Hiking: 6 Things You Need to Know

by Bert Maxwell / Apr 24, 2017 /
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Hiking is a great outdoor adventure – you can explore nature to your heart’s content, travel to new places, and challenge your body and mind. But it isn’t easy – you need to be prepared in a variety of ways, as well as be aware of your environment at all times. There can be too many accidents.

Hiking: 6 things you need to know

Here are 6 things you need to know before hiking:

1.    Do your research! Look at guidebooks and maps, reconnaissance the area, read the signs. Knowledge is power. Know how long your trail is, so that you can be prepared.

2.    Be sure you’re fit enough. If you’re not ready to hike for long periods, start with small hikes and work your way up. Hike like a turtle – going slow and steady will get you to the end. Work on your endurance with shorter hikes before you tackle long, arduous hikes.

3.    Have the right gear. Shoes too tight? That won’t work – you’ll need to call for assistance because of your bleeding feet. Be sure to have the correct hiking gear for your situation – whether it is the weather, the terrain, or the mosquitoes. Be sure to include a cell phone with GPS in your gear – you may need it to get to your destination – or call for help, in an emergency. And, as always, be prepared for any weather with the right gear (see more details at thegearhunt.com). 

4.    Pack water and snacks. It’s a pretty basic rule: don’t drink unfiltered water. You will get sick! Be sure to pack and drink plenty, though, to stay hydrated. Carry protein-filled snacks, too, to ensure you reach your destination without starving. And, remember, you’ll need to hike back – so plan on water and snacks for both ways of your hike.

5.    Watch for Snakes (and other creatures). Don’t forget that you share the terrain with others! Be aware of snakes, bears, and other wild animals. Be respectful, and don’t bother any of them. Know the rules for coping with various animals in the area in which you’re hiking.

Snake!

Gators!

6.    It’s about the Journey! One of my students once wrote, “While hiking, it’s about the destination, your rising heartbeat, and the constant shallow breathing.” All your preparations will leave you ready to truly enjoy your hike – and all the things you see along the way. Have fun!

Wild Ferns