How to Prepare for a Hike

Hiking is a great way to get more in tune with nature, and there are fantastic hiking routes hidden all around the country for you to explore and take in some wonderful landscapes. Hiking is also great for both your physical and mental health as it’s a great calorie burner while also being peaceful enough for you to clear your head.

However, hiking takes a little bit of preparation, especially if you are a novice. With some hikes, you can be out for at least half a day trekking the wilderness, so naturally there are things you have to do to not only maintain your safety but also boost your enjoyment. Here’s some things you need to do to help you prepare for a hike.

Plan Your Route

When going out for a long hike, the last thing you want to do is make it up as you go along. As you are going to be traveling vast expanses of nature, this approach makes it far more likely that you’re going to get lost, which could cause some issues. Be sure to plan your exact route, and for extra piece of mind, simply follow a trail. These should be clearly marked out on your route, so shouldn’t be hard to spot.

You also want to make sure your planned route suits your fitness levels, so if you’re undertaking a challenging route, be sure to know how to train beforehand. If you’re unexperienced, or just dipping your toes into hiking, you want try to stick to a flat route as much as you can and avoid hills or difficult routes that may also include climbing.

Wear the Right Clothes

Hiking is an exercise activity, meaning that you want to make sure you’re wearing clothes that can deal with sweat and overheating. When hiking, you’re also at the mercy of the elements, so you also want to consider clothes that can deal with rain but also keep you shaded from sweltering heat. Be sure to avoid cotton clothing, as when wet it dries very slowly, causing chafing as well as the loss of its thermal properties.

It’s a good idea to invest in proper hiking boots too, as these are not only the most comfortable, they also provide protection to your feet on uneven ground, and also provide better grip. If you’re a first time hiker and lack all the equipment you need, a Lands End coupon can help you gather quality items for less.

Pack Correctly

When hiking, you don’t want to overfill your bag with a heavy load, as that’s going to exhaust you faster and make the whole trip a lot harder. Instead, you want to pack as lightly as you can, while still ensuring that you have everything you need. Of course, needs alter depending on the person, but a good starting point is to pack the eight essentials.

The eight essentials include:

  • A map and compass to help with navigation.
  • Sun and insect protection, as you don’t want to damage your skin or fall victim to the wide array of vermin and other animals in the wilderness.
  • Food and Water. Always pack more of this than you think you will need as it can help in an emergency situation.
  • A headlamp for visibility in bad weather and darkness.
  • Extra clothing to replace damaged or wet items. It’s also a good idea to bring rain gear.
  • A first aid kit and whistle. This is to help if you hurt yourself, and to alert attention for help and rescue.
  • A knife which can help you cut through shrubbery or food and is just widely useful. Many hikers swear by bringing a knife with them.
  • Matches and a fire starter, to help ignite fires and keep you warm if camping.
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