I take it that you might have asked for some hiking tips to make your hiking journey go well, you are not alone.
Statistics reveal that there are nearly 200 yearly searches for persons lost or stranded while on a hike in New York alone and that Nationally, 6.3% of injuries are directly related to outdoor recreation.
It turns out that you can successfully start and complete a hike for the first time without drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.
In this post i will be showing you 50 hiking tips that thousands of people have used successfully for hiking a trail, that you can also easily use. This post ranges from basic hiking tips to essential systems that will keep you on the go.
- Plan Your Hike
- Learn To Navigate
- Stay Hydrated
- Hike Smart
- Stay Protected
- Completing The Trail
Hiking Tips: Plan Your Hike
Hiking: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin
1. Know Everything You Can About Hiking
Nothing can be compared to knowledge. Before starting a hike, it would be best to know everything you can. You should never take hiking lightly because there would be serious repercussions if you do so.
Knowing the tools, gears needed for a hike is a good start. Even reading this post is already a better start.
2. Get The Money Right
Just imagine someone going out for a vacation outside the country with no budget; that person is sure to get into trouble in a way or the other.
That is how it is for someone going on a hike. Before setting foot on a trail, you need to budget for food, gears, clothing and even gear repairs.
Lack of money (cash) has being one of the reasons why people quit so easily while on a hike. I assume you don’t want to be that person.
This is what you do, know the days the hike is going to take and identify resources need. That should give you a head-start of the amount to budget.
3. Get The Gears Needed For The Hike
Well, i have not seen any hiker without gears. Gears are basic requirements for a hike. They help the hiking journey to be a little bit smoother than it’s supposed to be.
Identify and get all the ones you needed, because they will be very useful during your journey.
Take for example i want to climb a mountainous or hilly region, i will simply make use of a hike pole instead of putting lots of pressure on my knees or doing something else that will probably get me frustrated.
And my friend, frustration is not something you should entertain while on a hike.
4. Get Weather Forecast
Oh! This is very important just like every other tip there. To avoid hypothermia and any other cold related sickness, it is best you know the weather forecast for the period of time your hiking will take.
This will go in a long way of ensuring you stay healthy and sound and even to make the journey interesting. But if you are hell bent on going, well, good luck! Sunshine is better than rainfall in this case.
5. Let Someone Know Where You Are Going And When To Return
Before embarking on this treacherous, life seeking, joy provoking adventure, tell your loved ones or a neighbor about it so as to be on the safer side of things (i mean when things get out of hands and blurring and tantalizing and what again *wink*).
6. Know The Location Of Your Destination And How To Get There
There is actually a study which says that there are searches for 200 lost people yearly or stranded in the wilderness.
For both of us not to be one of them, it becomes necessary and non-optional for us to study our maps as though we are preparing for a big speech that will put the world in silence.
7. Plan For Resupply
We discussed this point earlier if you recall. But this time, we will take it from another perspective. Your budget should also include resupply when you are actually on the trail.
You can get this supplies from a business in town that you have previously made arrangements with or from businesses along the way in a trail town.
8. Get Postcards And Packages From Love Ones
This tip might not be too valid, but it becomes important when you have loved ones who support you in every and any way.
At times when you get lonely, you can pick and read one of the cards to get yourself stable and lively (know what i mean right? What to relate to). You should make sure packages are lightweight.
9. Be In A Good Condition
Try to always be in a good physical condition before your hiking preparation. If at all you insist on going, make sure to match your condition with the trail that you plan to hike.
And also, make sure to take all necessary medication or better still, see your doctor.
11. Prepare Mentally and physically for your trip
This is about putting everything in place; at home, work and every other place where you play an active role of doing a thing or the other.
Do physical exercises like jugging, running, to keep your body fit and prepared for whats to come. So that when you get started on the heart warming, joy provoking trip, you won’t have wandering concerns about things you did and didn’t do.
These statistics highlights some benefits of hiking
Hiking: When walking alone in jungle of true darkness, there are three things that can show you the way: instinct to survive, the knowledge of navigation, creative imagination. Without them, you are lost – Toba beta Click to tweet
1. Get A Map And A Compass
A Compass and a map both go hand in hand. Ensure to carry along a clearly written and informative topographic map of the trail you are planning to hike and study it extensively.
Go outside your schedule to learn what meter, mile, true north, magnetic north is. Check this video out
2. Hike With Someone Or A Group
The attendant benefit is that you get aid for injuries, knowledge from professional hikers and mostly, you have someone to talk with.
