Hiking is no easy feat, but it is extremely rewarding in the end. if you are an amateur and you are not sure how to act or what to bring, it will probably be extremely tiring, and can even lead to injuries and discomfort. There is no reason why you should miss seeing the gorgeous views because of something easily avoidable like blisters or dehydration. To stay safe and comfortable on your hiking trip follow these few pieces of advice.
Dress With Care
The clothes you wear on your hiking trip are essential to your comfort and duration. Like with most other outdoor activities, you should wear many layers to keep warm and make it easier to remove any clothes that get wet. You will need wool socks, sturdy waterproof boots, clothes that are made of quick-drying fabrics, and nylon or polyester pants. Also, depending on the weather, you may need a winter jacket, gloves, and a hat. Additionally, it would be useful to bring sunglasses, especially when you are hiking during winter because the snow and sun can be blinding. Your jacket should be waterproof no matter the weather forecast because there is always a chance of sudden rain or storms.
When packing your hiking gear, always have in mind that you will have to carry it all on your back. Choose the largest but also the lightest backpack you can get, and don’t pack anything unnecessary. Always carry your cell phone and even the additional portable battery. It could save your life in case you get lost or injured. Don’t forget to pack additional clothes in case the ones you are wearing get wet. When staying too long in wet clothes you could develop a cold. Pack according to the weather. Bring sleeping equipment with you, a 4-season tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. It is also recommended to bring some sort of light source, like a flashlight or a headlamp.
Eat and Drink, But Not Too Much
Balanced eating and drinking are crucial if you don’t want to get hypothermia or lose straight halfway through the trail. Never drink too much without eating, as it could lower the sodium levels in your blood. It is recommended to eat about 200-300 calories per hour and drink small sips now and again. Overdoing it with snacking can only bring you discomfort, so even if you are hungry stick to your schedule. You can go days without eating but not without drinking so keep your water rations reasonably high. Sometimes you will have an opportunity to refill them if you find a fresh source of water on your trail.
Stay In Shape Beforehand
This is probably the most important thing you should do. Before going on your hike, make a habit of going for a walk every day. Those walks should be a little bit longer and longer with each passing day. Focus on strengthening your leg and core muscles. The best exercise to do when preparing for a hike is doing planks and squats on a regular basis. Watch your posture during the hike, it will be more difficult to keep the tempo and you are putting yourself at risk of hurting your back if you walk hunched. Do light stretches before you get on the trail to warm up your muscles.
Find a Partner
The best way to keep your hike comfortable and safe is by bringing a friend with you. It is never a good idea to go alone because you never know when you can get injured or lost and need urgent help. It will also make your hiking trip feel like more of an adventure. Admiring nature and keeping up the pace will be easier with someone by your side. Bring a camera with you and savor those memories forever.
Choose the Right Trail
If you are only a beginner and especially if you have never been hiking before, always go for a shorter trail. It is all about practice because there are some things that you need to see and experience for yourself to know how to handle them later on. Taking up a big challenge immediately could be dreadful and it could turn you away from hiking as a whole. Try to remember your trail to the smallest detail beforehand and always carry some sort of navigation with you.
Going for a hike could be a great way to experience something new and exciting. Preparation for it could also benefit you in the long run because it will help you get in shape. If you want to be comfortable it is crucial to be self-aware, plan everything carefully, and according to your possibilities.