What You Need to Know Before Your Hike
Hiking is a fantastic hobby to get into and a great way to explore an area whether it’s in your neighborhood or in a vacation destination. If you’re planning on a hiking-focused adventure trip, or you simply want to tackle a local hiking trail, then it pays to be prepared. Here are our top things to know before going on a hike.
Know What to Expect
Before you take your first step on your adventure, the only way that you can be prepared is to know what you’re likely to face. This may vary depending on where you’re hiking and at what time of year.
This is where your research will start. Ideally, you will have a route already planned out and either a physical map or a map downloaded on a fully-charged device. Getting lost is no joke. Even a short hike in a relatively “safe” area can turn bad very quickly if you get lost. Your first few hikes should be in well-marked and traveled areas until you’re confident in your navigation abilities.
You should also research the terrain and any local wildlife. This way, you know what hazards may appear on your hike. Finally, you should check the weather before you travel. The weather will determine what you wear and, in some cases, it may be too severe to hike.
As well as researching the specific hike, it’s helpful to read about other people’s experiences and learn from them. Read about people like Brian McPeek who are experienced hikers who take on some major challenges. Their preparations will help you to plan for your next major adventure.
The Right Equipment
Once you know exactly what to expect, it’s time to make some more concrete preparations. As well as your navigation tools, you need to have the right equipment and gear for the hike. While you might be able to wear sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt on a stroll around the neighborhood, the same is not true for a hike.
First, you need to come equipped with the right clothing. This will be informed by the weather, terrain, and length of the hike. However, you should at least invest in some decent walking shoes or boots.
Walking shoes will stay comfortable and secure throughout the entire hike so that you’re less likely to develop blisters or slip and fall due to poor footing. As well as that, a waterproof jacket will protect you from any sudden downpours. If the weather is likely to be cold, then wear layers to retain heat.
As well as clothing, you should also bring the right equipment and supplies. A backpack can carry everything you need for the hike, especially if you plan on a long excursion. Pack water and food to keep you going. Even a shorter hike requires some food and water.
However, you should also carry a flashlight and a first aid kit. If something does go wrong, then these could potentially save your life. On a similar note, tell a friend where you’re going and how long you should be. Longer hikes will require more supplies, but you also don’t want to become overburdened.