Setting out on a hiking trip poses many potential dangers if you don’t know what you’re doing or have not prepared well. Here are some of our best tips to have a good time and stay safe.
- Always have a hiking buddy. If you are heading to a quiet trail you are especially at risk because no one will be able to aid you should you need assistance.
- Pack enough water, and stay hydrated. Make sure you carry enough water for the entire day, and remember that as you drink it, your pack will get lighter!
- Small snacks will keep your energy up. Think ahead of time and pack more snacks than you think you need.
- Inform someone of your hiking plans. Similar to tip #1 - do not head outside if no one knows you are gone. Even if it’s for a quick 1 hour hike- drop your friend a text message so they know where you are if no one hears from you for the rest of the day!
- Organize your pack so you have the important items up top. The things you need to get to regularly - sunscreen, snack bars, water, and the map should be easily grabbable.
- Double check your emergency and first aid kits before each long hike. Basic first-aid essentials for most outings should be: adhesive bandages (various sizes), medical or duct tape, moleskin, sterile gauze, ibuprofen, Benadryl, antibiotic ointment, and alcohol wipes.
- Carry your clothes and sleeping bag in waterproof bags - for overnight hikes in a rainy climate. Cold and wet is a deadly combination - staying dry is critical!
- Keep your hands elevated by using your pack straps, or trek poles. The all too common issue of swelling hands can occur on even an hour long hike. Use trek poles to keep your hands elevated and the muscles active.
- Respect the environment. Respect the beautiful nature that you encounter, and don’t add to or cause destruction. Do not create cairns, tree blazes, or any other sign to mark the trail. Pick up your garbage, and remember that you are a guest.
There you have it! Nine easy tips to make your hike more enjoyable. Always remember to only hike within your abilities, and to research the trail you are heading to and the supplies you will need. Stay safe!