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Re: EDIT: LTR - A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike (amytys)

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  • Chuck Carnes
    No edits that I can see Andy. Good job, very thorough. BTW, Nice picture...you should have been holding the book or something. :) Upload when ready.
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 2006
      No edits that I can see Andy. Good job, very thorough.
      BTW, Nice picture...you should have been holding the book or
      something. :)

      Upload when ready.

      --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@h...>
      > http://tinyurl.com/9cgz4
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike
      > Long Term Report
      > Date Published: January 31, 2006
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Tester's Biographical Information:
      > Reviewer: Andrew Mytys
      > Email: amytys@g...
      > Homepage: Andy's Lightweight Backpacking Site
      > Location: Michigan
      > Age: 33
      > Height: 6'1" (183 cm)
      > Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
      > Backpacking Background:
      > I live in Michigan and have been hiking seriously for 15 years,
      > although I've camped since I was 6 years old. I consider myself a
      > lightweight hiker. I carry the lightest gear I can get my hands on
      > which will provide a comfortable wilderness experience and adequately
      > support the goals of my trip. Unless my goals are time/distance
      > oriented, my pace is always slow. I rarely exceed 1.5 miles (2.4
      > km)/hour. I rest frequently, hike long days, and enjoy whatever
      > nature throws my way.
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Product Information:
      > Publisher: Wayah Press (http://www.wayahpress.com)
      > Title: A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike
      > Author: Rick Allnutt, MD
      > Year of Publication: 2005, 1st Edition
      > ISBN: 0-9767227-0-4
      > MSRP: $11.95 + 2.50 shipping and handling (U.S. only),
      > + 7% state sales tax to Ohio-based destinations
      > Weight as delivered: 6.6 oz (187 g)
      > Size: 8.5 x 5.5 x .4 inches or 215 x 140 x 10 mm (H x W x D)
      > 116 pages, + copyright, dedication, table of contents, index, and
      > ordering info
      > The information in this Field Report of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile
      > Hike" is to be taken in addition to my Initial and Field reports.
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Product Description:
      > "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike" is a short book filled with
      > lessons on how to overcome some of hiking's most common physical and
      > mental challenges. The lessons are described by Dr. Rick Allnutt, the
      > author, based on what he learned while tackling multi-day hikes and
      > preparing for and hiking a 200-mile (322 km) segment of the
      > Appalachian Trail (AT). While the book's lessons came about primarily
      > while hiking the AT, what's proposed is valid, and indeed much of it
      > can be applied, on any trail and for hikes of any distance. The sole
      > picture in the book is on the cover - a color photo of the author
      > relaxing along the AT near Cold Mountain, Virginia.
      > What This Book is About - Who is it For?:
      > "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike" is about the challenges - both
      > physical and mental - that the author experienced while preparing for
      > and hiking a 200-mile (322 km) segment of the Appalachian Trail (AT).
      > The lessons learned by the author are broken up into chapters
      > dedicated to "the three biggest problems facing the 200-mile (322 km)
      > hiker" - blisters and chaffing, knee pain, and losing the will to
      > hike - and the advantages of "near-ultralight" hiking. The book uses
      > the author's personal experiences and those of others hiking the
      > Appalachian Trail as a basis for the examples and solutions given.
      > The book is short, and my take on it is that it is most useful to
      > those readers who have actually hiked before. This is not a how-to
      > book, nor does the text go into any great detail in explaining terms
      > and general hiking concepts. Readers who's feet have some hiking
      > experience should find themselves nodding along at the ailments that
      > the author chooses to focus on, if not based on personal experience
      > then based on recognition - how many of us have never encountered a
      > hiker with a bad case of blisters before, or a pack that weighs in at
      > over 50 pounds (20 kg)?
      > Worthwillity:
      > In the book's introduction, the author writes a segment that he
      > titles "Worthwillity," which summarizes his reasons for writing the
      > book, his background and perspective, and his hope that readers will
      > find his book, even a little, useful.
      > I must admit that some of the book's lessons did indeed stick with me
      > while hiking on the trail, and I found myself analyzing the
      > challenges I was experiencing and thinking back to the author's
      > comments.
      > The book delivers a very good primer on blisters, chafing, and knee
      > pain. The author uses his background as a physician, an engineer, and
      > researcher to analyze the causes and anatomy of these three common
      > trail injuries, as well the effect they can have on the hiker. While
      > on the trail, I could reflect back on what the author had written,
      > visualize what was happening in my shoes and in my shorts, and start
      > to orchestrate a plan on how to fix the problem.
      > Just as in the author's case, I found my issues with blisters,
