How do trails form? Why do trails form? Come to think of it, what is a trail? These are but a few of the (deceptively simple) questions author Robert Moor attempts to answer in his book On Trails (Simon and Schuster, 2016). Moor – a lifelong backpacker and Appalachian Trail thru-hiker in addition to being a writer – approaches his subject with lyrical language and journalistic due-process. The result is a book as quietly spiritual as it is wildly informative.
I’d like to address what I do in each of these areas at some point in the future, but for now, I want to expand on why I believe a lean body weight – in addition to carrying less weight in your pack – is really important for a backpacking lifestyle.
Crossing rivers “ultralight style” – that’s when you simply walk through the water wearing your hiking shoes and keep walking on the trail once you get to the other side.
Most advice about minimalist footwear can be rejected outright. Often, the advice is given by hikers who haven’t put in the time required to understand the complexity and depth of foot biomechanics and the long-term effects of overuse that is endured by walking for decades. Here are some guiding principles if you want to keep hiking into your sunset years, so you can delay the inevitable onset of overuse conditions like hallux rigidus.