How to Hike Right – Tips to Make Your Hiking Experience Safe and Enjoyable

by Robb Dorf on Aug 26, 2018

How to Hike Right – Tips to Make Your Hiking Experience Safe and Enjoyable

Hiking is an activity that not only gives you a good workout but also gives you a profound sense of achievement. However, hiking can also be a strenuous and potentially life-threatening activity if not done correctly or safely. Here are some tips to make your hiking experience both safe and enjoyable.

Do Your Research

Always do your research before proceeding on a hike. If it’s your first time hiking, research potential short hiking trails close to where you live. Look for exhaustive guidebooks and online resources that can give you a very detailed idea of the trail, seasonal variations, tips, hacks, and recommendations. For seasoned hikers who are on the lookout for new challenges, understand your limitations and do not push yourself to levels that your body may not be able to handle.

Hiking Essentials

There are certain hiking supplies that should be carried with you on the trail. These can vary depending on the duration of your hike. In terms of equipment, carry your guidebook, map, a compass, a small flashlight, and a lighter or matches.

Other recommended items are binoculars and snacks like nutrition bars to keep you topped up in case you get hungry.

Always remember to pack light as a heavy backpack can literally weigh you down making the hiking experience harder than it needs to be.

Wear the correct type of footwear for adequate support and blood circulation. Laced-up shoes, hiking boots or combat boots are all good options. Ensure you are fully covered if you are hiking during seasonal periods where there is a tendency for ticks. Remember to test your shoes for a few days before you use them on your hiking trails.

Remember to have a cap, sunglasses, plenty of water, and sunscreen handy to protect you from the sun, heat, and dehydration.

Stay on the Trail

Remember to always stay on the trail and follow guideposts and recommendations. Keep an eye out for dangerous wild animals like snakes or boars. Do not attempt to feed any animal in the wild while on your trail.

Take Breaks and Stay Hydrated

It’s important to take regular breaks throughout your hike to get rest and to sustain your energy levels for the rest of the trip. Eat your nutrition bars and other snacks and drink water during these breaks.

Safety in Numbers

It is always recommended to travel in a group with other hikers, particularly if you’re a beginner. There is safety in numbers, even if you are an experienced hiker. If you absolutely must travel alone, please ensure you keep family and friends updated of your plans and when they should expect to hear back from you. Also, have a realistic estimate of how long your hike will take in total.

Prepare for an Emergency

Last but not the least, whether you’re hiking for the first time, or have done the same hike a million times over, it’s important to always have a backup plan in case of an emergency. Have your first aid kit with you at all times and remember to carry your cell phone with you, although you may not necessarily have coverage everywhere and at all times.