There are several good hiking tips in the blogosphere. In this post, I focus on seasonal hiking tips:
Seasonal Hiking Tips for Summer
- Hike before dawn to avoid the hottest part of the day which can produce dangerous heat.
- Cotton clothing and light outer-wear is best.
- Flash floods, lightning, falling/shifting rocks, and storms are things you should plan for. Don’t take shelter under trees and avoid the edge of cliffs during this weather.
- Don’t ignore the signs of heat stroke. I almost made this mistake in Bali while hiking in the land of tombs. The descent was a breeze. Climbing out, not so much. If you feel dizzy, have a headache, shortness of breath, labored breathing, cramps, etc., get in the shade, hydrate, and eat if you can. If you can dip in water to regulate your body temperature, do it.
- It is possible to over-hydrate which is why maintaining balance is critical. Hyponatremia can cause difficulty walking, seizures, confusion, headache, vomiting and result in life-threatening complications. Rest up and try to restore balance if you feel sick.
Fall & Spring Hiking Tips
- With all the seasons blending with one another, spring and fall could easily feel like summer and winter. If that’s the case, follow my tips for whatever season it feels like!
- During these seasons, there’s a chance you could encounter snow. I know, the dread. You need a different set of hiking shoes for different elements. Traction is key. Think of the tires on your car. Some are all-weather purpose while others are specific for snow and rain. Get a grip and make sure you have on the right shoes for the season.
- Your outer-wear is different this go round too. Make sure you have on a windshield (I couldn’t resist) to protect yourself from windy days.
- Know the signs of hypothermia which can happen in 50 degrees and heat sickness which can start in 80 degree weather.
Seasonal Hiking Tips for Winter
- Long cold nights are common so prepare for appropriate shelter.
- Dress in layers to stay warm. You can always remove items as necessary. For your top layer, wear clothing that is wind/water proof. Middle layer should offer insulation. I love fleece! It always keeps me warm hiking and beyond. And, your base layer should help wick moisture away so your body can breathe. A thermal shirt is a good choice too.
- A few pair of great hiking socks go a long way in nasty weather. Be sure your shoes/boots are waterproof as well. Frostbite or worse is no bueno.
- Like all things, you need to balance your layers properly. Too many layers can result in sweating as your body heats up along the trail. This can lead to hypothermia too. However, too few layers and you’re bound to freeze.
- Trekking poles offer stability in slippery conditions. They’re great in snow or ice. Determine if you need these based on your hiking plans.
- One of my favorite winter essentials is the scarf! As long as my neck is warm, the rest of my body usually rests at a good temperature.
So, these are simple hiking tips for every season. Regardless of season, it’s critical to stay hydrated and replenish calories.
Check out this article too: 10 hiking tips for your next trip
Hiking is a rewarding experience, when done well. As a solo traveler, always employ a best practice and leave your hiking plans with someone. Stay on course to make it easier for someone to find you should you encounter difficulty along your path.