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Hiking/ biking/ active outdoorsy stuff

So, I thankfully live in a very beautiful ( to me) area of Illinois and all of its natural splendor and thought it would be nice to talk about hiking and such with fellow enthusiasts . I've gone hiking a couple of times and I always tire myself out. I was wondering if anyone had ideas on how to keep my pace and finish a trail without being exhausted by the time I finish? I also I am going to start biking and given how I have not gotten on a bike in years, I'll need a few tips.

If you can afford bicycle shorts I highly recommend them.  They have padding in the seat and genital areas that will definitely help if you haven't been on a bike much in the past few years.  Mine also have rubber grips in the leg openings that keep them from riding up.  Love them!

Make sure you have a water bottle.  Water bottle holders are cheap and make it easy to carry your water.

With hiking, pick some short trails to start that don't have really challenging terrain and work your way up.  Take lots of breaks.  Bring lots of water and snacks (granola bars, trail mix).  That is the great thing about hiking it is about the journey not the finish line.  :)

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ooo, yeah, bike shorts are fantastic!! You can also get gel seat covers for your bike seat if it's a harder one. I find that the best way to start biking is by doing it to run errands, or if you're lucky to go to work. That way you have a destination and a goal, and if it's work you have to go anyway!

I LOVE hiking, and just moved away from Victoria BC, where there are a million awesome hiking trails... I miss it already... anyway, totally agree on the breaks & snacks - my favorite thing to do was take a picnic with my man and stop on our hike to enjoy the views. I think the more you hike, the better you'll get at pacing yourself, and also the more your body will get used to it.

No matter how fit you are, if you try a new activity it takes your muscles and your system a few times to get used to it. So with both hiking & biking, the more you do it the easier it will get. The first few bike rides in spring are always a bit sore, but by the end of fall I feel like I could ride for hours without getting tired.

Most important - have fun!

now, while I'm in this thread, does anyone know any amazing hikes in Turkey or Greece? I'm heading there next week (!!!) and would love to do some hiking while we travel.

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Thanks! I also have a question about boots- where do I find some that don't cost a car payment? And I plan to take trips to Shenendoah and the Hot Springs area ( at least) and don't know if there are different protocols for mountainous terrain..

Veganhealthy: Damn, its hard to find just basic trail maps, but heres something:  there is part of the E6 trail that splits off in Greece and goes into Turkey. A link: http://www.visiteurope.com/Plan/Practical-Information/Traveller-needs/Backpackers

http://www.greeka.com/greece/greece-walking.htm

http://www.rei.com/adventures/trips/europe/greekhop.html

Have fun! How long are you visiting there?

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Nice - thanks for the links!!

Funny - I was going to suggest REI to find hiking boots, and one of your links was to them. I got my hiking boots at a local store in Victoria, BC, and they're really great if you can find a store like that where you are. All they do is outdoors stuff. My 2nd choice would have been MEC, which is like an REI in Canada.

I got ones that are Soloman brand, and they are awesome!! I actually just got a 2nd pair that are trail running shoes instead of full hiking boots to replace my runners and give me a good overall hiking/running shoe for my trip to Europe. Also Soloman, and I am so happy with them. They're a bit heavier than normal runners, but I don't really notice. I'm not running marathons, so doesn't make a difference to me. If you're only doing 1-2 hour hikes, the trail runner option would work. If you're going longer than that, you should get boots that come up around your ankle for more support. And if you're doing multi-day hikes, they recommend that you get ones that come up slightly higher than the ankle, but I did a 3-day hike in my ankle boots and was fine.

My boots were I think $150, and the trail runners were $120 and I bought them 2 years later. Those are Canadian dollars, but things are pretty close right now.

I'm leaving on Tuesday, and we'll be traveling for 3 months!! I'm starting to get pretty excited... good luck with the boots!

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