his or her head, and insulate his or her body from the cold ground.
  • Remove wet clothing. Replace wet things with a warm, dry covering.
  • Don't apply direct heat. Don't use hot water, a heating pad or a heating lamp to warm the victim. Instead, apply warm compresses to the neck, chest wall and groin. Don't attempt to warm the arms and legs. Heat applied to the arms and legs forces cold blood back toward the heart, lungs and brain, causing the core body temperature to drop. This can be fatal.
  • Don't give the person alcohol. Offer warm nonalcoholic drinks, unless the person is vomiting.
  • Don't massage or rub the person. Handle people with hypothermia gently, because they're at risk of cardiac arrest.

Heat Illness

  • Your body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating just isn't enough. Your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels and you can develop a heat illness. Most heat illnesses occur from staying out in the heat too long. Exercising too much for your age and physical condition are also factors. Older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight are most at risk. Drinking fluids, replenishing salt and minerals and limiting time in the heat can help.
  • Heat-related illnesses include:
  • Heatstroke - a life-threatening illness in which body temperature may rise above 106° F in minutes; symptoms include dry skin, rapid, strong pulse and dizziness
  • Heat exhaustion - an illness that can precede heatstroke; symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a fast, weak pulse
  • Heat cramps - muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise
  • Heat rash - skin irritation from excessive sweating
  • To care for someone with heat related illness:
  • Move the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space.
  • Dial 911 or call for emergency medical assistance.
  • Cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan or newspaper.
  • Have the person drink cool water, if he or she is able.

Frostbite is a medical condition whereby damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to extreme cold at or below 0º C (32ºF).

  • To treat frostbite, move the victim to a warm location and seek medical help. Soak frostbitten areas in warm (not hot) water, or, if in wilderness, warm by contact with the skin of a non-frostbitten person. Continue until the victim has regained sensation and movement in the afflicted region; this often follows great pain as the nerves thaw. Never rub, slap or shake the stricken region as ice crystals in the frostbitten skin will damage surrounding tissue. Follow the treatment with a period of constant warmth: refreezing following thawing worsens the damage.
  • Dehydration can occur when the body loses too much fluid. Symptoms of mild dehydration include:
  • Increased thirst.
  • Dry mouth and sticky saliva.
  • Reduced urine output with dark yellow urine.
  • Dehydration can be treated by drinking more fluids, tending to moderate to severe dehydration can include more intensive treatments such as intravenous (IV) fluids.

Sunburn is literally a burn on your skin. It is a burn from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The consequence of this burn is inflammation of the skin. Injury can start within 30 minutes of exposure.

  • To treat sunburn, If your case is mild and not life threatening, the doctor may simply suggest plenty of fluids, aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
  • What is an ankle sprain?
  • Most people have twisted an ankle at some point in their life. But if your ankle gets swollen and painful after you twist it, you have most likely sprained it. This means you have stretched and possibly torn the ligaments in your ankle.
  • In many cases you can first use the PRINCE approach to treat your ankle:
  • Protection. Use a protective brace, such as an air stirrup or another form of ankle support.
  • Rest. Use crutches until you can walk without pain.
  • Ice. For at least the first 24 to 72 hours or until the swelling goes down, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes every hour or two during the day. After 48 hours, you can take contrast baths, which alternate cold and warm water.
  • NSAIDs or acetaminophen. NSAIDs (such as Advil and Motrin) are medicines that reduce swelling and pain. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces pain.
  • Compression. An elastic compression wrap, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling. You wear it for the first 24 to 36 hours. Compression wraps do not offer protection. So you also need a brace to protect your ankle if you try to put weight on it.
  • Elevation. Raise your ankle above the level of your heart for 2 to 3 hours a day if possible. This helps to reduce swelling and bruising.

