Preparing for Long Distance Hiking

In the next couple of days I am simultaneously prepping for two events.

I present this coming Sunday at the 41st Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s biennial Conference “Views from the Maine Woods,” which runs August 4-11 at Colby College in Waterville.

Here’s my Sunday, August 6 workshop description:
Why Walking Matters: Benefits of Walking and Improvisational Skills in Long-Distance Hiking. Tom Jamrog, Triple Crown thru-hiker, author, and Maine Guide with Uncle Tom’s Guided Adventures.  From the ages of 57 to 63, “Uncle Tom” thru-hiked four National Scenic Trails. Tom reviews the latest research on the physical and mental health benefits of walking, and discusses pre-hike training and mental practices that can bolster an aging hiker’s continued success on the trail.

Two days later, I fly out of Boston to St. John’s to attempt a 185 mile thru-hike of Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail.

East Coast Trail website

East Coast Trail- Newfoundland

Foot care will be a priority activity that I’ll discuss in my workshop and that I’ve been applying on as I approach this rugged hike. I’ll tell the audience that I’ve been walking barefoot as much as possible in the past week in order to toughen up my feet. I have also been applying rubbing alcohol to the soles of my feet toes and heels, a technique I picked up years ago from Colin Fletcher,’s  The Complete Walker IV book, formerly described as “The Hikers Bible” when it came out in 2002. Alcohol cleans, dries, and toughens the skin. Addition to the alcohol, I use an artificial pumice block to buff up callous areas in my forefoot, toes, and heel.

IMG_2933I’ll be backpacking in thin wool socks from Darn Tough and my broken-in New Balance boots, a combination that has resulted in blister-free freedom over the past 5000 miles of hiking. Roomy footwear is  best.

Right now, I’ve signing off to work on my updated Powerpoint for the Colby ATC talk.

Maybe I’ll see some of you there?

About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
This entry was posted in Appalachian Trail, Backpacking, hiking, Maine and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Preparing for Long Distance Hiking

  1. Tenzing says:

    Have a wonderful adventure! Can’t wait to read the blogs and see the photos. Is thsi where you’ll be posting them? Tenzing

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  2. Slow Gin Lizz says:

    Rubbing alcohol? How do you use it to prevent blisters? I still get them a lot even though I do all the other things you’re supposed to do to prevent them. Do you use it daily before hiking? Only on hiking days? Please share!

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    • tjamrog says:

      I use alcohol daily before a hike to toughen my feet. I have had no blisters since 2007.

      Tom Jamrog Sent from my iPhone

      >

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      • Slow Gin Lizz says:

        Thanks! I will try this!! Do you bring anything along on the hike as well or just leave your feet alone?

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      • tjamrog says:

        I always pack a backup foot care kits pin, antiseptic ointment, emery board, moleskin, and Compeed blister packs. It’s more about getting the shoes dialed in right so that there are no blisters to deal with.

        Tom Jamrog Sent from my iPhone

        >

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