Getting outdoors in the fresh air is one of the most simple pleasures in life, and it can help clear our minds, challenge our bodies, and refresh our souls. However, it can also be risky and dangerous if not done properly. Something you can avoid by following our guide to things you don’t want to do when hiking, below.
Leave your route unplanned
When hiking, even over a well-known trail, it is always helpful to check and plan your route beforehand. For one, it can help you prepare the types of equipment and supplies you will need, as well as how long the walk will take.
It is also a good idea to check online for any recently updated information about the route that you are taking, as this can alert you to blockages and potential dangers zones ahead of time. Something that can allow you to change your course before you reach the problem area, or make adjustments to your kit or route to allow you to overcome it.
Forget to check the weather
Only newbie hikers would make the silly mistake of not checking the weather. After all, often the enjoyment we get out of walking is dependent on it be fine and sunny.
It can also be pretty dangerous to hike certain trails when the weather is poor, as it can make particular surface like rock and mud more slippery. Also, it can limit visibility, which increases our chances of getting lost.
To that end make sure that you check the weather online, or on your phone before you begin, and throughout the hike if it is a particularly long route. Then you know you can progress to each stage safely.
You also really don’t want to dress in an inappropriate way when hiking either. At best can make the whole experience miserable, and at worst leave you exposed to the danger of the elements.
Of course, the weather and temperature on the day is a massive element of choosing the right clothes to wear. Hot desert-like environments such as those in Nevada and Utah can often be hiked in more casual gear like track uniforms, and shorts and t-shirts. However, locations that have a greater range of variable weather like Washington State may call for layered clothing and waterproofs to keep you comfortable on your trek.
The proper footwear is also vital too, whether you pick hiking shoes, boots, or sandals. Just remember that you want something with a good grip on the sole and that is comfortable enough to cover many kilometers without causing you nasty blisters.
Leave your supplies at home
Last, of all, something you don’t want to do on your hike is to leave your supplies at home. In fact, you need to make sure that you have enough water with your to stay hydrated during your trek. Although, and if you can’t possibly carry that amount you can take something like a Lifestraw instead, that will allow you to safely drink from a natural, running water source.