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An Adventure Hike Done Right

Hungry for an outdoor challenge? One MF editor reflects on her very first extreme hike—and what she learned from it.

1. THE “IMPOSSIBLE” ISN'T

Try this: Stare down a 65-degree slate-rock-laced slope that's crumbling under you like glass—and watch your Gore-Tex rubber sole skid double-time from underfoot as you scramble for a lifeline back up the mountain. If you can still smile afterwards, you're definitely ready for adventure.

This unbelievably inopportune boot incident really happened within eight hours of starting my trek. The level-headed Coyne, founder of the Survival Training School of California, advised me to search for Jeffrey pine, nature's Super Glue, to retack the bottoms back onto my boots, which—along with paracord (a miracle-working military-grade string)—saved me. I wanted adventure, and this was it. You have to think on your feet.

2. TAKE AN EXPERT

It's a fact. “Crazy" people do cooler sh*t, and here's why: Adventure is the antithesis of logic. So stop trying to make sense of your latest crackpot adrenaline-seeking scheme—it's just what you do. But the one golden rule is Be Safe. So no matter your sport, take an expert out with you those first few times in varying conditions, or start with a well-organized event to learn to manage best- and worst-case scenarios. Beyond that, you make the rules for your world.

NEXT: Physical Demands

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