Insect bites and stings: First aid

  • Signs and symptoms of an insect bite result from the injection of venom or other substances into your skin. The venom triggers an allergic reaction. The severity of your reaction depends on your sensitivity to the insect venom or substance. Most reactions to insect bites are mild, causing little more than an annoying itching or stinging sensation and mild swelling that disappear within a day or so. A delayed reaction may cause fever, hives, painful joints and swollen glands. You might experience both the immediate and the delayed reactions from the same insect bite or sting. Only a small percentage of people develop severe reactions (anaphylaxis) to insect venom. Signs and symptoms of a severe reaction include:
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shock
  • Bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome. Bites from mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies and some spiders also can cause reactions, but these are generally milder.
  • For mild reactions:
  • Move to a safe area to avoid more stings.
  • Scrape or brush off the stinger with a straight-edged object, such as a credit card or the back of a knife. Wash the affected area with soap and water. Don't try to pull out the stinger. Doing so may release more venom.
  • Apply a cold pack or cloth filled with ice to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream (0.5 percent or 1 percent), calamine lotion or a baking soda paste — with a ratio of 3 teaspoons baking soda to 1 teaspoon water — to the bite or sting several times a day until your symptoms subside.
  • Take an antihistamine containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Tylenol Severe Allergy) or chlorpheniramine maleate (Chlor-Trimeton, Actifed).
  • Allergic reactions may include mild nausea and intestinal cramps, diarrhea or swelling larger than 2 inches in diameter at the site. See your doctor promptly if you experience any of these signs and symptoms.

Snake bites occur when a snake bites the skin, and are medical emergencies if the snake is poisonous.

Snake bites can be deadly if not treated quickly. Children are at higher risk for death or serious complications due to their smaller body size. The right antivenom can save a person's life. Getting to an emergency room as quickly as possible is very important. If properly treated, many snake bites will not have serious effects.

Symptoms depend on the type of snake, but may include:

Bleeding from wound, Blurred vision, Burning of the skin, Convulsions, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Excessive sweating, Fainting, Fang marks in the skin, Fever, Increased thirst, Loss of muscle coordination, Nausea and vomiting, Numbness and tingling, Rapid pulse, Tissue death, Severe pain, Skin discoloration, Swelling at the site of the bite, Weakness.

First Aid

1. Keep the person calm, reassuring them that bites can be effectively treated in an emergency room. Restrict movement, and keep the affected area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.

2. If you have a pump suction device (such as that made by Sawyer), follow the manufacturer's directions.

3. Remove any rings or constricting items because the affected area may swell. Create a loose splint to help restrict movement of the area.

4. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably poisonous.

5. Monitor the person's vital signs -- temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure -- if possible. If there are signs of shock (such as paleness), lay the person flat, raise the feet about a foot, and cover the person with a blanket.

6. Get medical help right away.

7. Bring in the dead snake only if this can be done safely. Do not waste time hunting for the snake, and do not risk another bite if it is not easy to kill the snake. Be careful of the head when transporting it -- a snake can actually bite for up to an hour after it's dead (from a reflex).

DO NOT allow the person to become over-exerted. If necessary, carry the person to safety.

DO NOT apply a tourniquet.

DO NOT apply cold compresses to a snake bite.

DO NOT cut into a snake bite with a knife or razor.

DO NOT try to suck out the venom by mouth.

DO NOT give the person stimulants or pain medications unless a doctor tells you to do so.

DO NOT give the person anything by mouth.

DO NOT raise the site of the bite above the level of the person's heart.


Blisters: First aid

  • Common causes of blisters include friction and burns. If the blister isn't too painful, do everything possible to keep it intact. Unbroken skin over a blister provides a natural barrier to bacteria and decreases the risk of infection.
  • Cover a small blister with an adhesive bandage, and cover a large one with a porous, plastic-coated gauze pad that absorbs moisture and allows the wound to breathe.
  • Don't puncture a blister unless it's painful or prevents you from walking or using one of your hands.
  • To relieve blister-related pain, drain the fluid while leaving the overlying skin intact. Here's how:
  • Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water.
  • Swab the blister with iodine or rubbing alcohol.
  • Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
  • Use the needle to puncture the blister. Aim for several spots near the blister's edge. Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in place.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a bandage or gauze pad.
  • Cut away all the dead skin after several days, using tweezers and scissors sterilized with rubbing alcohol. Apply more ointment and a bandage.
  • Call your doctor if you see signs of infection around a blister — pus, redness, increasing pain or warm skin.

