How do you start hiking? For those of us who’ve been lucky enough to spend much of their life in the outdoors, the answer seems fairly obvious: you just go. But for many urbanites and city-dwellers or , the opportunity or access has never been available. So how do you get started hiking if you’ve never been before?
Find a hiking buddy
It can be intimidating to setout into the mountains, desert, or even local nature reserve alone. Recruit a friend for both moral support and company to share the views with. Just having someone to talk to can make a new experience less intimidating.
Wear comfortable shoes
No one said you have to get decked out in the latest and greatest outdoor gear for your first hike. The most important thing is to have fun and not be uncomfortable or in pain. Poorly-fitted boots or shoes can cause blisters and other injuries... you could also slip on wet surfaces if your shoes don’t have a good tread. Sneakers or running shoes can be great for most day-hikes if you don’t want to go out and buy a new pair of hiking boots. Don’t forget to carry some eNZees to prevent any blisters that may occur.
Take PLENTY of water
Dehydration is sure-fire way to ruin a good hike. And it’s so easy to prevent! Most health experts say you should drink roughly 2-litres of water per day under normal circumstances... imagine how much you’ll need when you’re burning calories and sweating on a long day-hike! I usually carry a 2-litre Camelbak in my backpack to ensure I drink enough water throughout my hike.
Buy a map & compass ... and learn how to use them!
I always carry a map and compass (or use a GPS on my phone) on even the most “simple” day-hikes. You’d be surprised how many people get lost every summer near our hometown in Durango. There are numerous guides online to help you learn how to read a map, or you can check with your local gear store. They may have someone who can show you the basics or even offer an evening orienteering class.
Pick an easy trail
It’s your first hike, not an Everest expedition. Pick an easy, short trail to get accustomed to the experience. You might find walking on uneven, rocky surfaces challenging. Most hiking websites and trail databases offer an elevation profile to illustrate how much you’ll be hiking uphill. Don’t be afraid to start small ... and then work your way up to hiking your first 14er!
The most important thing is to have fun! Send us a picture from your first hike – we’d love to see where you’ve been.
Sure, you’ve heard of the Telluride Film Festival and maybe even Mountain Film. There’s the Blues n’ Brew, the Bluegrass Festival, and the new-ish Ride Festival. Of course, there’s also the ski resort and plenty of shopping in the picturesque city center. All of the above is a must, but we have a few recommendations of our own that will get off the beaten path!
Telluride Via Ferrata
So long as you’re not afraid of heights, the Telluride Via Ferrata will give you the best views on town. As some of you may know, via ferratas were developed in the Alps primarily during the First World War to help soldiers access provisions in remote mountain locales. An iron cable and metal steps are affixed to the wall. Wearing a harness and using a via ferrata kit, you can clip into the cable and traverse the bare mountain face below Ajax Peak. It’s free if you know what you’re doing, but you can also book a guided trip through numerous companies in town.
Telluride has some of the best hiking trails in the San Juan Mountains right at its door step. Try out the 12.3 mile (RT) Wasatch Trail. With views of high alpine meadows, Bridal Veil Falls, and Wasatch Mountain, you’re likely to fill up your memory card with gorgeous pics. It’s definitely high-altitude, and steep in places, so make sure you’re acclimated and don’t forget to take your eNZees in case of blisters!
Camp in town? That’s right. The Telluride Town Park has a wonderful campground within walking distance of the city center. It’s first come, first serve, so if there’s a festival on it’s likely to be full. Otherwise there are numerous Forest Service campgrounds in the area that are easily accessible. Why stay in a hotel when you can sleep in the great outdoors?
Some of the best bouldering in Southwest Colorado is just a short drive from Telluride. These sandstone boulders just off the Ilium turnoff on CO 145, offers a mix of problems from V1 to V9. On a beautiful summer day, you can spend a good afternoon getting pumped! *Insider tip: we’ve heard from several climbers who use eNZees to prevent pinching in their toes on multi-pitch routes. Try it bouldering!
Feeling fit and spry? Sign up for the 44thImogene Pass Run on September 9, a 17.1 mile point-to-point trail run from Ouray to Telluride over the 13,114 foot Imogene Pass. This race attracts runners from all over the country, and people have been coming back to race it year after year. And for good reason! The route takes you through some of the most spectacular countryside you’ll ever see! Registration opens June 1 and it fills up fast! Put it on your calendar and start training today!
