If you haven’t been on a hike before or you don’t know the first thing about planning one, it’s best to gather some hiking tips before making any plans. The fact that hiking is an outdoor activity and one that can be affected by a myriad of factors makes informed planning a vital tool in any greenhorn hiker’s arsenal. Here are five tips to help you avoid obvious mistakes and make your first hike a success:
1. Choose the right gear
Weather conditions and bad terrain might necessitate acquiring hiking attires for you and your friends. You can simplify the hassle by first understanding the target area before making any purchases. Better yet, you can assign the site exploration work to experts and focus on other aspects of your plans. Outdoorcommand.com is a company you might want to consult if you need expert advice on choosing the right gear for the perfect hiking experience.
2. Start early
Your schedule should dictate the time you commence your hike, but as a beginner, it’s best to hit the trail as early as you can. This is because there are many typically simple tasks a novice is likely to draw out due to a lack of prior experience. Ideally, give yourself an extra one or two hours to cover for whatever delays you might suffer along the way. It might also help if you carry a headlamp just in case you are late anyway.
3. Don’t ignore the forecast
The weather will always have some sway on whether your plans pan out correctly or not. While many hikers know this, most beginners will make the mistake of only considering the weather forecast of their destination. If the trail is long enough, chances are different parts will experience different weather conditions. More to the point, experts might be referring to the weather in a neighboring town or village as opposed to your hiking site, so you still have to conduct further research to ensure you know what to expect ahead of time.
4. Go to known places
For someone who hasn’t been on a hike before, it is not exactly wise to add too much adventure to your first day in the wilderness. Always choose popular routes that are safe, easy to maneuver, and closer to residential areas.
5. Carry enough drinks and food
Hiking is not an ordinary outdoor experience. It involves trekking and treading forsaken trails that are far from restaurants and grocery stores. All the walking and exposure to heat will likely require a lot more food and water than you consume on a normal day or even think you will need. The best thing to do is carry your supplies in excess; it is safe to say running out of supplies is a much bigger hiking crime than wasting food.
Hiking is fun, but only if you understand and plan for its intensity and unique demands. The number of things you can do to make your hiking a success is endless. Use the above tips for a starting point, and consider incorporating your team’s ideas for a more viable plan.