With the New Year fast approaching, it’s a wonderful time to think about places to go and things to see in the coming year. Perhaps hiking is just the activity to help you achieve that goal. Hiking is an activity that most people agree can be a lot of fun. However, just like in many other activities, there are ways to make hiking an even more enjoyable experience, some of which relate directly to safety while hiking. Here are four things that you can do to make your hiking experience safe and enjoyable.
One of the most important things to remember when hiking is to be properly hydrated, or drink enough water. Dehydration, when your body loses more fluids than it is taking in, can lead to many unpleasant symptoms. These can range from a dry mouth to headaches and dizziness, all of which can ruin your hiking experience. If you start drinking extra water before going on your hike, your system will start out properly hydrated.
Whether you are going on a day hike or on a longer trip, there are some pieces of gear that are essential. First, you will need a backpack to carry your gear. It should be something that has space to carry the water that you need. It can also be helpful to have a Swiss Army knife, band-aids, sunglasses and hat, a loud whistle, and a flashlight in case of emergencies. It is also a good idea to have layers of clothing. One of the other pieces of gear, however, is the appropriate footwear. With uncomfortable shoes, or shoes that do not support your ankles, you can find yourself injured and not having a pleasant hike. Try on different shoes and boots to find the pair that is right for you. Companies like woodburyoutfitters.com offer a wide variety of outdoor gear, so do some searching to find the pieces that work best for you.
Sometimes, you will be exploring a trail that is clearly labeled, or you will be hiking with a group. Other times, the trail may be harder to see, and you may be on your own. To make sure that you can find your way, learn how to use a compass and a map. This way, you will be able to find your way back to your starting point. Between knowing where you are on the map and being able to apply the compass to that information, this can take a load off of your mind for longer trips.
It is very important to pace yourself. If you are just starting out as a hiker, it is not a wise idea to go on a three-day solo backpacking trek. If that is your goal, start out by going on day hikes with a group. Slowly build yourself up, and learn how much water you need. Shorter hikes give you a chance to test your gear and break in your boots.
While hiking can be a lot of fun, there are many things to take into consideration. Staying properly hydrated, having the correct gear, being able to navigate, and being prepared for the hike at hand are all ways to make your hiking experience safer and more enjoyable.