      > chafing, and knee pain becoming the overwhelming center of my thought
      > process during my hikes.
      > The author provides a few words of wisdom in terms of treatment,
      > highlighting potential solutions by using his own hiking experiences
      > as examples.
      > I was able to use the information given in the book to decide on a
      > course of action. In some cases, I followed the author's lead. In
      > others, I worked out "personal answers," just as the author
      > suggested.
      > In the case of blisters, I didn't exactly encounter problems in the
      > traditional sense as much as awakening and exercising the trail born
      > calluses I already had. However, a pair of shoes I'm currently
      > testing for backpackgeartest rub my feet persistently, just below
      > each anklebone. This results in blisters that quickly progress into
      > open, and bloody lesions.
      > In between on-trail testing, I typically gave my feet a week to ten
      > days of rest before using the shoes on uneven surfaces again.
      > However, I was offered a 50 km (31 mile) dayhike challenge that I
      > just couldn't refuse, and I found myself donning the test shoes,
      > intentionally leaving my backup footwear at home, and hitting the
      > trail. After about three miles (5 km), I could feel a sharp pain that
      > I knew was due to the thin layer of new skin under each ankle being
      > ripped off. In another few miles, I could see a bloodstain poking out
      > through my thick hiking socks. "It's only a flesh wound," I exclaimed
      > in my best British accent. The pace of the hike was fast - 50 km (31
      > miles) in ten hours, including breaks - and there simply wasn't the
      > time to properly tend to my wounds. What to do? One of the author's
      > solutions is "layers, and more layers," meaning the presence of a
      > thick defensive wall of padding over the blister that allow the
      > layers to rub against one another without rubbing the skin. I already
      > had two pairs of socks on, so I simply installed a cotton ball over
      > the wounds, duct taped that in place, then put both pairs of socks
      > on, and wrapped each ankle in a short section of elastic bandage. I
      > then hobbled off in an effort to catch up with the rest of the group.
      > Four miles (6 km) later, sweat in my "nether region" got the best of
      > me, and I started to feel the type of chafing that the author
      > calls "fire in the groin." This was hardly the first time I had
      > chafing in this area, but I usually experienced it after longer
      > distance (15 mile or 24 km) hikes in conditions characterized by heat
      > and humidity, not at the ten-mile (16 km) mark during a cool, fall
      > morning. I suspect that, due to the 3 MPH (5 KPH) pace I had to
      > maintain, I sweated more than usual and chafing simply occurred
      > earlier than expected. The author puts a lot of faith in a product
      > called "Bodyglide," - a roll-on lubricant that seals the skin from
      > further wetness. I had nothing to lose, no better ideas, and little
      > time to invest in any solution. I had packed a stick of Bodyglide
      > along in anticipation, and simply jumped into the bushes, shoved the
      > Bodyglide in by pants, and proceeded with application at the first
      > signs of chafing. After about 15 seconds, I was back on the trail. I
      > caught the problem early on, and the Bodyglide worked wonders. No
      > more chafing and no more "fire in the groin" for the remainder of the
      > hike - an additional seven hours of hiking!
      > At about the 18-mile (29 km) mark, my shoe kicked a root. I felt my
      > foot inside my right shoe slide forward along the insole, and a
      > burning sensation ensued - I literally felt the skin along the balls
      > of my feet separating from my toes! The author states that the key
      > ingredients to blisters are moisture, friction, and heat. Well, my
      > feet were sweaty after so many miles without any attention, I had
      > just provided a substantial amount of friction, and I could literally
      > see steam rising off of my foot as I removed it from my shoe. I
      > quickly changed into a fresh pair of both liner and hiking socks that
      > I had in my pack, and my feet immediately felt refreshed, ready to
      > tackle the remaining 13 miles (21 km) of the hike.
      > In terms of knee pain, one of the author's points in his formula for
      > healthy knees is to relieve stress to the knee. I typically get knee
      > pain on the trail after about 18 miles (29 km) of hiking. Just as
      > with my chafing concerns, I would need a quick remedy on my long
      > hike, with no time for experimentation or solutions that didn't work.
      > The author didn't offer any sure-fire shortcuts, so I went into my
      > outfitter and asked for a pair of after-market insoles for my shoes
      > that offered maximum cushioning, and added that I could care less
      > about support. GIVE ME CUSHIONING!!! The salesman returned with an
      > insole made of gel that, according to the manufacturer,
      > provided "superior cushioning and 44% energy return." The insoles
      > were THICK and SPONGY - I was sold. Given all the warnings, lessons,
      > and self-reflection that the book inspired, I was able to come up
      > with personal system that got me through 50 km (31 miles) of trail in
      > ten hours, and free from pain to boot.
      > My Final Thoughts:
      > The book begins with subjects that are physical in nature and
      > therefore easily lend themselves to dissection. The author's training
      > as a physician, engineer, and researcher serve to produce a very
      > thorough primer on the subjects of blisters, chafing and knee pain.
