A lot of us experience it, some more so than others. Knee Pain is a battle many hikers, runners, cyclists, and many outdoor enthusiasts face. For me, the most common is pain localized around the kneecaps. This type of pain can most is often be caused by Chondromalacia, Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome, or what is more commonly referred to as, “runner’s knee.” Pain caused by this problem worsen when walking up or down stairs, walking uphill, running, jumping or activities that create situations where the knee supports the weight of your body while your leg is straightened.
I love hiking, backpacking, camping, and just the idea of being outdoors. The trick to being a better hiker is preparedness through experience which boils down to doing more hiking.
It's important that a hiker knows what to do in all types situations and environments. Because, let's face it, Murphy has one hell of a curveball. Being able to know how to use your equipment effectively and efficiently is key. To become a better hiker, you just need to apply yourself to it.
Here are some key notes I have that I feel have made me a better hiker.
Being physically fit is vital to enjoy your backpacking experience! Believe it or not, backpacking is deceptively difficult. Carrying that pack over pass after pass gets very tiring. This is why we like to promote Ultralight (UL) backpacking. Check out this video from fitclimb which shows some simple exercises that can be done ANYWHERE to better prepare yourself for your next trek!
Have you ever observed the footwork of a very experienced hiker? They tend to walk very efficiently, at a constant pace, often without looking at their feet. It’s something I do unconsciously now, but it took a couple of years of serious hiking to internalize.