A hiking adventure is one of lifes little joys. Whether is a short jaunt in your neighborhood or an epic journey, the fresh air, exposure to nature, exercise and good friends can help clear your mind. For those of us that get it, there isnt much better if youre prepared. However, if youre not properly prepared, I can imagine a only a few worse things. Even if you are hiking a mile or two close to home or on an epic backcountry trek, these tips will help you get the most enjoyment out of your hiking experience.
- Plan your trip. You can plan too little but its tough to plan too much.
- Get in shape and put yourself in the best possible position to enjoy yourself.
- Check the weather forecast. Any weather different than you expect can turn a good hike bad.
- Dress for success. Layer your clothing and be sure you have the proper footwear.
- Have the essentials. Proper planning will help with this. Take the essentials and get the lightest gear you can afford especially for long hikes.
- Plan to be out longer than you think. If you think two hours, plan for at least four hours. Four days, plan for a week.
- Prepare for the worst. Have a first-aid kit, know how you use it and you also know basic CPR.
- Food and water. Its okay to ration food, but never ration water. If you are thirsty, drink. Decision-making skills drop significantly when you are dehydrated.
- Slow down. If you are hiking only for exercise, youre missing an important part. Nature is all around you. Pay attention. The reward is worth it.
- Bring a friend or two. Like most things in life, sharing a hike with someone can make it even better.
There are thousands of great places to hike in North America. Check out our trail guides or connect with a local hiking club for hikes in your area. Either way, it is up to you to get out there and get the most out of your hikes!