If hiking is on your mind this weekend, then what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, wear your shoes and set off!
But before you start off, make sure you plan out your hike. It can even be fatal to your life if you don’t plan out your hike before you leave.
The following are some tips that you can follow to plan an awesome hike this weekend.
Tip 1: Setting the mileage limit
Deciding the number of miles, you would walk is very important. This is required so that you don’t end up straining yourself and face fatigue and other such issues. If you have already hiked before, you would know your capacity and limits. If you are a beginner, then make sure you plan the number of miles you are walking, such that you don’t strain yourself. Never over estimate your abilities and be aware of your threshold. Be wise and make an honest look through of what you can do and what you can’t.
Tip 2: Choosing a companion
Choose a friend who would want to go on a hike with you. This will provide you with company and as well as more safety, as its always better to be in a group than alone. No matter how experienced you are don’t plan to go alone, as in any emergency it is always better to have a fellow hiker with you. It is however always a smart option to depend on an experienced hiker to aid to if you are a beginner and a novice in the art of hiking.
Tip 3: Selecting the trail
For selecting the trail first search among a large number of trails on google maps. Find some destination that interests you. Then select a suitable trail and route in order to reach the spot. Make sure the terrain isn’t too difficult to overcome but at the same time is challenging, and keeps you at wits end.
Tip 4: Selecting the spot to set up the camp
Decide on the spot you would like to go hiking. If you are a beginner there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind before choosing a spot:
- Don’t try to be a macho and choose a rough terrain. Go for a spot that would be easier for you to walk for the first time. Make sure the terrain of where you are setting up camp is fairly level and elevated, in order to give you added protection in case of running into any wild animals like a bear or some raccoons
- Select a path that has sufficient water bodies near it. Since running out of water should never be an option. But be aware if the region houses any aquatic predators like alligators, crocodiles and such.
- Don’t choose a low-lying area in case of floods. Also during lightening or thunderstorms don’t set up on an exposed ridge. Try to find areas that naturally provide shelter.
- Do not forget to follow the “Leave No Trace “principles, that is leave the site the way you found it. Don’t dirty or litter the area and make up a mess of the place before you progress.
- Beware of wild animals and critter threats. Be aware of the kind of animals or creatures around the trail you chose. Take precautions to avoid them destroying your food or other fragrant item, by hanging them up on a tree away from arms reach.
Tip 5: Creation of itinerary
Sit down and create a well detailed plan of your hike, mentioning exclusively about the route you are going to follow. It should have details about your camping spots, the amount of time you are allotting for particular trails and how long you plan to stay at every camp spot.
Tip 6: Pack your bags
Do NOT ever go for a hike without packing a survival kit. Survival kits are basically to ensure your safety in any situation and to provide protection in case of emergencies. Survival kits meant for hiking and trekking are not supposed to consist of just bandages, creams and antibiotics. They are supposed to contain much more like water purification devices such as a life straw or a filtered flask, survival blankets, shelters, torches, camping heater, fire lighting kits, energy bars etc.
Make sure you carry the essentials but at the same time don’t overburden yourself in the process.
Keep light and travel lighter.
Tip 7: Review hike plan
Before you set out for the hike, make sure you review your trip plan with your fellow hikers and ensure everyone is comfortable with the trail and spots. Everyone must be well versed and thorough with itinerary and the plan of action of the hike.
Tip 8: Check the weather forecast
Don’t forget to check the weather updates of the area you plan to visit. You don’t want to go hiking on a rainy day, do you?
Make sure you pick days which have fairly clear skies, and isn’t blistering hot and sunny.
Tip 9: A copy with friend
Leave a copy of your itinerary with your friend. This way, in case if you are not able to reach back on time, he would you need help.
Tip 10: Awareness of surroundings
Be aware of your surroundings. The nature is a humble abode and a caring mother to all creatures alike, so we need to learn to respect that. The same mother who nourishes you can make harm you as well. Try to make as less of a noise as you can when you move around and not startle them with sudden actions or movements at all cost. An agitated animal is a dangerous and a formidable foe which one must avoid. Never try to provoke nor instigate and animal either, you may very well be putting yourself in harm’s way by doing so.
This about sums up the important do’s and don’ts, the next time you go hiking.
Keeps your eyes peeled, senses sharpened and always be on your toes and on the lookout….