Hiking is a relaxing, leisurely activity that one can do alone, or in a group with friends. Even being such a simple sport, there are some tips and tricks concerning hiking that any beginner can benefit from knowing. The following is a list of tips to fully enjoy your hiking experience.
Limiting what you bring with you on your hike is very important. For instance, if you are only going on a two-hour hike, you really do not need to bring a huge backpack, sleeping bag, or food to feed an army. Plan ahead of time so you do not over pack.
Food: You will want to bring small snacks to nourish your body, a mix of protein and carbs will do the trick. Good items to bring are things such as granola bars, nuts, peanut butter, fruit, and bread.
If the hike is going to extend longer than a few hours, you will obviously need to bring more food. As a rule, one pound of food per day is the average consensus. Of course it also depends on the type of food you plan on bringing so be sure to carry as much energy-rich food as possible, and avoid foods filled with water.
Water: On that note, a general rule of thumb is to drink four to six ounces of water every hour or two, so bring plenty. Make sure you are fully hydrated before the hike begins as well. If you are going on a longer hike, invest in a water bladder that sits inside of a backpack, as it is much more efficient than trying to refill a water bottle continuously.
Safety: Always bring a first-aid kit, no matter what the situation is. Anything can happen; and if you need it, you’ll want to have it handy. Also, if you will be gone for several hours, a pocketknife and lighter will be helpful for using one’s survival skills, if needed.
Extras: Sunscreen and bug spray are two very important products to constantly carry with you. Being outside for a long period of time, you will need both. A few other things you may want on your hike include: sunglasses, your cell phone, a map of the area, Tylenol, a flashlight, and a camera.
Keep Your Feet Comfortable
The right pair of shoes will make your hiking experience completely different. Without caring for your feet, they will become sore, uncomfortable and blistered.
Make sure to figure out the type of shoes that are best for your hike – do you need sneakers, or hiking boots? If you will be gone for days or if there is sure to be rain and mud regular sneakers probably will not do the trick. Plan accordingly.
When Hiking Alone
If you are going on a hike alone, ALWAYS let someone know when and where you are going. In the off-chance that something happens, you will want someone to be able to find you. Try not to travel alone, especially if you plan on a multi-day hike. By traveling in pairs, you are more likely to stay safe when another is right there with you. Enjoy your time in the great outdoors!