Evaluate Your Hiking Abilities

When first starting out hiking and even later, you should always evaluate your abilities before beginning any journey. Comparing them to your plans and, if needed, changing your plans. Although hiking is not inherently a dangerous sport, many people get hurt when they overestimate their abilities or are not properly prepared. Before starting any hike, always consider and evaluate the following:

Your Physical Abilities
It is extremely important for you to know your own physical abilities and limitations. Weather, terrain and altitude are all conditions that affect how physically challenging your hike is going to be and you should always expect the worst. When evaluating your physical condition, hiking is very specific exercise and there is more to consider than just your endurance or strength, especially when you plan on carrying a heavy backpack. Your body will need time to adjust to the added and specific strains of hiking.

Technical Knowledge, Outdoor Skills & Experience
You needed to know your abilities and limitations when it comes to your technical knowledge, skills and experience. You should not plan a hike that requires climbing rock faces, crossing rivers, outdoor camping, water filtering, compass navigation or any other skills if you do not yet posses these skills. All of these skills need to be learned before you can perform them. We will help you learn some of the basics but that is no substitute for the real-life practice you will need before you can perform these skills.

Mental Preparation
You will also need to know a lot about your own mental stability and strength. Consider how you would deal with possible accidents or unforeseen situations. How would you react if you got lost What would you do if the weather turned dangerous How would you handle a badly twisted ankle Being mentally prepared for such incidents and working out in your mind how you would deal with these situations can greatly help you if actually experience them. And course, always be prepared

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