Hiking Tips For Your Adventures
If you like fresh air and adventure while being outside, hiking is one of those activities that you should certainly consider. It is an excellent way to immersing yourself in the adventurous outdoors surrounded by beauty. Grab your backpack and get going!
Many people have tight work schedules. It can be a real challenge to find the time to work out, let alone explore the world around you. Luckily for you, the good news is that hiking may be the answer.
Hiking will get your blood pumping and your leg muscles working as you explore the beauty of nature.
If you are the adventurous type, grab your friends or loved ones to have some fun on the trails. Rember if you are in bear country, it’s a good idea to bring bear spray with you to help keep you safe during an encounter. Here’s a great article on how to stay safe around bears and avoid a bear attack if you encounter one.
However, before you start hiking, there are some essential tips that you should know. Here are some excellent ideas and advice to consider as you plan your hike
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Find a partner even in a large group
When a larger group of people start hiking, they typically begin as a group. After a few miles, the group starts to separate. Sometimes you may not be fast enough for the rest of the group. Other times you may be leading the pack like a champ.
Unfortunately, some people may feel left behind. A simple solution is to find a partner who goes at the same pace. Some of my life long friendships have come from people I have paired up with on the trail.
Choose the right hike
You want to make sure you choose the right hike for your ability level. Not all trips are ideal for you. Let’s face it; many of us have pretty sedentary jobs. When getting out for a weekend excursion up a mountain, it may be a little more challenging than you realize, especially if you don’t exercise regularly. Steep elevations can suck the life out of you, so having a set of trekking poles can help tremendously.
You should gauge your physical limits. Plan ahead and consider the distance you will cover and the elevation of your final destination. Know what to expect and the type of terrain you will encounter. Figuring these things out goes a long way in making for an enjoyable hike.
If you are getting into hiking for the first time or are planning for an upcoming trip, you can start with easy walks. Get a good pair of walking shoes or trail running shoes, to begin with, if you want. Or you can also get a good pair of hiking boots early and start to break them in. Your feet may thank you when it comes time for your long trip. Over time, you will be able to hike longer distances without getting fatigued.
Get the right gear
First and foremost, you should choose the right clothing for your trek. Many people make the mistake of going for a hike wearing jeans or other regular street clothes. While regular jeans might seem to be a good idea, you can quickly find yourself pretty uncomfortable. They hold water like crazy, which gets heavy when you sweat and also chafe.
Ideally, you should wear hiking pants or hiking shorts explicitly designed for that type of activity. Workout clothes are also light and flexible. They are designed for being active.
If the trail that you are on goes through the brush, make sure you wear long pants or tights so that your legs don’t get all scratched up. Wearing a long-sleeved shirt will protect your arms from thorns and branches that can hurt you. When the weather becomes hot, you can roll up the sleeves. They make some great lightweight and breathable shirts explicitly designed for hiking.
What to wear for shoes
You have a lot of flexibility with the types of shoes you can wear while hiking. Much of it is determined based on the type of terrain you will be hiking on. For easy trails, you may just want to wear some walking shoes or your regular running shoes. Our favorite choice is trail shoes. Trail shoes are very similar to running shoes, but they have a little more stability in the tread; it’s a bit more rugged. This combination makes the shoe light on your feet, but stable.
If the trail you are going to be hiking is a little steeper or has a rocky terrain is worth wearing hiking boots. Hiking boots are going to give you the extra ankle support you need to prevent injury. The last thing you want is to sprain or twist your ankle while on the trail. A good pair of hiking boots decreases the chance of that happening. There are many different styles, some of which are almost as light his sneakers while others are very rugged for extra support.
Hiking can take a lot of energy. You will want to make sure that you bring some food with you. Look for food that is light but is rich in calories. A mixture of nuts and dried fruit, often referred to as trail mix is a great option. It’s best to carry food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Even more important than having plenty of food is making sure you remain well hydrated. Bring a couple of water bottles or also consider a hydration pack. The supplies will help you avoid fatigue as you trek.
Not everything in life is a race. Ideally, you should walk at your own pace, remembering that you’ll need the stamina to walk several miles. Take your time and enjoy the natural surroundings. Having breaks along the way helps conserve energy. If you are on a longer hike, this may be a perfect time to put on a fresh pair of socks.
Study the weather ahead of time
Sometimes it can be disastrous to hike when the weather is not good. Take a look at the weather ahead of time so that you will know the conditions while you are out. That way, you know what to pack.
It’s also a good idea to bring a backpacking thermometer with you. There are several different options to choose from when deciding.
Some backpacking thermometers are very simple and will attach to a zipper or have a clip for your bag. More advanced devices will include additional information such as wind speed, wind chill, humidity, and more. The additional information can be beneficial, especially if you are climbing above the tree line.
If you are planning on spending the night on the trail, a backpacking tent is a critical piece of equipment. The size, weight, and weatherproofing of your tent are important features to consider, as well as how many people your tent can comfortably hold. Reliable shelter can literally be the difference between life and death in the wild, so choosing a good tent is an important decision.
Study a map of where you are going
Make sure you have a good understanding of the area where you will be hiking. It is a good idea to have a map that you can reference. I always like to bring a compass in my backpack as well. There are also several great options for GPS devices. You can use a standalone device, or you can get a Garmin GPS watch that has multiple functions. I like the Fenix series from Garmin.
Start hiking early enough
Make sure you leave plenty of time in your day to complete the hike. You should have a pretty good idea of how long it will take to cover the distance you’re planning. It’s always a good idea to add a little time for taking breaks and accounting for any other issues you may encounter. To be on the safe side, make sure you have a flashlight or headlamp with you. Headlamps are great because you can wear them while keeping your hands free.
Enjoy your trip
We hope these tips have been helpful. We want your next hiking adventure to be memorable in the right way. Be safe and have fun.