Proper planning and preparation are necessary for any venture into the great outdoors. Hiking is an extremely fun activity, but it is important to understand the dangerous that can accompany it. An experienced hiker will know how important it is to be prepared for any possible situation. Here are 15 essential tips that will help you have a successful and enjoyable hike.
1) Let People Know Your Hiking Plans
Let people know your hiking plans in case something bad happens to goes wrong while you are on the hiking trail. That way if you are not done by a certain time, there will be somebody that can send for help.
2) Study Maps Before The Hike
You need to have a good plan for the hike you will be making and a good estimate for how long it is going to take you. Looking at the trail map beforehand will ensure that you are well prepared for what you will be taking on.
3) Check The Weather
Keep on eye on the weather before you hit the trails. You should know what conditions to expect while you are outside so that you can pack and dress accordingly.
4) Avoid Clothing Made Of Cotton
There a number of reasons that cotton should be avoided for hiking. When cotton gets wet, it does not provide good insulation. Cotton absorbs water like a sponge and when the air is colder than the boy’s temperature, you can get really cold in cotton clothing. Modern synthetic materials are much more breathable and lightweight option over cotton, providing better airflow and giving you more comfort.
5) Wear Appropriate Footwear
Trail shoes or hiking boots are great. You should try and find the appropriate hiking boots that match exactly what conditions you normally take on. If you need help deciding on the right hiking boots, check out this article.
6) Hike In A Group
Not only does hiking in a group make the experience much more fun, but you can learn a lot from others, impart your knowledge and distribute the loads for common group gear (first aid, flashlight, etc). Furthermore, you will have somebody to help you in case something unfortunate happens during the hike.
7) Bring Small Snacks
Small snacks will help you keep your energy levels up in-between your larger meals. You are not always going to want to wait for a big lunch, especially when you have emptied your body’s reserves after a few hours of hiking.
8) Stay Hydrated
Make sure that you bring enough water for the day. It is important that you drink water regularly throughout the day.
9) Bring Sunscreen & Hat
Even when it is cloudy you will be getting a great deal of sun on the trails. Sunscreen and a hat will ensure that your body is well protected from the elements.
10) Leave No Trace
It is a privilege to be able to hike and explore the outdoors, do not ruin the experience for others. Whatever you bring on you hike should return with you when you are finished.
11) Bring Essential Safety Items
An experienced hiker will have all the essential safety items for a hike. You never know what is going to happen while you are out on the trail, therefore, you should be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.
12) Bring A First Aid Kit
Make sure that you inspect your first aid kits before each hiking. Replace any items that have already been used, especially those that are used to start a fire.
13) Know The Poisonous Plants
Familiarize yourself with what the various poisonous plants look like because you are definitely going to want to avoid making contact with them on your hike – poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
14) The Right-of-Way
When going downhill, yield to those hiking uphill. It is much more difficult to go up the mountain, so you should avoid getting in their way and stopping their momentum.
15) Create Space For Others
When hiking in a group, be mindful of other hikers. Your group should avoid taking up the entire trail so that others can pass by without having to go off the path.