Planning to hit the trail this spring? Don’t be that stereotypical newbie - toiling away under a too-heavy pack, limping from a pesky blister, or fighting with your tent in a gale – by following these easy tips for first-time backpackers!
Borrow or rent as much gear as possible before you buy
Seasoned backpackers have spent years refining their personal kit. Spend enough time around experienced thru-hikers or ultralighters, and you’ll quickly learn they’ve spent years developing their kit. And no backpacking kit is the same! Backpacking has become enormously popular, helping fuel the multi-billion dollar outdoor industry. It’s great because there’s sure to be something for everyone... but how do you know what’s for you if you’ve never tried it? Don’t blow a paycheck on new gear only to discover you really want a different type of stove or sleeping bag. Borrow as much gear as possible to see what does and what doesn’t work for you.
Make a packing list - and then erase half of it!
Realizing you’ve packed way (way) too much stuff is something of a rite of passage. Just ask Bill Bryson! Allay some of the embarrassment and pain by making a packing list. Think about every item on that list – how many uses does it have, can I find something lighter, do I really need it or just want it? Erase anything that isn’t a need because you’ll quickly find you don’twant it after a couple miles!
Invest in a good pair of hiking boots or shoes
Read enough blogs and you’ll find there’s quite the debate between whether it’s better to wear hiking boots or light hiking shoes. There’s value to each argument. Hiking boots provide more stability and protection, both underfoot and on your ankle. Hiking shoes or trail runners are lighter, faster, and typically dry quicker. Again, there is no one right answer; except that whatever you buy should fit! Don’t shop online. Go to an experienced boot or shoe fitter and have them measure your foot, ask you questions about foot pains or previous injuries, and find the best type of footwear for YOU.
Practice setting up your tent before you hit the trail
There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, more embarrassing than not knowing how to setup your tent. Practice setting it up and taking it down at home a few times. Knowing what you’re doing will save you time when you’re doing it for real and it’s raining, snowing, or blowing!
Take care of your feet!
Blisters can ruin even the shortest hike – imagine what they can do to a two or three day backpacking trip! Even with a great fitting pair of shoes, blisters can still crop up at the most inconvenient of times. Pack some eNZees Foot Soother into your first aid kit and apply as soon as you start feeling rubbing. Be sure to carry an extra pair of socks as well, so you always have a dry pair to start the day with.
Like everyone, I’d been told for years the “best” way of preventing blisters: tape, scissors, and moleskin adhesive pads. And like most people, I found that these “solutions” rarely worked… at best they made blisters tolerable, but never prevented them altogether. While trekking in New Zealand, I learned that wool, an eco-friendly renewable, and biodegradable fiber, could actually prevent blisters before they even begin. I had to bring this all-natural solution to blisters and hot-spots back to the United States.
But how is eNZees Foot Soother better than your traditional drug-store remedies? Let me list the ways!
eNZees Foot Soother prevent blisters and hot-spots before they begin. Wool is naturally moisture wicking and actually helps reduce the friction between your shoe, sock, and skin. It isn’t just a stopgap.
The wool fibers weave into your sock, holding it in place. This completely eliminates the need for tape and scissors. If you’re a backpacker, you’ll appreciate this extra weight savings!
The lanolin, found naturally in wool, moisturizes your skin, so not only does eNZees Foot Soother prevent blisters it also soothes dry skin.
We’ve heard from numerous customers, that eNZees Foot Soother can create a soft cushion for hammertoes, easing foot pain.
Because eNZees Foot Soother is all-natural, it’s perfect for people who experience skin allergies to synthetic materials.
The granddaughter of one of our customers has to wear therapeutic ankle braces. Her mother discovered that eNZees Foot Soother provides a soft, comfortable cushion between the brace and her skin. They are now “comfortable for her to wear without fussing."
Prevent Your Dog's Collar from Rubbing
We recently received a comment from one of our customers who loves to hike with her dog. On a hike through the Collegiates on Colorado’s Front Range, her pup’s collar was starting to rub his neck raw. So, she placed some eNZees underneath it and her furry friend was able to continue his hike!