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5 Ways to Prepare for a Long Hike


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Foot Care
Never underestimate the importance of a good pair of hiking boots.
Never underestimate the importance of a good pair of hiking boots.
Giorgio Majno/Getty Images

Never underestimate the importance of good foot care. You don't want your dogs barking on the trail. A good-fitting pair of boots can keep you and your pups smiling. The boots should have enough room for your toes, although the heels should be snug. In choosing a pair, make sure your feet are not sliding inside the boot when walking uphill [source: Vonhof].

Breaking in boots before a lengthy hike makes them less stiff and more comfortable. To loosen the boots up, wear them on short hikes and walks or around the house. A good-fitting boot will mold around the foot. Socks are important, too. Stay away from cotton socks, as cotton absorbs moisture. Wool or synthetic socks are preferable. Wash your socks every day on the trail [source: Vonhof].

Personal hygiene is another aspect of foot care. Clip your nails. Long toenails can snag on a sock and create pressure if the toe of the boot is too short or low. Learn how to prevent and treat blisters, too. If you feel a blister starting to form on the trail, snip off a piece of duct tape and bind it up [source: Vonhof].


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