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Hiking is a great way to get into shape. You can brush up on skills modern life has left behind- navigating rough terrain, scouting, wilderness survival. It’s a break from your fast-paced daily life as you reconnect with nature.
How to Prepare For A Hiking Trip
You also don’t have your usual conveniences. There’s no food pantry, AC, or place to sit down. There are also thorns, slopes, and animals to worry about. An ill-prepared hiking trip can go south quickly.
It’s hard to keep track of all of the preparations you need to make. That’s why we put together this cheat sheet for you!
1. Bring Snacks
You’re going to be out for a long time doing strenuous activity, and there won’t be any places to stop and eat. You also have limited space in your backpack.
This calls for small but high-protein snacks. Don’t take anything that could make a mess or need preparation. Make a specific pocket for your food so it doesn’t get crushed or spill out all over your bag.
Finally, don’t forget water. If you’re not hydrated, your energy will crash quickly.
2. Dress the Part
This is not the time for fashion. You need clothes that will be comfortable, allow you to move freely, and protect you from harsh temperatures. Go through this checklist as you’re packing your bag.
- A sturdy pair of boots – you need close-toed shoes to protect your feet.
- Long pants
- A hat – This will help prevent sunburns.
- A warm jacket – but make sure it’s breathable.
- Shelter – if you’re spending the night, bring a tent and sleeping bag.
3. Know the Lay of The Land
You don’t want your trip to be ruined because you get lost or injured because you don’t know where you’re going.
Read up on your destination. Learn about any places to watch out for — a cliff, a dead end, a steep incline, a dense patch of the forest, etc.
Bring a map and compass so you won’t get turned around.
When hiking in an unfamiliar place, go slowly. This is not the place to have a fall, where there are not many people who could help you.
4. Take Medical Equipment
No matter how vigilant you are about safety, accidents happen. Before you leave for your trip, assemble a first aid kit.
You and anyone who comes with you should learn basic medical techniques such as CPR. This way, if there is anything serious, you’ll be able to tide each other over until help arrives.
This is another time high protein snacks can come in handy. If you do wind up in this situation, a little nourishment can make all of the difference.
5. Have Means of Self-Defense
Nature is beautiful, but it also has animals that could harm you. It’s not likely that you’ll encounter them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bring something you can use to protect yourself in this event.
Research the animals that have been spotted where you are going, and learn how to respond to their presence.
Here is one universal rule for animals — if you see one, do not turn your back on them and run. This will draw their attention whereas they may have left you alone before.
You want to go with the mindset of having fun, but do not underestimate nature. You will be in elements you’re not used to. Everything you have to deal with them will be what you bring in your inventory and the skills you’ve taken with you.
This isn’t to make you afraid. It’s to empower you so you will be able to conquer the challenges this trip will lay out for you.