Hiking is a fun and healthy activity. Hiking with your friends and family can lower stress levels and improve your mood. Hiking also reduces your risk for heart diseases, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. Hiking is a great way to spend your weekends or holidays, but the success of your hike will depend on your preparedness.
Hiking encourages you to spend time outdoors. And, while there are many health benefits to being out and about, being unprepared can lead to stress and even accidents. Do you think you can finish a hike when you don’t have the necessary gears for it? How can you enjoy your hike if you don’t have enough food and water to last you the entire hike?
If you want your first or next hike to be memorable, make sure to prepare the following things beforehand:
7 Things You Need To Prepare Before Going On A Hike
Contrary to popular belief, hiking isn’t always fun and games. When you decide to go on a hike, you need to be prepared to protect yourself from the dangers outdoors, and live life similar to how your ancestors did in the past, which is by using tools to complete simple chores, such as cooking and building shelter.
Bringing a camping hatchet will make your life easy when you hike. Bringing one will enable you to create fires, clean fish, and slice through tough meats. A hatchet can also function as a can opener. Most importantly, a hatchet is essential when camping because it can help you defend yourself against wild animals outdoors.
2. Hiking Boots Or Shoes
You’ll be using your lower body all throughout the hiking trip. Regardless of how long or short the trail is, you’ll be putting a lot of stress on your lower body, most especially your feet.
For you to stay comfortable throughout the entire hike and ensure that you can survive it, make sure to invest in high-quality hiking boots or shoes. This is one of the most important things to prepare before going on a hike because the quality of your footwear can affect your ability to walk and susceptibility to injuries.
There are countless companies that sell hiking hunting boots or shoes today, making it challenging for one to choose a good pair. If you still don’t have any hiking boots or shoes yet or have never bought one before, buy a pair that’s breathable and lightweight. It’s also important to try out the footwear days before the actual hike to assess if the pair fits perfectly.
A backpack will come in handy for those who plan on staying in one spot for a long period of time. If you’re hiking on a trail that’s over 100 miles, then, you’ll want to get yourself a backpack with plenty of space to ensure that you can easily bring everything that you need.
The size of your backpack should depend on the distance you’re going to hike—the longer your trail is, the bigger your backpack should be or you can also choice small hiking backpack. Moreover, make sure to invest in durable backpacks that come with several compartments. This way, you won’t have to worry about your backpack or everything that’s inside getting damaged because of heavy rains or strong winds.
You’ll need a lot of water in your hiking trip. This is a very important thing to bring with you to ensure that you stay hydrated. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will also help in maintaining your energy, allowing you to finish the entire hike.
When bringing water for your hike, make sure to use a reusable water bottle. This way, you won’t worry about spilling any of your water regardless of how steep the trail is. Using a water bottle will also make it easy for you to refill the container during the hike.
5. First Aid Kit
Never commit the mistake of not bringing a first aid kit with you. This is especially true if your hike will last for days or weeks. Your first aid kit should contain bandages, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic powder, and many more. These are essential to prevent allergies, as well as to treat injuries, bruises, and scratches. You can also have painkillers, safety pins, and tweezers in your first aid kit.
Ideally, your first aid kit should be compact so it’ll be easy for you to carry it around or put it inside your backpack.
Camping tents are essential for folks who plan on hiking. Whether it’s a day hike or a couple of nights in a cabin, a camping tent will ensure that you stay comfortable, dry, and safe when sleeping in whatever weather you might encounter. Additionally, the tent itself is an important part of your camping gear because it serves as your shelter when you decide to rest in the middle of your trail.
When choosing a tent to bring, make sure that it has enough room for everyone to be comfortable. This is especially true if you’re going to hike and, then, sleep with your kids and other family members. It needs to be sturdy and weather-proof so that it can protect you and your belongings.
7. Navigation Tools
You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors when you decide to hike. However, if you’re going to hike on a new trail, chances are you can get lost. This situation usually happens for novice hikers who still don’t have any idea on how they can find their way when they start taking on a trail.
For your upcoming hike to be successful, make sure to bring navigation tools, like a compass and a map. These are essential because these tools allow you to plan your route, estimate travel times, and find water and good campsites. Bringing a compass and map will also make it easy for you to track your progress during the hike.
You’ll be able to have fun when hiking when you have a complete idea on where you’re heading to and how soon you can get to your location.
When done regularly, hiking can become your ticket to achieving optimal wellness. Although tiring, you’ll be surprised at how this activity can improve your mental and physical health in the long run.
But, regardless of how excited you are for your next hiking trip, you should never go to one unless you’re fully prepared. Remember, hiking can be exciting and fun, but only if you’ve brought the necessary tools and equipment for the activity.