Hiking is an exciting low-impact outdoor activity. It provides several mental and physical benefits. So, if you are considering taking part in it, you need to get it right at every stage. That way, you will experience maximum benefits that go way beyond exhilaration and scenic beauty. Hiking involves a lot more than taking nature walk; there is always something unforeseen and many variables. Understandably, its unpredictability makes it exceptionally enjoyable. Use the following hiking tips for your forthcoming trek to be a successful excursion
5 Essential Tips to Go On a Hike
Choose the right trail according to your fitness level
Identify a hiking site that is slightly shorter than your usual walking distance along a paved or level surface. Familiarize yourself with it and use a pace of about two miles per hour to estimate the time you will need. Conduct some research for the best time to go on a hike, elevation gain and what people have to say about the trail. Review changes in elevation and schedule one hour for any benefit of 1000 feet.
Have suitable footwear
Make sure you have a high quality and appropriate footwear for the trek. Bring along extra hiking shoes preferably featuring ankle protection. Note that some ankle cuffs are too high. Consequently, the brands that are scooped on the rear come in handy. Put on your trekking shoes before the date of your hiking; the last thing you want is for blisters (because your feet have not bedded in your boots proper) to ruin your outing. Purchase your shoes in the afternoon (feet expand slightly at such times) to ensure you get the right size.
Check the Weather
Read the forecasts a couple of days before, and also some hours before hiking. Use the information you get to carry along the necessary gear and dress appropriately. If meteorologists indicate that the weather will be unpleasant, change your plans immediately. You would instead take part in another activity and postpone your trekking to another favorable day than have an awful experience on the trail.
Make sure a relative or loved one is aware of your plans to go on a hike. Inform them about your itinerary, and the time they should expect you. Tell them verbally, and write down as well, the location and the time they should worry and call for help. Set your worry time(the time someone should raise the alarm) several hours after your planned finish to cater for slow hiking, longer stays on a section due to stunning views and a probable injury forcing you to spend more time nursing it. In case of any reasonable delay, let everyone know that you are running late.
Pack the ten Pre-requisites
These are the essentials you need to remain safe while trekking. Depending on the nature of your track, you can increase or reduce appropriately. The items are Navigation system (map and compass), sun protection (sunscreen and sunglasses), first aid kit, Insulation (additional clothing), illumination (flashlight), nutrition (food), hydration, (adequate water), fire source (lighter, candle or waterproof matches), repair equipment and emergency shelter. The last can be in the form of a tent, plastic table and garbage bag.
Hiking suits everyone. Provided you follow the above tried and tested tips, you will not only enjoy the activity but also derive maximum physical and mental benefits from it. While at it, remember to do your best to leave the trail better than you found. Be responsible, respect other users of the track (including wild animals) and obey all the signs you come across.