You will have to take a number of measures to ensure that your hike is a pleasant experience. If you equip yourself properly, you will be able to avoid blisters, rashes, injuries, as well as other undesired experiences, which will give you more time to enjoy and experience nature in its glory. Some of the favorite hiking destinations include trails like the Yosemite National Park and the Glacier National Park, among many others.
The first tip is mainly for beginners. It does not mean that seasoned hikers can neglect this tip. It is important to start hiking early in the day. Most experts are of the opinion that it is rather sensible to start hiking at 3 or 4 in the morning, even if it is a day hike. The weather can change drastically at higher altitudes, and since most hikes are conducted in such places, starting off early will make sure that you are back down during the vulnerable afternoon hours. There is another benefit of starting in the morning―you will hike in cooler weather in the morning, rather than sweating it out in the afternoon heat. This will also mean that you will have to carry a lighter load, as you won't need to carry a lot of water with you.
Since we are anyway talking about the load you need to carry, another important tip is to carry less weight. You will have to use a minimalistic approach when it comes to food, clothing, and other essentials. Consider all the risks involved when you are planning a hike. If you are going on a hiking trail on a well established path, you will need lesser survival items, as chances that you will get lost or hurt are far less. Take out time to think what to pack for your trip.
The next tips is about clothes. Choose clothes which you are comfortable in. If you are hiking in the winter months, you should dress up like an onion, in layers. In case you feel warm at any point of time, you can remove the top layers. At the same time, these clothes should be light, so that you will not have a tough time trudging with luggage up and down. Along with your clothes, your shoes should also be comfortable. Do not wear a new pair of shoes when you are going hiking. There are more chances of getting blisters with new shoes, and that's the last thing you would want to deal with while on a hike.
Do Your Groundwork
You should know your hiking route or trail, as well as the terrain, well. Plan your journey by researching on the hike you are going to undertake. If you are going to a park, there is abundant information available about them. You may want to choose to print the maps that are available. You may also want to carry information regarding the field guide. This will minimize the time you need to spend looking and memorizing a new plant or an insect you notice in the wilderness.
Reduce the Number of Breaks
Once you start your hike, you should make sure you do not take too many breaks. You will need to maintain a consistent speed and minimize the number of stops which you take. Speed and rest stops help in identifying a novice hiker from an expert hiker. A novice hike will have bursts of speed and energy and it will be followed by rest stops. This results in slowing down the general speed.
Tips for Children
Do you plan to take your kids along with you? Well, then you will have to educate them about nature, and also get them into an exercise routine before taking them along. When at the trail, take care that your kids drink sufficient water, and do not dehydrate themselves at any point of time. Kids have a tendency to run in the beginning. This exhausts them and they have to be carried or pulled around later, which is certainly not the best of ideas.
Tips for Women
The most important thing for women to keep in mind while hiking is to take care of their safety. The trail can have predators. You will have to take the required precautions to protect yourself from them. One very important thing to consider carrying along is a can of pepper spray to protect yourself. Women should make sure that they never hike alone under any circumstances. Not only will you be safe with a group, but it is also more fun hiking with company, rather than doing it alone.
Now that you are equipped with the proper tips and suggestions about hiking, you can start your preparations for the trip. Use this checklist so that you can keep track of your preparations. If possible, you can speak to someone who has already been to the same place before. Doing this will enable you to be armed with firsthand tips for that particular hike. A hiking trip is supposed to be relaxing and help you enjoy nature. So go out there and have a great time.