Estes Park Hiking Trails Map

WALKING POLES

Finding a fallen tree branch to use as a walking stick might seem romantic, but nature rarely drops branches that are straight, of an optimum height, or in the right place. Walking poles avoid this by being dead straight and height-adjustable, and the wise hiker will opt to use one.

Each pole reduces the strain and stress on the knees and legs by 25%, so hikers using two poles benefit from a 50% strain reduction, which means that longer distances can be covered. Sadly, using four poles does not reduce strain by 100%. Hard-core hikers do it with poles.

SUNGLASSES

Many hikers wouldn’t be seen dead without their sunglasses on. The fact that the lenses are sometimes so dark that they can’t see the cliff edge means that they may die happy.

Estes Park Hiking Trails Map Photo Gallery

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WATER BOTTLE/SYSTEM

Water bottles now come in a variety of manly shapes. Alternatively, you may raise your status by using an inbuilt hydration system It consists of a bladder bag that slips neatly into a rucksack, and all that can be seen is a long plastic tube stretching over your shoulder to your mouth. It maintains a consistent weight, because what you suck from one bladder merely trickles into your other bladder.

Hydration systems are perfect for hikers without friends. Sociable hikers simply ask their companions to get their water bottle out of their rucksacks for them, so they don’t have to take them off their backs. Even in company, a hydration system ensures a water supply to yourself; hikers may share hip flasks, but they never suck on each other’s tubes.

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