By Brendan Leonard

A how-to ebook for climbers with info on scrambling talents, apparatus, alpine dangers, and acclimation, released lower than the imprimatur of ""Backpacker"" magazine.

summary: A how-to e-book for climbers with info on scrambling abilities, apparatus, alpine dangers, and acclimation, released less than the imprimatur of ""Backpacker"" magazine.

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You might think that no one will notice if you leave a single candy bar wrapper next to a rock, but if every hiker thinks the same way, eventually the idea that “it’s just a ______” will soon have the mountain looking more like the aftermath of a music festival than an inspiring peak. Animals in the alpine environment have a tenuous existence in this very harsh place, and your interactions with them can interfere with their ability to survive. Although it might be fun to try to feed a marmot or pika, the wild animals in the mountains can learn to be dependent on food from hikers and lose the ability to find their own food.

On steeper terrain, your leg muscles will get a huge workout, moving almost nonstop for a long time. The rest step gives your muscles a tiny break every time you step, decreasing your level of fatigue—and it’s ridiculously simple: When walking uphill, simply straighten your forward leg completely at the top of each step, just for a half-second. This gives your legs a small break with every step, putting your body weight on your skeleton instead of your muscles. SELF-CARE Over the course of a full day or multiple days of climbing a peak, you put your body through a lot—to make it to the top and back down again, you’ve got to take care of your body too.

They’ll often bring leftover Chinese food, cold pizza, chocolate bars, smoked salmon, and other snacks that make any energy bar flavor seem dull. One of my favorite tricks for a summit hike is to buy a burrito from the freezer section at the grocery store and let it thaw in the top of my pack as I hike (of course all the frozen burritos are precooked). By the time I get to the summit, the burrito is soft enough to eat. Here are a few important things to remember when packing food for a hike: Provided you’ve had a solid meal before you start, you only need around 100 calories per hour while hiking to avoid “bonking” (sudden fatigue or loss of energy), and that can come from sports drink mixes, energy gels, “real food,” or a combination.

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