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When we first started hiking, we took what we called a pack-off break every 2 miles and pack-on breaks after almost every hill. A pack-on or bend-over break is accomplished by leaning over and holding your knees so that your back supports all the pack's weight. Try it; it really helps when you first start hiking. By the time we had hiked 500 miles, we could hike for hours without any breaks at all.
Taking breaks does slow down your overall pace. One way to avoid frequent stops and keep up your pace is to use the rest step when ascending mountains. Perform the rest step by pausing for a moment with all your weight centered on your downhill leg, which should be kept straight. Then step forward and pause again with your weight on the opposite leg, which is now the downhill leg. Vary the length of the pause as needed. This step will not only get you up a steep slope sooner but will get you up a mountain with less effort.
The idea is to use this step on extremely tough sections of a hike by pausing slightly with each step-continual movement instead of vigorous hiking separated by a number of breaks.
But above all, listen to your body. If you feel overheated, dizzy, or nauseous, stop and rest. These could be signs of emerging problems (see pages 128-130) or the fact you have overextended yourself. Better to reduce your pace than suffer an injury because you were overcome with exertion.