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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksHiking is a fun outdoor adventure you can do while staying in Hawthorne. Going on hikes gives you many physical and psychological benefits like reduced stress levels and improved physical fitness. Planning is very important because a trek is more fun when you are prepared for the unexpected. If it is your first time to go on a hike, there are some things you need to know before you head out. These hiking tips will help you make the most of your hike.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

If you’ve never been on a hike — or it’s been a while — it is strongly recommended that you choose a fairly easy hike for your first time out. Go for a hike that is a bit shorter in distance than you usually do when you go for walks on a flat surface. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. An inexperienced hiker might have difficulty managing steep inclines.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

Most beginning hikers make the mistake of bringing the wrong gear. Keep yourself safe and hydrated on your hike by wearing light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. The right clothing will protect you from scrapes and scratches and will also help prevent sunburns and insect bites. A hat and a sturdy pair of sneakers or hiking boots are also crucial. Bring along about twice as much water as you think you’ll need. And make sure you pack a backpack with snacks and some extra clothing. There are about ten essential items you must bring along when you go hiking.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

Getting lost can make your hiking trip really unpleasant. A map or a GPS device can help ensure that you find your way around the area you will be traveling through. It is important that you orient yourself with the map and to the location before you begin your hike. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Take along an extra battery if you plan to use your phone or another device. Putting your phone in airplane mode makes the battery’s charge last longer.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Many hikers begin trekking early in the morning. This is ideal especially if you will be hiking when daytime temperatures are high. To make your hike a safe one, check the local weather reports and plan the timing of your trek. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Hike at a comfortable pace so that you will have enough energy to complete your course without overexerting yourself.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Your day on a busy trail will be more pleasant if you follow basic hiking etiquette rules. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Give way to bikes and horses. Be polite and say hello to other hikers, but don’t hold loud conversations with friends you are hiking with. Keep your dog leashed for the duration of the hike. Bring home all the trash you accumulate during the trek. Granola bar wrappers, empty water bottles, and so on should never be left on the trail.

Tip #6: Use the Buddy System

The last of our hiking tips is to get a friend to hike with you since they can help you in case there’s an emergency. Make sure someone knows when to expect you back when you hike alone. Let them know where you are going as well. This information could save your life if ever you get lost.

Have a safe and memorable hiking experience by following these simple hiking tips.

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