Hiking is a great activity that can be done all around the world, and there are universal things to consider and pack for almost all hikes. By following these recommendations, you can be properly prepared and able to enjoy yourself instead of worrying about whether you’ve forgotten something important.
You don’t want to have the experience of being 45 minutes into a hike before you realize you didn’t pack everything you might need. You don’t want to overpack, because that can make your hike unnecessarily uncomfortable, but there are certain things you should bring on any hike. Be prepared with water, snacks, and blister and bug bite relief. Remembering these essentials will help you stay comfortable so you can focus on enjoying the experience.
Check the Weather
If you’re at home or around town, getting caught in unexpected inclement weather is usually no big deal. However, unexpected weather in the mountains can result in dangerous situations, especially if you’re deep in the woods or on a particularly tall mountain. Checking the weather beforehand allows you to dress accordingly, and it may even tell you if it won’t be safe to go at all. Keep in mind that even if you enjoy walking in the rain, it’s best to stay off hiking trails on rainy days because it can ruin the trails — instead, reschedule and go when the trails are dry. You may want to keep gloves or a small jacket in your daypack just in case because the weather isn’t always predictable.
Bring a Friend
For many reasons, it is not safe to hike alone. Among these reasons is the possibility of injury and the potential for getting lost. If you are alone and sprain an ankle or worse, you will have a miserable experience trying to get back home; there may even be circumstances that you could end up stranded and unable to move. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation by hiking alone. Hopefully, having a friend along will also help you stay on the correct trail. Make sure everyone in the group knows the route ahead of time so you can keep each other on track. Plus, hiking through the woods with a friend is a great way to make memories.
When you are properly prepared, hiking can be physically and mentally rewarding. By bringing the right supplies for the environment and weather, you and a friend can get out and focus on enjoying the experience instead of stressing about how to deal with an undesirable situation.
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