Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The art of hiking-

Most friends I have like hiking and want to hike but are always afriad to do so citing fitness issues.

HK is a great place to hike, there are many marked trails with proper distance posts. I think an excuse like fitness is just too lame an excuse to miss out on all of these great trails (only valid excuses according to me are body injuries and good old fashioned laziness:)

There are only 3 necessary things required to complete mushkil se mushkil trail/hike and those are 1) enough water 2) some sugar, in any form but preferably solid 3) perspective / referencing.
A clarification: what kind of hikes are we talking about here - anything between 3km to 50km in distance and anything between 0mts to 2000mts in total ascent. Anything shorter,you should probably want to watch cartoon network for better use of time and anything longer/harder, you should skip to nat geo channel, they show how to tackle that monstrosity!

1) Enough water - this is most important and often underestimated. While you hike, forget everything, no distance, no tiredness, no thinking, no doubts on how you will do it. Just focus on drinking water, every 10 minutes you gotta drink 200ml. Aim is to pee every 2 hours. Yes correct, you have to pee. If you are not peeing in 2 hours means you are not hydrated enough, means the lactic acid is not getting flushed out, means you will get cramps and more importantly the body functions are not smooth. So drink water, the first pee is the tough one but you gotta reach it.

2) Sugar - this is different to food, for example if you take spinach with you instead of sugar, will that work? NO, that shit works only in popeye the sailor cartoon! You need sugar! Juices and fruits qualify but i usually prefer solids and in fruits eat something like bananas (instead of blueberries etc - you are here to hike, poker will come later!)
Sugar basically keeps the body from hitting the wall and keeps the mood upbeat. A very respected friend of mine used to try this technique where every 1km he would reward himself with something nice like a bite of chocolate or a toffee etc. I think this is a good technique.

3) Last but not the least, Perspective / referencing - sounds ambiguous and may be it is. May be i am not describing it correctly but what i mean here is that if say, you are going on a hike of 20kms, try getting a few important distance points for memory like the cemetery is midway (no double meaning intended here) or like there is a lake which comes at 5km, a bridge at 10km, a long ascent at around 15km and then last 2km is a flat patch till the end. Basically you need to know the layout of what is about to come. In HK where most trails are marked with distance posts, linear flat distance is fairly easy to reference but the difficulty comes in the vertical one! And that is where this point has so much importance. When you are out of breath, when your each and every body part is aching, when you are just exhausted, irritated ki kambkht kab khatam hogi yeh wali climb - and you see that tombstone on your right hand side, you will go AHAAAA bas iske baad to 2min hi bache hain, i know it ...why?...coz i read it online where it was written that it marks the end of the climb! Do that research and the above things and trust me, no hike is tough for you and no amount of fitness is less for you! Happy hiking :)

Special shout out for 4 people:
Suting Fu: i have the highest amount of respect for you, you are solid platinum of a guy. i learnt so much from you and i hope i paid it fwd and will keep doing so.

Archish: you are a stud, completing two - 250km runs is mind blastingly stud. my respect.

VJ: dude that 127 hours experience is still fresh in my mind, i would have died had that happened now! thank god i was ok then.

Garry Bhai: i miss our weekend hikes, you are my guide, my smart phone, my google map and my distance meter- only literally though :ppp


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