You have made up your mind to go hiking and have made all the necessary arrangements, but do you know there are still other important things you need to put into consideration other than packing your most essential hiking gear?
Hiking is one of the most interesting outdoor adventures suitable for people of all ages. When you plan it well and make smart choices, hiking can turn out to be extremely enjoyable. Whether you are a veteran or a seasoned trekker planning to go hiking for a day or months, there are certain unwritten rules you should always keep in mind if you want to transform a typical hike into an epic journey you’ll live to remember. Plus, you also need to make sure your safety and that of other hikers is well taken care of.
So, if you want to experience a top-notch trek next time you go hiking, here are the things you need to consider before you go.
Know your gear
The worst thing you can do as a hiker is to buy your hiking gear and pack them ready for the trip without knowing how each gear is used. For your information, gear is not useful if you don’t know how it operates. Moreover, something may not only turn out to be useless but also very inconveniencing to an extent of ending your hiking experience unceremoniously. You see, there are certain hiking gear that are essential to carry but the likelihood of using them is a bit limited.
A good example is the first aid kit. If you don’t get hurt, you won’t use it. Although it’s still pretty bad if you get hurt and don’t know how to use it. The case is different when it comes to your hiking boots. You may have tried them when buying and felt like they are comfortable only to wear them on the hiking day and they become a pain on the neck just after a few miles. What do you do? If you don’t have an extra pair, then you will have to end your hike just like that. But things would have been different if you tested your boots outside, days before the hiking day.
That’s why it is recommended you do a trial of all of your hiking gear. Otherwise, how else will you know how to use them or if they are in good working condition? Honestly, you can’t read and understand the manual when you already have an issue to deal with. Knowing how to use those equipment means you won’t experience more challenges when the need to use any of them arises. In any case, you will be able to solve your problems as soon as they present themselves.
Share your plan
Sharing your plans with a family member or a trusted friend before you go on a hike is particularly mandatory if you are going alone. Over the same, it is still vital to share your hiking plan even when you are going as a pair or a large group.
Someone else apart from you and your hiking buddies knowing your whereabouts can help to give the necessary information in case of an emergency. This is not to mean something terrible will happen. It’s just that as a good hiker, you should always be prepared for worst-case scenarios every time you decide to go hiking. Thus, share your itinerary with your loved ones and let them know when you are coming back.
Leaving without a word can bring a lot of anxiety to the people who care about you and they may not know when to call for help in case of delayed return because they don’t know when you are supposed to come back.
While you can go hiking regardless of the climatic condition in your destination, it is important to know the weather before you head out. Leaving your safer ground to go hiking without knowing the kind of weather you are likely to face out there is the same as going to the battlefield with equipping yourself with the necessary war weapons. You need to know the weather forecast of your hiking destination for the whole duration of your trip. This should be among the first things you do so that you can make the necessary arrangements.
There are a number of apps you can download to help you with this. Even at that, a last-minute weather check on the actual day can help you know how the day is likely to turn out. Such information will help you to know the essentials to pack, the types of clothes to wear or if it’s wise to cancel the trip may be due to heavy rains or torrential thunderstorms.
Pack your best gear
One crucial thing you must know if you want to excel in hiking is that the gear you carry for your hike will either make your journey comfortable or restrain it. Thus, you have to make a wise decision if you want to enjoy all your hiking trips. If you will be out for days, the first thing to consider is getting a good-quality tent. Sleeping in the outback is not funny. To help you choose a good tent, check the site’s condition and size. On the same note, remember to bring along a nice sleeping pad for more comfort.
Another thing you shouldn’t compromise is a good pair of tactical boots. If you are going to finish your trip on time, then your feet must have the utmost support. The boots should also be easy to wear and remove. There are many items you need to bring along such as a first aid kit, water purifier, headlight, lighter, etc. Just make sure you only pack the ones you are sure you will use and they are in the right condition.
The clothes to wear
What you wear for your hiking trip will be determined by various things such as the weather condition, the time of the trip and of course your sense of style. Even at that, there is one thing that most, if not all trekkers agree with. Cotton-made clothes are comfortable in many areas but hiking is definitely not one of them. Wearing cotton-made outfits when hiking will add you more problems and ruin your hiking experience. These kinds of clothes absorb too much moisture and water. Meaning, if you happen to get wet, you’ll stay wet all through not unless you had carried a change of clothes. If you choose to carry the wet clothes, don’t say you weren’t warned, cotton is very heavy to carry.
Plan your hiking trip
In addition to the above information, always bring your good self to those hiking trails. The same way you are seeking peace and quiet is the same way other hiking enthusiasts are. Therefore, respect the wildlife and other hikers as well for the best hiking experience.