      > Some of the text leaves me scratching my head. For example, in the
      > chapter on chafing the author states:
      > "I have successfully hiked in nylon swimming trunks. These are boxer-
      > like trunks with a polyester brief sewn in. They can be rinsed in
      > stream water, and put back on to dry. In very humid weather, I have
      > even put them back on inside out to dry more quickly. I almost always
      > carry a pair because they make great town clothes and can be
      > important when dealing with chafing during the first few days of a
      > hike. There is a tendency, especially in hot weather, for salt to
      > become encrusted in the material of the brief, making it like
      > sandpaper, and for that to wear away at the skin of each upper leg."
      > Huh? I don't get it? Are they good or bad? The first half of the
      > paragraph has me writing them on a shopping list, and then I read
      > that they are like "sandpaper" and think the author is recommending
      > against them. What gives?
      > As I wrote in my Field Report, I was less than thrilled with the
      > second half of the book. As someone who loves to sleep, finds himself
      > in awe when bad weather moves in, and tells his wife to "go back to
      > sleep," after being woken up in the Sierras and told that a bear that
      > just brushed up against the tent (yes, it was a bear), I had little
      > patience, and found no value, in the author's philosophies on
      > combating loneliness, fear of the dark, nightmares, and other
      > psychological issues (losing the will to hike). I was also less than
      > enthusiastic about the scant level of detail that was given to the
      > topic of lightweight backpacking, especially after seeing the
      > author's thorough work in discussing blisters, chafing, and knee
      > pain. Between the book's introduction, the chapter on losing the will
      > to hike, the chapter on lightweight backpacking, and a summary
      > chapter offering no new information, I found only about 45% of the
      > book to be of interest. That said, I did gain some value from that
      > 45%, as indicated at the beginning of this report.
      > There's also the lack of overall perspective given in terms of the
      > field conditions that the author encountered. The book details
      > experiences from hiking a 200-mile (322 km) segment of the
      > Appalachian Trail in mid-May. It reflects the culmination of
      > experiences gained from hiking anywhere from weekend excursions to
      > that single, two week, 200-mile (322 km) hike. Overall, I got the
      > feeling that most of the lessons had their origins on the author's
      > 200-mile (322 km) hike, taken at a specific point in time and under
      > specific weather conditions, meaning that the author's own
      > experiences were limited. I found myself wishing the author had hiked
      > in mid-July instead of mid-May, hoping that after experiencing
      > intense heat and humidity, drought, and other, more serious
      > challenges, the book would have been directed more towards the sort
      > of concrete issues found in the first half of the book, with less
      > attention paid to psychological or philosophical matters.
      > The author makes no promises that the book is anything more than a
      > description of his discoveries, his failures, and his ideas. In the
      > end, the book's best advice can be summed up by what the author
      > writes in his introduction:
      > "If what I am doing in my hike is working, I keep doing it. If it is
      > not working, then I take on the responsibility to find a better way,
      > and then a better way after that."
      > I found reading "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike" to be insightful
      > and thought provoking in many areas, and the book proved to be a bit
      > of an inspiration in making me analyze my own issues and in trying to
      > come up with solutions, rather than taking the attitude that any
      > problems encountered on the trail are simply "all part of a good
      > day's hike." The book has given me an excuse to, once again, re-
      > evaluate what I carry and try to lessen the weight in my pack.
      > Finally, the author states that "if a reader of this book finds one
      > of my experiences useful, then I will rejoice." Well, the author can
      > rejoice in that I have found one, even many, of the experiences he
      > shared to be useful. At the same time, I would have liked to hear
      > more. I wish that the author had tried hiking that 200-miles (322 km)
      > across at least a few different seasons, just to give readers a set
      > of more well rounded opinions.
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------
    • edwardripleyduggan
      Andy and Chuck One edit I noted Readers who s feet have some hiking ... Readers whose feet.... Ted.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2006
        Andy and Chuck

        One edit I noted

        Readers who's feet have some hiking
        > experience should find themselves nodding along at the ailments that
        > the author chooses to focus on,

        Readers whose feet....

      • Chuck Carnes
        Yep... good catch Ted. Thanks!
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 1, 2006
          Yep... good catch Ted. Thanks!

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "edwardripleyduggan"
          <erd@w...> wrote:
          > Andy and Chuck
          > One edit I noted
          > Readers who's feet have some hiking
          > > experience should find themselves nodding along at the ailments that
          > > the author chooses to focus on,
          > Readers whose feet....
          > Ted.
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