A hiker atop Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Mark Fenton atop Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

It’s natural to think that walking is walking and there are no secrets to doing it better—after all, most of us have been walking since we were about a year old, right? But as with many endurance sports, there are ways to hike a trail more efficiently, conserving energy and reducing the physical impacts that bring on fatigue. Three decades of dayhiking, backpacking, and climbing have taught me various tricks to soften the blow of hard miles, helping me to hike 20, 30, even 40 miles in a single day—even in my forties and fifties. But no matter how far you go, these trail- and time-tested tips will make your hikes more enjoyable.

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