3. Stay On Trail Never Shortcut Switchbacks
The primary reason for this, is for you not to destroy the trail. Actually, there are other setbacks like getting lost or sustaining an injury.
Hiking Tips: Stay Hydrated
Hiking: Water makes up nearly 85% of your brain, about 80% of your blood and 70% of your lean muscle. So, basically, you need it Click to tweet
1. Drink Water Often To Stay Hydrated
The importance of water in this scenario cannot be overemphasized. The science is that when you are doing any recreational activity, your metabolism rate becomes faster than normal.
You begin to sweat profusely, thereby losing lots of water. Your kidney does this processing and as result you need to keep drinking water to keep a balance.
2. Take A Lot Of Drinking Water
If you don’t know how to purify water while on the go, Just carry two gallons of water (joking) with you, because you really need it. The point is, you need a lot of water to remain hydrated, so, you need to carry a lot of water.
3. Avoid Using Stimulants
Alcohol and caffeine causes dehydration. From what we have seen above, dehydration is the last thing we want.
4. Don’t Rely On Water Bodies You Will Find Along The Trail
Stream, river and lake water looks clean and all. The truth is that it can make you ill except you purify. Its best to avoid it.
A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether. Click to tweet
1. Hike Your Own Hike
It means a lot of things to different people. I mean, we all have a different thinking style. But generally, it means doing what you think is best for you not conforming to the standards of any other person.
But if you are a competitive person, this tip is probably useless to you.
2. Use Appropriate Footwear
Have you heard about the hummer and how it rides on the rough terrain of desert places unscathed? Well, that’s your leg we are talking about. Your leg is the moving wheel in this hike. So, you have to protect, care for it in all ways at all cost.
Depending on the distance of the trail, your steps could be from a few million to tens of millions. Don’t use new boots for a hike, you are asking for blisters.
3. Get Sunglasses and Sunscreen
Use sunglasses to prevent your eyes from harmful solar radiation since they block hundred percent of UV rays. That means you can avoid getting cataract and photokeratitis and in turn, wear sunscreen to protect your skin from radiation.
4. Take A Hat With You
Well, the purpose is similar to that of the sunglasses. Use the hat to prevent the scotches of the sun from directly your head. Hike smart.
5. Always Keep Your Pack Organized
Organization is the mother of excellent (i invented that). How easy would it really be for you to know exactly how your pack is arranged?
In such a way that, for instance, when you need drinking water (which you will need a lot), you know exactly where to take it from or in need of a snack, you easily get it without the hassle of unpacking everything you have so graciously packed. Eh?
Answer me! *hands on the waist* ():
6. Get Your Gear Weight Down
Be a lightweight is the ultimate rule here. The less things you carry, the more enjoyable the hike becomes. If at all you are supposed to carry anything weighty, it should be food (including snacks and fruits) and water.
7. Take Extra Clothing
This includes but not limited to pants, shirt, inner and outer socks, fleece jacket. You need them to sustain yourself during the hike. Your clothes you should be lightweight and light-colored.
8. Get A Hiking Pole
Hiking pole has saved a lot of people every time out. A hiking pole acts like your third leg where you lay pressure on. You can use it to tap logs, cross creeks and use at camp site for a lamp post and others. Knee braces are also good to take along.
9. Leave Cotton Clothes At Home
It takes a lot of time for a cotton cloth to dry considering that it absorbs lots of water. Cold related sickness (hypothermia) might just creep out of nowhere because your cotton cloth was wet. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.
10. Take Lot Of Snacks With You
Eat before, during and after your hike. The “during” part is only possible with snacks because it’s more easier to eat snacks while on the go. Food is your body’s primary source of fuel.
11. Wear A Watch
Checking time with your watch, will help you keep to schedule and at the same to know know when to take a break.
12. Be Aware Of The Surroundings And Landmarks
Map, map, map. It is good to know your map but its better to know what’s written on your map in a real time environment. Landmarks can really help you by knowing where you are from the map. So, essentially, they can direct your paths.
13. Never Leave Your Wits Behind
Maybe you saw a big python (like the one in the anaconda film. anyone?) while on the hike, then you decided not to continue. If i were you, i will slaughter it and continue my hike. Nothing can stop me from completing my hike. Lol.
14. Have Blankets And Waterproof Matches
You never know the importance of thing not until you are in need of it. Blankets and waterproof matches are both essentials.
