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Basics

  • Walk with the entire soles of your boots touching the ground, to spread the load evenly across your feet.
  • Your hands should be free. Alternatively, hold a stuff to assist balance.
  • Maintain a steady and natural pace, and one that suits you.
  • Breathe smoothly, steadily and in rhythm with your pace.
  • Avoid running or jogging.
  • Avoid excessive conversation, which may affect your breathing rhythm and concentration. Never have heated words - which will destroy enjoyment, spoil team spirit and leave you prone to accidents.
  • Concentrate and always look where you tread. Be observant and vigilant to what is lying ahead - every step of the way.
  • To avoid accidents, always stop walking when you read your map.
  • When moving forward, keep an adequate distance from the hiker in front of you.

Uphill

  • Maintain a natural pace and avoid making very large strides.
  • Avoid climbing at high speed. Don't rest too frequently or for too long. When you feel tired, reduce your speed instead of stopping.
  • Tread only on secure stable ground, where there is enough foot room.
  • Use the strength of your legs to climb. Avoid pulling yourself up by grasping small trees or branches, as they may break leading to a fall.
  • Keep your upper body straight.
  • When going up very steep slopes, don't go straight ahead. Move sideways and work your up in a series of zigzags.

Downhill

  • Never run downhill - this is a certain way to have a dangerous fall.
  • Tread only on secure stable ground, with enough foot room.
  • Avoid treading on wet slippery ground, especially wet clay or grasses. But if there is no other way, proceed with caution - and keep your body low.
  • Use the strength of your legs to descend. Avoid sliding down by grasping small trees or branches. This indicates you are half out of control. Branches can break and, even if they don't, you will damage the vegetation.
  • Keep your upper body straight.
  • When moving down very steep slopes, move sideways and work down in a series of zigzags.

Hiking Programme

  • Plan to end your hike two hours before sunset.
  • Select a gentle slope to go uphill. Avoid challenging yourself with a very steep or treacherous route right at the beginning.
  • The party's entire load should be distributed among all members of the group, taking into account the strength of each member.

Food and Drink

  • Never eat or drink while moving.
  • Relax to take refreshments. Don't hurry your food or drink.
  • Never drink untreated water from hill streams or eat any wild plant.
  • Don't consume cold drinks immediately after a long hike, when your body temperature is still high.
  • Never drink alcohol during a hike.

Foot Care

  • Wear suitable hiking boots. Wear new boots on level ground a few times before going on a serious hike. This will ensure the surface material is soft and the boots are comfortably worn in to the shape of your feet. Bootlaces should not be too tight.
  • Wear two pairs of socks made of soft, fluffy and absorbent material.
  • Trim your toenails, and try to keep your feet clean and dry. Put baby powder on your feet, especially between your toes, will aid comfort.
  • Stop walking if your feet are uncomfortable. Inspect them and treat any wounds promptly.
  • If there are signs of blisters, put a plaster on the affected area.
  • Blisters should be dressed with an absorbent plaster that eliminates moisture.
  • Serious blisters should be treated with antiseptic. Pierce the blisters with a sterile pin and squeeze out any moisture. Avoid touching the wounds directly, and cover them with an antiseptic dressing right away.
  • For soreness or cramps in the legs, massage the leg muscles. If possible, soak feet in warm water, or use a menthol-based heat rub ointment.
 

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