A good ol’ hike can be tons of fun – getting up close and personal with nature, being adventurous and exploring unseen locations is a thrilling experience. But, there are a few do’s and don’ts one should be mindful of when planning a hiking trip, especially if you’re a newbie, to make the whole experience stress-free.
1. Flock Together
If you have never been on a hiking trip before, it is highly recommended to go with a group. You will learn the ins and outs from your peers and will have fun socializing with other who also love being out and about in nature. Also, hiking in a group is safer, and you can even think of adding a campout to your hiking expedition for added thrills.
2. Know Your Comfort Zone
While it is good to push yourself in most life situations, do not push yourself out of your comfort zone when hiking if you are a beginner. This ALSO holds true if you have any health-related conditions which could cause serious issues on an extreme difficulty level hike. Hiking is supposed to be enjoyable, not boot-camp.
3. Layer It Up
Firstly, check the weather forecast before you set off to hike. Accordingly, wear layered clothing, especially if there is a possibility of weather fluctuating throughout the trip. Long-sleeves are useful in most situations, because it aids with safety during mosquito season. Make sure you carry any weather-related essentials, if you are expecting cold weather, rain or extreme sunlight. Also, avoid cotton and denim – if you get wet, this could result in hypothermia given the nature of cotton as a fabric. lastly, carry an extra change of clothing, including extra socks, and wear comfortable shoes that support your ankles and provide sufficient grip.
4. Travel Light, But Be Thorough
It is important to travel light because you don’t want to get exhausted while hiking uphill because you have an overstuffed bag. At the same time, you need to be thorough in your packing to avoid missing out on any essentials. It is recommended you carry belongings in a waterproof bag with sufficient storage compartments and keep the following handy: plastic bags, pocket knife, lighter/matches, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, extra socks, flashlight, batteries, emergency food and water supply, pepper spray, bug spray, whistle, first aid kit, phone power bank, toilet kit, hand sanitizer and emergency contact info.
5. Safe, Not Sorry
While hiking, make sure you practice various safety measures, such as pacing yourself so you don’t get exhausted quickly, taking enough breaks to recharge yourself, staying hydrated to avoid falling ill and not touching unknown plants and animals. Start on time, because a late start will cause a late return, and unknown areas become difficult to navigate post-sunset. Most importantly, make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you are expected to return, in case of an emergency.
~Blog Written By: Amanda Sodhi
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