Hyperventilation is breathing in excess of what the body needs. This is sometimes called overbreathing. Rapid or deep breathing is sometimes seen in very serious conditions such as infection, bleeding, or heart attack.

If you start hyperventilating, the goal is to raise the carbon dioxide level in your blood, which will put an end to most of your symptoms. There are several ways to do this:

1. Reassurance from a friend or family member can help relax your breathing. Words like "you are doing fine," "you are not having a heart attack," and "you are not going to die" are very helpful. It is extremely important that the person helping you remain calm and deliver these messages with a soft, relaxed tone.

2. To increase your carbon dioxide, you need to take in less oxygen. To accomplish this, you can breathe through pursed lips (as if you are blowing out a candle) or you can cover your mouth and one nostril, breathing through the other nostril.

Altitude Sickness

Acute mountain sickness is caused by a lack of oxygen when traveling to higher elevations. This usually occurs in individuals exposed to an altitude over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) who have not had a chance to acclimate to the altitude before engaging in physical activities. Mountain climbers, trekkers, skiers, and travelers to the Andes or Himalayas are at greatest risk. While individual tolerance varies, symptoms usually appear in several hours, with those in poor physical condition being most susceptible. Headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and poor appetite occur initially. Inability to sleep is also frequently reported. In more severe cases thinking and judgment may become impaired. An uncommon but potentially fatal complication called high altitude pulmonary edema, caused by fluid build-up in the lungs, can also occur.

The symptoms of acute mountain sickness can be prevented or minimized by gradually ascending (less than 500 meters/day) over several days to give your body a chance to acclimate to the higher altitude. Taking the prescription medication Diamox (acetazolamide) 250 mg three times a day has been shown to speed up the acclimatization process and can be taken shortly before and during the ascent. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to sulfa drugs. This medication is a mild diuretic and may work by changing the body's acid-base balance and stimulating breathing. Dexamethasone 8 mg once a day has also been shown to be effective. However, this steroid medication may have more adverse effects. Once symptoms occur, they usually improve over several days without treatment. However, if they become severe, they can be relieved with the administration of oxygen or descent to a lower altitude.


Hiking ethics, courtesy and good sense.

Hikers have responsibilities to the land, its wildlife and to other people. Some of the following rules were created because the effects of just one person can be great. For example, a campfire which starts a forest blazing. Other rules exist because cumulative effects from numbers of people can be so damaging, like littering for instance. The idea is to leave no trace (or as little as possible) of your ever having been in the area.

principals of leave no trace

Plan Ahead and Prepare

    • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
    • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
    • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
    • Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of 4-6.
    • Repackage food to minimize waste.
    • Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
    • Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
    • Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
    • Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
    • In popular areas:
      • Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
      • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
      • Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
    • In pristine areas:
      • Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
      • Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
Principals of Leave No Trace
principals of leave no trace14

Dispose of Waste Properly

    • Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
    • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
    • Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
    • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
  • Leave What You Find
    • Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
    • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
    • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
    • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
    • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
    • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
    • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
    • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
Principals of Leave No Trace
principals of leave no trace15

Respect Wildlife

    • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
    • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
    • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
    • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
    • Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors
    • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
    • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
    • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
    • Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
    • Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
Principals of Leave No Trace
day hiking safety

Safety Tip No 1 - Take a partner or friend along.

There’s really no need to worry about setting off by yourself if you are going for a short hike in a nearby area on easy terrain, but, if you are heading out into heavily forested wilderness areas with winding trails and steep canyons then the possibility of getting lost or suffering an injury becomes very real and you should think carefully about whether it is sensible to head out alone. Having a partner along can have many advantages, especially if that person is a seasoned hiker. Clearly, ‘two heads are better than one’ and if you do get lost or get into difficulty you’re a lot less likely to panic if you have someone with you to help solve the problem.

