Rest Breaks

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Lumbergh21
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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by Lumbergh21 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:31 am

When backpacking, it depends on the steepness of the trail. I know I should just slow down to a speed that I can maintain. When mountaineering though, I don't know if that speed exists, even with the rest step method. If I am trying to pace myself, usually a 2 or 3 minute break every half hour of climbing. No need to take a break on slight uphill, flat, or downhill of course. I like to take a long afternoon/lunch break and have my biggest meal of the day typically starting between 11:30 and 1:00 PM, depending on where I can find a good resting spot, and lasting 1 to 2 hours depending primarily on the location. This usually includes food, bathing, and just laying out and relaxing while I take in the views and maybe even take a nap. Then I'll finish the day by hiking sometimes until the sun goes down before making camp and having a quick, usually cold, meal for dinner. Last year, I did pick up some tea out of the hiker bucket at VVR and found that I enjoy a nice cup of hot tea in the evening too, though, so I may be changing my eating habits a bit now.








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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:57 pm

I take breaks when I need them. When my pack is heavy, the reason for the break is to get the dang thing off my back! Otherwise, I generally go a few hours before breaking at the start of the day, and then breaks become more frequent. Once breaks happen every half hour, I know I have had enough, so call it a day. Breaks are about 5 minutes, seldom more than 10. Never take a real "lunch", just nibble all day. If I am serious about photos, I will take off my pack, take the photo, then put the pack back on. So that is about a 2 minute break.

On big climbs (Taboose Pass, for example), I am very disciplined about a very steady pace and steady breathing and actually do the entire climb with only about three breaks. I "rest-step" when needed. My breathing rate determines my walking rate, which has to adjust. I learned this kind of pacing from decades of mountaineering.

On hot days, I may take a mid-day bath, just to cool off. It really helps. If I take fishing gear, I will stop and fish as I go along, anywhere from half an hour to an hour (longer if I actually catch something and have to clean it). On day-hikes without a pack, I may go the entire day and never really take a break at all.

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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by Gazelle » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:54 pm

Full lunch or rest almost never unless I am in a route finding dilemma. I wil slow to the pace I need to keep moving but do not take breaks. I will stop on a peak for awhile to take pictures and admire the view but don’t like to sit for too long, hard to get up and finish the day. If I am with other people (almost never) I will tell them where I will be and I have to wait so yes a break, and no I don’t really like it, hard to start again, but the price one pays to have someone else enjoy the experience! I do like to be done for the day hopefully by 5pm or earlier especially backpacking as I like to hang out, clean up (wash off while the sun is out) and eat and enjoy the views. I will drop my pack and walk around for however long it takes to find the perfect spot to camp though! Day hiking I will start before dark sometimes as I like to be done before 5 also, but breaks/lunch almost never!
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein

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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by balzaccom » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:42 am

HA! Depends on whether or not my wife has her cup of Via in the morning!

Usually I will also stop for at least a minute fifteen minutes into the hike---just to make sure that everybody is comfortable and nobody is having a problem that might get worse throughout the rest of the day. After that, it's a one-two minute break every half-an hour to check on hydration and hunger. If the day is warm and the climb is steep, then that one minute gets extended to give folks a rest...

But If my wife has her coffee, we usually hike for an hour with no stops right off the bat...it's funny to watch!
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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by SSSdave » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:57 am

Adding to my post, most of my frequent sit on a boulder or log stops are just 30 seconds to a 60 seconds and don't take the pack off or even bother to sip a drink.

Recalling some of our most strenuous backpacks, there have been times that by the end of the hiking day on steep off trail routes, we were so weary that we would be only able to go 20 feet vertical or so each time we got up. In 1994 two of us were climbing up through the brush and slabs at Glen Aulin up to Mattie Lake and note my friend on the trip has climbed most of the Yosemite big walls. I was carrying a ridiculous weight of gear including besides a pile of 35mm SLR gear, one of those early generation humungo camcorders and a half amp hour solar panel for charging the battery. By time we got near the top we were stupid wobbly only able to move a few feet up more after each 2 or 3 minute rest.

