We all know the importance of being active and getting outside, but it’s not always an easy task. If you’re on a long hike and suddenly find yourself in need of a sudden break and replacement zipper for jacket, don’t worry! There are plenty of other activities that can help you get your sweat on without sacrificing your mental health or personal time. Hiking is great for mind and body health, but there are 10 things to remember before heading out for a hike:
1. Plan Ahead –
Know where you’re going and check the weather . Make sure you have the proper gear, list of trails, and any necessary permits. Check to see if fires are permitted so you don’t have to risk your life for a good picture.
2. Compile a List of Trails –
Make a list of trails that you want to do before you arrive, and check the weather and road conditions before heading out. Having a printout of all or most of the trails to choose from will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the many great choices. Start looking at the different trails around your area and compile a list of what appeals to you. Look for reviews, trail descriptions, miles, elevation gain and anything else that can help you separate one trail from another.
3. Be Prepared –
Make sure to charge your smartphone and bring plenty of water. Be mindful of the current weather and always have an easy way to get help if needed. Pack your gear. Make sure you have plenty of water, snacks, first aid supplies and anything else that you’ll need. Also don’t forget to pack a map or use the one that is embedded in your smartphone.
4. Take a Break –
Take a break when it gets too hot or when fatigue sets in; take cues from your body and get some rest if you feel it’s necessary (even if it’s just for a few minutes). Although you’re out on the trail, these are still important safety measures to keep in mind. Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for sudden changes in weather when hiking.
5. Practice Patience –
Don’t rush yourself or others. Remember to take your time and enjoy the views along the way. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses (literally) or even just for some fresh air. Take plenty of pictures and enjoy! Don’t be too eager or impatient. Don’t always want to push yourself forward and stop when you feel like you’re running out of breath. Your motto should be, “I’m going as fast as I can go.” – This will help prevent injury and exhaustion.
6. Maintain the Right Pace –
Your pace is going to vary depending on the type of activity you’re doing and your general fitness level, but it’s important to maintain good form so that you don’t overextend yourself. The best way to keep up a consistent pace while hiking is through cadence and breathing techniques that are designed specifically for hiking.
7. Take the Right Gear –
Don’t get caught out there in the wild without the right gear. Make sure you have good hiking boots to keep your feet protected and comfortable, a backpack that can hold everything you need (which includes plenty of water), and a lightweight sleeping bag that you can easily carry to your destination. You’re going to have a great time out there in the hiking world, but you can make it even better by taking the right gear with you. The one thing that can ruin a trip is being unprepared for both summer and winter hikes.
8. Use Your GPS –
If you’re using your smartphone, be sure to download a good GPS app to help guide you on your way. In addition to making sure that you’re going the right way, this will also come in handy if it rains or there’s a sudden storm and you need to know how far away you are from shelter or your car.
9. Avoid Crowds –
Hikes are a great way to get people outside and away from the technology that we so often rely on, but it’s important to remember to avoid crowds. When you’re out on the trail, stick with a group of people that you know, have made a previous hike together – this will help when it comes time to share trail stories and experiences.
10. Take frequent breaks –
Hiking can be a total blast, that is if you take frequent breaks – don’t sit around too long or you’ll end up hurting yourself. Remember to take frequent rest breaks during your hike when you feel like your body is telling you that it needs it. The best way to maintain a healthy body while hiking is through taking frequent rests and having plenty of water (dehydration can be dangerous).
If you’re looking for a good way to get outside and enjoy some time on the trails, be sure to follow these 10 tips. You’ll have a great time out there and will keep returning for more.