Safety Tip No 2 - Let someone know where you’re going.

If you are a novice hiker then you should stick to clearly marked and well traveled trails and ought not to stray from these trails to explore until you have some experience and have mastered the basics of map and compass work. But, it won’t take you too long before you are ready to tackle some more adventurous hiking and the possibility of getting injured or lost will arise. As a result, you should always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return so that they can dispatch a search party if you don’t return when expected.

Day Hiking Safety
day hiking safety17

Safety Tip No 3 - Ensure that you take along some basic equipment.

It’s essential to carry a basic survival kit with you. Bring such things as a lighter and matches, a good knife, a first aid kit, a rain jacket and a flashlight. It is also a good idea to take a map and compass along and a fully charged cell phone.

Safety Tip No 4 - Take some basic provisions with you.

Water or other fluids such as sports drinks are essential as you can lose fluid very quickly even over an hour or two on a hot day. You should remember though that water is heavy, so take along sufficient but not too much. Don’t forget though that you must not drink from local streams as natural water sources may appear to be inviting but they are often filled with bacteria and could make you sick very quickly. Also do not forget to take along sufficient food to last you. There’s no pleasure in being hungry out on the trail but don’t forget that you can last a lot longer without food than without water.

Day Hiking Safety
night hiking safety

In order for the night hike to be safe, we follow these night hike rules on every night hike:

  • Fear of night hikes/darkness must be addressed compassionately before you go on trail with your group.
  • Address the rules, consequences and remind hikers to help each other and not to frighten each other.
  • Observe regular trail rules—always the leader in front and the chaperone in back, counting hikers at the beginning and end of the hike.
  • Only hike on trails which you have hiked before in daylight and with which you are familiar.
  • Do not use trail areas with steep drop offs, poison oak in the trail or other trail hazards.
  • Take a light with you (you do not have to use it), as well as your first aid kit and radio.
  • Don’t hike too far—it is more about experiencing the night than it is about hiking.
  • Keep your chaperones informed about what you want them to do.
  • Know your site-specific hazards before doing a night hike at a new site.
Night Hiking Safety
hiking footwear

Many dedicated ultra light hikers and backpackers prefer sandals or lightweight running shoes to boots. Keeping your hiking footwear as light in weight as possible makes sense because the effort it takes to carry a pound of gear on your feet is approximately five times the effort to carry the same pound on your back. So the first rule of thumb for selecting your hiking shoes is to keep them as light as practical. At the end of a long day's hike your feet and legs will thank you.

But weight alone is not the only consideration. There are several other factors to consider when selecting appropriate hiking footwear: comfort based on support, tread design, and protection from sticks, roots, rocks, mud, water, heat, and cold. Study the pros and cons of each type of footwear then experiment. As with other gear a little experimentation will help you find which type of hiking footwear is the most comfortable for you.

Hiking Footwear

Some of the advantages of hiking sandals besides weight are ventilation and lack of moisture retention should they become wet in rain, snow or when crossing a stream.

A step up in foot protection from sandals are running, cross training, or hiking shoes. For years this type of shoe were generally deemed unsuitable for all but the mildest of day hikes. Recently, however, more hikers and even backpackers have found them to perfectly adequate especially when carrying light loads.

The traditional choice in hiking footwear is boots. They are the best for hiking because they keep your feet warmer when it is cold and stay drier except when crossing larger streams or rivers. They make it easier to cross snow fields, give more support, typically come with good hiking tread designs, and are more durable than shoes.

hiking socks

Proper hiking socks help keep your feet warm, dry and blister-free .

Socks provide a number of key functions to make your feet happier and healthier: They provide cushioning, wick sweat away from your foot, keep your little piggies warm, fine-tune your boot fit and reduce friction inside your boot.