Even worse in 1975 and rather young and ignorant, went from Kennedy Meadows up the Stanislaus up past Lewis Lakes, up and over Granite Dome, about 4k with the up and downs. Didn't reach the top of the ridge of Granite Dome till it was dark and was almost crawling at the end. Was so weary that I just collapsed at the end on a bumpy rocky surface too tired to make any camp, pulled out my sleeping bag, and went to sleep laying against my pack while using the sleeping bag as a blanket. Woke up at dawn and continued along to Maxwell Lake.

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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by giantbrookie » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:39 am

If I'm hiking solo or leading strong hikers, I have tended to be a bit regimented about rest stops following something close to the "A" scheme. My dad and I would do this back in the day. This is not to say that we didn't take a brief pause to snap a photo here and there if we felt like it. Also, I've tended to adjust rest stop locations so they correspond to cresting a pass, arrival at a lake, or just before or after a particularly difficult off trail stretch. More often than not, though, I'm leading a group and I decide on rest stops based on how my group is hiking---in other words if I think folks need one, I stop, regardless of time elapsed since the last one. If someone calls out for a rest stop and I think it's too early, I encourage them to go a bit further before stopping (and/or provide rationale not to stop such as the mosquitoes are really bad or there isn't good shade).
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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by kursavwilage » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:19 am

On uphills I try to rely on active recovery for rests so, when the trail levels off or goes downhill my breathing recovers to normal breathing. I mimic this in my training in the off season by doing hill runs or sprint interval type cardio or hiking with a heavy pack on various grades. If a grade is a monster of a pull without any leveling of the grade then I will rest on my feet leaning on my sticks just to get my breathing to a normal level and the lactic acid in my thighs to dissipate. I find that just standing for a few minutes does wonders for making my quads feel better and less fatigued.
On downhill days I usually don't like to stop or really feel the need to stop because I am not really ever breathing hard. The pounding of downhill is brutal but, not a cardio strain like the uphill days.
On both types of days after a few hours and also depending on how the group I am hiking with feels we will stop, take the packs off and snack and rest for about 45 minutes to an hour. Navigation stops to consult the maps or GPS and photo sessions in especially scenic areas will also dictate stopping with packs on and count as rests. Attaining a top of a pass is an automatic pack off rest stop for the sheer enjoyment of the scenery but also for getting out the maps, eating lunch and taking pictures. On the last day of the trip when I am hungry, out of food and dreaming of a double bacon cheeseburger I will usually turn into the energizer bunny and burn for the trail head with very few if any rests.
I have a theory that the more one stops the more one wants to stay stopped or the more one sits to the more one wants to stay sitting. Also, I feel that restarting hiking over and over again takes more effort than maintaining a steady pace. Maybe my way of thinking is purely psychological but it works for me.

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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:20 pm

I agree with the "momentum" style of hiking- better to keep moving, even if it is slowly, than to stop and go. However, a pace that leaves you "out-of-breath" is too fast, particularly at altitude. Out of breath leads to hypoxia which tends to make you altitude sick. Much athletic training advise does not address the altitude issues. The golden rule of mountaineering is to adjust your travel rate to maintain an all-day steady, non-hypoxic, breathing rate.

As I age, I find myself taking MORE breaks going downhill than uphill. It is the old knee syndrome. Although I still can gain 7000 feet in a day, I really have to limit my downhill to about 4000 feet, even with heavy use of trekking poles. When I was young, I could fly out of the mountains; now I creep out!

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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by giantbrookie » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:29 am

Wandering Daisy wrote: Although I still can gain 7000 feet in a day, I really have to limit my downhill to about 4000 feet, even with heavy use of trekking poles.
Jeez, still can do 7000' gain? That's inspirational. I need to train harder. I think I may still be capable of that but I've planned even my hardest recent trips to stay well below 7k gain for a day. Actually, I've only exceeded 7k three times in my entire hiking career, only once with a full pack, and the last time over 7k gain for me was 26 years ago at the age of 32. I still do much better going downhill because my knees get bothered more on ascent than descent.
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Re: Rest Breaks

Post by stevet » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:38 pm

I will stop for a couple minutes about once per hour if for nothing else than to take a pee. I keep a good time cadence to ensure I eat something ~200 calories, and drink enough ~1 liter per hour. And while the consumption side can be done while walking, when taking in that much liquid a brief stop once an hour is needed.

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