Hiking is an exciting way to enjoy the serene landscapes with your loved ones. When you set out on a fun hike, you can explore unseen natural views that are almost impossible to reach through usual roads. Hiking also brings its challenges, which makes you forget your everyday worries, stress, and anxiety. But if you are not a seasoned hiker, you may get intimidated by the task. Maybe you are not confident about your stamina or worried about getting lost on the way. To remove your apprehensions regarding hiking, we discuss five things to note while planning for your next hike.
Regardless of which time of the year, checking the weather forecast is crucial before you head out on the hike. Moreover, the temperatures can vary hugely with the elevation change, and sometimes, there can be as much as 30 degrees Celcius difference between morning and night. Add to that the inconvenience caused by occasional downpours or blizzards. You must be confident that your health condition is able enough to handle such abrupt weather changes. If you are hiking an area having sub-zero temperatures, take precautions against common cold-related ailments like bronchitis, the common cold, the flu, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, and norovirus.
Uncomfortable clothes such as tight t-shirts and jeans are not ideal for harsh atmospheres on your hike. Wear breathable clothes to remain warm or cool, depending on the weather. The trick to facing severe colds in rough mountain passes like the north col is to wear layers of clothes. You can put on long underwear or leggings beneath your hiking pants to keep yourself comfortable. Take a hat to save yourself from heat or snowfall.
Choosing the perfect shoes is one of the most critical aspects of a rough terrain hike. If the terrain is snowy, buy yourself a pair of rugged mountaineering shoes. Go with synthetic lightweight shoe materials like polyester to ensure proper breathing and movability. Wear soft socks and lace your shoes tightly. Break in the new boots a week ahead to avoid discomfort during the hike.
Short hikes require a handful of things. The weight you carry will have a bearing on your progress on the hike, and therefore, only pack the essential items suggested by packing guides.
- On long trails, you will need navigation tools. Bring a GPS and a map of the locale to keep track of your position and the way ahead.
- Store enough water that will last you at least 3X the time your hike is supposed to take. Your body can’t perform optimally without proper fluid intake. Whether the weather is hot or freezing, keep drinking water throughout your journey.
- Bring dry and packaged snacks to sustain the tiresome hikes. Try to avoid spicy fast food and pack some chocolate and protein bars.
- Carry a raincoat, umbrella, and tent materials to shelter yourself from sudden rain, storm, or heavy snowfall.
- Bring safety items like a flashlight, a firestarter, and a whistle to get through unanticipated situations.
- Carry a first-aid kit to treat accidental wounds and fractures.
- If you are hiking away from public facilities, carry toiletries such as toilet paper, waste bags, wipes, and hand sanitizer.
When you are about to engage in a taxing physical activity like hiking, you must provide your body with the necessary nutrients so that you are brimming with energy. Besides fuelling your body with proper food and liquids, get adequate rest on the previous day to keep your muscles calm and strong. A good night’s sleep not only relaxes the body but also refreshes your mind and improves your mood, which will help you take on the challenges of the upcoming hike.
Finish your meal two hours before the expedition, and also drink water around the same time. You should have enough time to go to the washroom before hitting the trail. Include healthy carbs in your pre-hike dish, which include: fat-free yogurt, brown rice, whole-wheat toast, whole-grain cereals, pasta, fruits, and leafy vegetables. Complex carbs are easy to digest and won’t make you sluggish on the hike.
No matter how excited you are about your hiking adventure, you need to get to the place safely first. Are there flights from your city to the hiking location? Some cheaper airlines will take you to smaller airports that are quite far from the hiking destination. So be ready to pay more if there is a flight taking you close to your destination. Also, check if you can get easy transports from the airport to the trail’s starting point.
The accommodation facilities will largely depend on the region and the weather. If your hike is long (2-3 days) and you wish to wild sleep in the open, you better check the weather forecast. A stormy night is not ideal for resting in your tent. Different countries have different rules regarding wild camping, so check this in advance.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or going on your first hike, it is one of the best adventures to enjoy nature with your friends and family. Hiking provides a delightful break in our monotonous routines and rejuvenates us to the core. So set your doubts aside, relax, and experience the scenic outdoors at your own pace.