If you want to spend time exploring new places and getting outside in the fresh air while toning up your body and burning calories at the same time, hiking is ideal. It is relatively cost-free, apart from a good pair of hiking boots and some outdoor activity gear suitable for the expected weather conditions. Here are some tips to make sure your hiking experience would be a memorable adventure and would go without a hitch.
It is important to drink enough water on your hike. Have a long drink of water before you set off and take plenty of bottled water with you.
It might be tempting to wear a big, warm jacket if you are hiking in cold weather, but putting on several thin, light layers of clothing is a better idea. That way you can add or remove things as the weather changes.
Double up on socks
It is a good idea to layer your socks as well, with a thin sock liner inside thick, outer socks. This will be more comfortable on long walks and prevent your hiking boots from causing blisters.
Take a map
In these days of high-tech gadgets, many hikers use handheld GPS devices or use their mobile phone to navigate. There is always the danger that these can fail or run out of battery, so always take a paper map and compass with you.
Share your plans
Before you set off, let a close relative or friend know exactly where you are heading. If anything should go wrong, at least they will be able to give rescue services an idea of where you will be.
Get in shape
Before you head off on a 20-mile hike, get in some practice first. Building up your fitness gradually with a few shorter hikes will pay off in comfort and safety.
Cover your head
Wear a hat when you hike to prevent heat loss through the scalp in colder weather and to protect your head from the sun on hot days. Wear sunglasses and sunscreen even on cloudy days, especially if you are hiking at high altitudes.
Whether you are taking a gentle hike along flat countryside or climbing to the top of steep hills and mountains, a little planning and preparation goes a long way. Don’t push yourself too hard but pace yourself and take regular rests. Above all, enjoy yourself and have a wonderful time in the great outdoors!