If you talk about hiking, it does not mean you have to go for something as outlandish or extreme as the Appalachian Trail. It can be as simple as taking a walk through a forest or up a slope in your neighborhood’s vicinity. For the most part, walking will cost you nothing to very little and is a great stress reliever. Indeed, the mental and physical benefits you can obtain from hiking ensure you can live a more fruitful and fulfilled lifetime.
But even though hiking can be fun, there are also a number of precautions and success tips one must take into consideration to prevent danger and stay safe. One of the more important tips is for one to walk in a group. It is much safer for one to hike in a group particularly if it is on a nature trail you are unaccustomed to.
Hiking with Buddies
The support and motivation extracted from the group will help you in those instances when you might think of packing up leaving behind. Actually, even when you are hiking on trail you are used to, it does not harm to bring at least one person along as this is a natural deterrent to anyone across the trail that may be lurking with ill intent.
You also must take safety measures when hiking up and down a slope. On the ascent, you should loosely ribbons your boots around your ankles to provide ample room for motion. When going downhill, you need to prevent jamming your toes by putting your heels in the back of the boots and tightly tying your laces around the ankles while leaving all of them loose at the toes.
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Use a hiking stick or trekking pole. These types of sticks help with balance and stability when going up or down a good incline. They also provide an additional support to your legs, reduce the knee pressure and help you support the upper body especially when you embark on a long journey.
Always carry your own personal water. If you are sure there will be water at your destination, carry just more than sufficient water to last until you arrive. Water is of greater importance than food to your survival. Always filter any water you discover along the trail and that you are looking for using – unless the water can be from a natural spring. If you can repair a long drinking straw to the drinking water bottle so you can drink as you shift, the better.
Dress in layers in order to make sure you maintain the proper body temperature with modifications in weather. The weather can change significantly when you are out on a long hike and you also need to be prepared for all type of climate conditions. Avoid cotton clothing because it keeps moisture for long periods. Use thermoplastic-polymer and other synthetic materials. Make sure you put on dark clothing because they dry quicker. Wear light colored clothing in case you are hiking in areas known for their tick infestation.
It’s also important that 1 watch out for sunstroke when hiking in the hot sun. If you plan on trekking in the summer then you must be aware that the exposure to high temperature can cause excessive fluid reduction which may lead to heat exhaustion, or even in serious cases even to a heat stroke. Wear a hat that is broad rimmed and that includes a strap. It gives better protection from warm wind and direct sunlight.
Hiking Boot styles and Equipment
Of all the hiking gear and equipment you need, your hiking boots are probably the most important. Good footwear give you traction and support throughout the hike. A good pair of boots need not be overly expensive even though you should not compromise on quality in the name of reduced overall cost. It is advisable that you purchase your boots from a dealer who will be conversant with the standards required of outdoor wear. Boots vary from lightweight for light hiking to large boots that are more durable and assistance the feet and ankles. The features you need to look out for when buying your hiking boots include water opposition, weight of the boot, the price, the particular toe groove for crampons, the particular width of toe box as well as the gusseted tongue.
Apart from your hiking boots, there are other forms of equipment necessary for you hike. If you plan on getting into a day hike, you will need hiking socks, water purifying tablets (if you are not carrying your own water), a back pack, walking stick, traction devices, save beacons, signaling gear, Avalanche probes (if you will be on snow protected hilly terrain), jackets, binoculars, first-aid kit, a compass, sunscreen plus food. For an overnight hike, you will require a tent, sleeping bag, get away stoves, rain gear, matches, the Swiss army knife, and a torch.
Get a map of the route you intend on taking. If you plan to walk alone or with one another person, notify your family (or a ranger in case you are hiking through a park) on the place where you will be and the time you anticipate to return. That way, someone can come looking for you if you are in trouble or just simply lost.