15. Practice Leave No Trace Ethics
Leaving no trace is a way of keeping this beloved planet clean. Please and please carry biodegradable materials if at all you intend on disposing anything while on the trail.
16. Take A Break at least every hour
In the long run, taking breaks will not slow you down. During the period of taking breaks, you excrete metabolic waste that must have accumulated in your body over time. Use this opportunity to prop your legs, take photographs etc.
Further Reading: How to Begin Hiking
Hiking – The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine. Click to tweet
1. Get And Prepare First-Aid Supplies
Know how to use your first aid supplies then carry them along with you. Its best to prevent any form of emergency situation than to treat it. The basics are bandages, cleaners, adhesive tapes and latex gloves.
2. Watch Out For Booby Traps
There’s been some development in some hiking trails where cyclists and hikers have being harassing themselves. They set booby traps just to vent their anger best know to them. Be vigilant.
3. Never Disturb A Reptile And Other Wildlife Animals
Some hiking trails are known to be paraded although rare by reptilian animals, bears, mountain lions. These animals are dangerous. When you see any of these please move stealthily. Let the sleeping dog lie.
4. Get A GPS Tracker
It helps you stay on track along with the map and compass. And in other scenarios, it can be used to find someone (not you) who got lost.
5. Carry Flashlights, Batteries And Bulbs
Flashlights are useful in the dark. Use them at night to stay safe.
6. Repair Kits And Tools
Knives, screwdriver is part of the tools which undoubtedly can be used for food preparation. While stoves, tents, duct tapes, shoelace and more are part of the repair kits. All of these are necessary for survival.
7. Get A Leukotape
It is used for blister prevention. One of the hiking tip that you should also hold dear, is your ability to minimize injury. Before starting a hike, use the leukotape to tape hot spots and friction spot with the aim of preventing blisters.
Hiking: Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food – Hippocrates Click to tweet
1. Eat More Than You Normally Do
Food is your primary source of fuel. It is advisable to eat twice as you normally do before setting off.
Remember, you are not eating to sleeping, or sit like you normally do at home. Instead, you are eating to hike. You can take hiking food for a week, month depending on budget and distance of trail.
2. Cooking Stuff/Nuts
While it’s nice to taking cooking stuff, also take some snacks along with you, its also necessary to take nuts, dried fruits, and candy.
3. Eat Bananas and Raisins and Other Fruits
Cramps are one of the many feelings you get while on a hike. To prevent or to reduce the feeling, carry bananas and raisins along with you to consume them when needed. In the case of a long trip, you can take unripe ones with you.
Hiking: We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness – Petra Nemcova Click to tweet
1. Carry The Means To Start And Sustain An Emergency Fire
This is one of the use of carrying matches with you, to start a fire. When you feel cold, all you need do is to start a campfire to keep warm. Or maybe you want to signal someone your location. Learn how to start a fire.
2. Take Your Cellphone With You
Use your cell phone solely for emergency calls.
3. Also Carry A Flare Gun
Use flare gun for better visibility for signaling someone and it more reliable.
Completing The Trail
Hiking: Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it – Greg Anderson Click to tweet
1. Positive Thinking
That’s what others call the “i can do it mentality no matter what”. Try to be rigid towards your hike. Don’t be discouraged by the distance, the new strange feelings you have just started experiencing.
2. Have A Goal
To successfully accomplish anything, set a goal. Have objectives and most importantly a plan to match.
3. Create A Flexible Schedule For Your Goal
Your plan should be concrete and detailed as possible. Account for setbacks and whatnot. If you are first time hiker, its best you seek counsel from a pro.
4. Avoid Mental Fatigue
Take photos and listen to songs to avoid mental fatigue. Mental fatigue can really make you a downer when hiking the trail. Try filming yourself, read books, write your experience in journal to keep mentally sound.
5. Maintain Focus
When the going gets going and the getting gets tough, all you need do is to maintain focus
6. Always Listen To Your Body
It will do you more good than harm if you listen to your body during hike. As your hike gets longer, your body enters a new psychological territory, as a result, you begin to get aches and sores. It is best to deal with them before they become an issue.
To Wrap It Up
As you have probably guessed, these tips are just few of the many other tips out there. I hope that with this article, most of your questions being answered.
Please do the following;
#1: Let me know about your questions in the comment box if not satisfied yet.
#2: Add more tips in the comment box. I will be glad to have them.
#3: Share with your friends if you the article was informative.