Planning ahead before hiking is essential for success. Spare yourself drama and consider these 10 hiking tips on your next trip.
- Water. No brainer, right?! Inexperienced hikers (and some seasoned ones) fail to pack an adequate supply of water. Bring enough for emergencies. Also, balance your drinking and eating. It’s sounds simple but over-hydrating and being dehydrated can both become problematic and result in fatalities while hiking.
- High-calorie snacks are essential too. You’re exerting a ton of energy and burning through calories which need replenishment. Nuts, crackers, protein bars, dried fruit, meats, cheese, etc., are great to munch on while hiking to restore those calories and regulate body temperatures.
- Know where you’re going courtesy of a paper map. You cannot rely on cellular service or a wi-fi signal in remote areas. Take a map with you and/or trail guide to stay on course.
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises are common so a first aid kit is a good idea. Make sure it has extras like a pocket knife, duct tape, and anything else that may help you rescue yourself.
- Keep it cute with sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun which feels 1000 times hotter the closer you climb near it!
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Be real with yourself, know your physical limits, and follow these hiking tips!
- Rescue items such as a handheld siren, whistle, reflecting mirror, and your mobile are all essentials you want to carry. Don’t start a forest fire but carry matches if you don’t know how to rub sticks together and create smoke signals.
- If you’re stranded, you’ll need shelter from the elements. With temperatures rising and falling, it’s a good idea to carry a tarp where you can take cover.
- A great pair of hiking shoes that are ready for business is a must. Um, I’ve seen people trying to hike in flip-flops. Forget about it!
- Extra clothing since variable temperatures while hiking go from one extreme to the next. It is better to dress in layers and peel off when hot than to not have anything to keep you warm. On my recent hike, I almost left my jacket in the car because it was over 100 degrees. In a flash, the temperature dropped 50 degrees and my jacket became my bestie in the fluctuating temps.
- A flashlight with extra batteries is smart! You can’t go wrong with a headlamp and reflectors too.
Sometimes we think we can, we think we can, and we can’t!
If you’re not at the fitness level needed to successfully complete a hike, don’t start. Be honest about your health and don’t exceed your limits.