By Nathaniel Wu
Hiking is a fun activity to do outside, especially with friends. While it might be tempting to hit the trails with no preparation, hiking is not that simple. This article will give you four tips to both increase safety and fun during a hike.
#1 Do the prep work
This tip is perhaps the most important, as preparation determines how the hiking trip goes. Be sure to check trail conditions and the weather during the time frame that you plan to hike. Make sure that the trails are not closed from the weather. Otherwise, you might have to go back home. Another thing to do is to let someone know of your plans. Let them know where you are hiking and when you should be back, so if anything happens to go astray, you have a point of contact outside the trail.
#2 Wear the Right Shoes
Since hiking is primarily on foot, proper shoe wear is essential. On more casual trails, typical sneakers should work just fine. However, on more technical trails, consider investing in hiking-specific shoes. Hiking shoes are more durable and have better traction than the average sneaker. Traction can completely change how one hikes, so having enough traction is very important in avoiding slips.
#3 Bring enough food and water
This tip is for all hikers. No matter how difficult the trail is, always bring food and water. Hydration replaces lost water from sweat, and food keeps you fueled. A simple drawstring can carry water and food for a hands-free experience. Generally, longer hikes need more food, but bringing more than you need is never hurtful.
#4 Never go beyond your ability
Hiking should be a fun activity, not a competition. Therefore, never choose something outside your skill level. Know your fitness level and keep within your limits. Otherwise, you will not have a fun time and will be winded. If you want to see the difficulty of a trail, you can visit various websites like Trail Links or apps like All Trails.
While hiking is a fun activity, some things can go wrong while enjoying your local trail. However, these tips can mitigate or even eliminate common problems. As always, happy hiking!