Sikkim Darjeeling Trekking Tips

5 Best Rules Every Hiker Should Know before Heading Outdoors

Thinking of an Adventure Holiday in Sikkim Darjeeling Nepal Himalayas & Beyond?                                                                     Just tell us your needs and we will be right back with a custom made Itinerary made just for you

Choose Your Destination

Heading out for a hiking trip in the Himalayas? Read this before you head out to Darjeeling, Sikkim, Nepal or the Bhutan Himalayas for a hiking and trekking trip.

“Rucking” is the military term for hiking under load. As you can imagine, this is a huge issue for the military, as soldiers must conduct patrols and missions carrying a huge weight on their backs. Rucking performance and injury prevention are hugely important for military operations and personnel.

Movement over the ground under load is also key for adventure activities, from hiking and trekking to small and big mountain expeditions. There are five rules that a hiker should take into consideration before you actually head out to the Himalayas on a trekking or expedition adventure.

  1. 0.450 kilograms on your feet equals five times the weight on your back.

This old backpacking thumb rule holds true, according to a 1984 study from the U.S. Army Research Institute. They tested how much more energy was expended with different footwear (boots and shoes) and concluded that it takes 4.7 to 6.4 times as much energy to move at a given pace when weight is carried on the shoe versus on the torso.

In practical terms, this means you could carry half a gallon more of water (about 1.9 kg) if you buy boots that are 450 grams lighter, which isn’t hard to do, and that’s a lot of water. Imagine the energy savings of backpacking in light trail running shoes rather than heavy, leather backpacking boots over the course of a multi-day hiking trip in the Himalayas.

  1. 450 grams on your feet equals 5% more energy expended.

Heavier footwear doesn’t just affect you because of its weight. Heavier boots are stiffer and less responsive as well. This reduces the efficiency of your body’s stretch reflex when hitting the ground.

Five percent doesn’t sound like much, though, so how does 5% translate to run times? Well, 5% would slow your mile pace time down by 30 seconds, depending on how long you’re running. But the faster you attempt to run, the more that 5% will affect your performance.

  1. Every 1% of your body weight in your pack makes you six seconds slower per mile.

Carrying weight in your pack isn’t free of charge, though. Each 1% of your body weight carried in your pack makes you 6 seconds slower per mile. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, each 1.5 pounds of weight in your pack slows you by 6 seconds per mile. For a 150-pound hiker on an extended trip, cutting your pack weight down from 40 to 30 pounds saves you 40 seconds per mile.

  1. A 10% grade incline cuts your speed in half.

Grade greatly affects speed. By “grade,” we mean how much terrain incline or decline there is. At 10% grade, for example, for every 10 feet you travel forward, you’ll travel 1 foot up. In terms of angles, 10% equals 5.74 degrees. A 5.74-degree angle doesn’t seem like much until you’re humping up it mile after mile. You’ll know how hard it is because you’ll move twice as slowly over it than over flat ground with a given load.

That last little part—with a given load—is important. A 10% grade will cut your speed in half, no matter if you’re carrying 45 lbs. or 80 lbs.

  1. Going up slows you down twice as much as going down speeds you up.

Don’t believe you’ll make time up on the other side of the hill. You won’t. You’ll only make half the time up.

Why don’t you gain as much by running downhill as you lose running up? Braking forces. As you descend, you have to brake your speed with your quads to keep yourself under control. The steeper the downhill, the more braking. This added load on your muscles further affects your uphill performance if you have repeated bouts of up-and-down work.

Article re-written from Backpacker Magazine:

Trek Packages in Sikkim Darjeeling & Nepal
Most Popular Trekking Packages in Darjeeling for 2024
error: Content is protected !!