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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksOne satisfying outdoor adventure you can have in Spring is to go on a hike. There are many physical and psychological benefits of hiking. These include a reduction in stress levels and improvement in your physical fitness. Planning is very important because a trek is more fun when you are prepared for the unexpected. But if you are new to hiking, there are some things you need to remember before starting off on your adventure. With these hiking tips, you can make each of your hikes an adventure to remember.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

If you haven’t been on a hike — or it has been a while — it would help if you choose an easy trail for your first time out. If you are used to taking walks on a flat surface, go for a hike that is a little shorter than usual. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. Steep inclines can be difficult to manage for an inexperienced hiker.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

A common mistake among beginning hikers is bringing the wrong gear. Make sure that you are safe and hydrated on your hike. Wear light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. Appropriate clothing helps prevent sunburns and insect bites, as well as protect you from scrapes and scratches. A hat and a sturdy pair of sneakers or hiking boots are also crucial. To top it off, pack a backpack with snacks, extra clothing, and more than enough water than you think you might need. There are about ten essential items a hiker must always have with him.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

Getting lost can make your hiking trip really unpleasant. A map or a GPS device can help ensure that you find your way around the area you will be traveling through. Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the map ahead of time and orient yourself to the location. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. If you are planning to use your phone or another device, be sure to bring a backup battery. You can also put your phone in airplane mode to make the battery’s charge last longer.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Many hikers like to start off on their trek early in the morning. Hiking is safer and more enjoyable when daytime temperatures are not very high. To make your hike a safe one, check the local weather reports and plan the timing of your trek. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Hiking at a comfortable place will ensure that you can complete the trek without overexerting yourself.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Brush up on basic hiking etiquette. This will be useful when you are on a busy trail. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Give way to bikes and horses. Hiking with friends is fun, but remember to keep your voices down. Be polite and say hello to other hikers as well. Keep your dogs, or other pets, leashed at all times. Do not litter. Your trash does not belong on the trail. Granola bar wrappers, empty water bottles, and so on should never be left on the trail.

Tip #6: Use the Buddy System

The last of our hiking tips is to get a friend to hike with you since they can help you in case there’s an emergency. If you will hike alone, leave your itinerary with someone who knows when to expect you back. This information will be vital in case you get lost.

Follow these simple hiking tips, so you can enjoy a safe hike.

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