Hiking Socks
hiking footcare

Taking proper care of your feet is arguably the most important job of a conscientious hiker. Blisters or sore feet may drive you to pack it in and go home. It's important to stop walking and IMMEDIATELY attend to the first sign of a sore spot. Friction causes blisters, so it is critical to find and remove the cause, which may be a tiny speck of grit or a rough sock seam. Often the cause isn't obvious, and you just have to hope that covering the area, to prevent further rubbing, will solve the problem. Failure to do this may result in a blister.

Keeping your feet in good condition is a prerequisite to pain-free hiking.

Tips to keep your feet in top shape:

Condition Your Feet

Get Good Footwear

Custom-Fit Your Footwear to Your Feet

Break In Your Boots

Wear Good Socks

Manage Your Toenails

Manage Your Skin

Rest Your Feet

Learn How to Prevent Blisters

Carry a Small Foot-Care Kit

Hiking Footcare
hiking is an aerobic sport

Hiking is one of the most healthy aerobic sports one can participate in.   Involving not only use of the leg, arm and torso muscle groups, hiking into higher elevations provides for lung capacity endurance and strength.   Offering a great diversion from a gym or street walk, hiking is an excellent cardiovascular work out for the entire family.  Understanding the health benefit of hiking, preventing injury and preparing for hiking trips, will ensure a more pleasant and enjoyable walking experience for many years..  As a cardiovascular activity, hiking lends its most recent popularity in the significant benefits in terms of  weight loss, preventing osteoporosis and decreasing blood pressure.  Mentally and emotionally, hiking offers both nature enthusiast and those without an affinity for the outdoors, an opportunity to obtain the recommended aerobic workout while enjoying the beauty of the hills and mountains of the country.   At higher elevations, the views are breathtaking, often the underlying motivator factor behind an amateur hiker's motivation to begin a hiking fitness program.

Hiking is an Aerobic Sport
hiking conditioning

Of course, the best way to condition your body for hiking is to actually go hiking. Start with short hikes at low elevations and carry a small daypack. If you don't have trails nearby, simply strap on a backpack for your next walk. Another option is to carry a backpack while you're on the treadmill. Gradually increase the incline of your treadmill walks to simulate hiking up rolling hills.

Strength training is another key component for a pleasant hiking experience. Following a consistent weight training program will help prepare your muscles for all-day physical activity. Plus, when your muscles and joints are strong, you're less likely to injure yourself. Your program should include training for all of your muscle groups as well as plenty of stretching.

Prime Your Heart: To get the proper aerobic conditioning for a 5-mile hike, walk 30 to 45 minutes, 3 days a week, varying the incline. On a fourth day, do a longer walk, preferably outside on hilly terrain. Each week, increase the long walk until you're doing at least two-thirds of the distance of your first hike (about 31/2 miles if you'll be hiking 5 miles).

Hiking Conditioning

Hiking Plan

Please PRINT and fill in appropriate information.  Give this form to a responsible person who can provide the information to Search and Rescue, in the event that you do not complete your trip as scheduled.

Name of Hiker Age


Phone Number #1    #2    #3   #4    

Helpful Information:

Originating Trailhead Location: 

Dates of Travel: 

Return Date and Time: 

Trail Name: 

Final Destination: 

If camping, list campsite areas:  Night #1  Night #2 ______________________________

Night #3     Night #4    Night #5 _____________________________

Have you ever hiked to this destination before ?  Yes  (      )       No  (      )

Vehicle Make:  Model:  Year:  Color:  License Plate: _________________________

List any medical considerations: 

Please Mark for all items that apply to your trip profile (items that you have with you):

other items to include in the hiking plan
Other items to include in the Hiking Plan

Route, GPS Locations and Way Points

Clothing and Equipment List

List of Items for a Trail Lunch


Hiking Requirements

Five hikes, each on a different day, of ten continuous miles

One Hike of twenty continuous miles in one day

Prepare a hike plan for each of the hikes

Write a short report after each hike


Crater Lake at Philmont Scout Ranch