Prepare Yourself for a HikeHiking is a favorite pass time for many.  If you are thinking of taking up hiking as hobby, there are a few things that you need to know to ensure your safety.  Listed below are 15 things that you should do to prepare yourself for a hike.  Will you be thoroughly prepared for the adventure?

  • Choose a hiking trail to according to your experience.  Don’t just venture out on a trail. Find out how strenuous the trail will be. Many hiking trails have information at the trail head warning hikers of how easy or hard the hike will be. Pay attention to the signs and don’t hike strenuous trails until you get enough experience.
  • If you are new at hiking, choose a popular trail that is paved. Choosing a paved trail will allow easier access and increase your chances for meeting other hikers along the way.  There are fewer risks on these trails and people to help if you get into a bind.
  • Obtain a map of the area. Before you venture out on a hike, obtain a hiker’s map. Map’s at usually available at the trailhead and will include tips on how to have a successful hike.
  • Find a hiking partner. Hiking along can be dangerous. Find a hiking partner who shares the same interests as you do and schedule a day of the week to do the hike. If you choose to hike on the weekends you are likely to have more company along the trails.
  • Let others know that you will be hiking a general timeframe of when you will return. Don’t just leave for a hike. Let others know where you will be and when you will return.
  • Carry along an emergency backpack. A small first aid kit can be very helpful if accidents occur along the trail.  You may not be the only person who needs it. Carry it along for those “just in case” accidents.
  • A walking stick is a must. A walking stick will help you ensure that the ground you are about to walk on is firm.  It can also be beneficial in making the trip easier on you.  Don’t leave home without a good walking stick for the trip.
  • A whistle is mandatory if there are bears in the location you are hiking in. Whistles alert bears and other wildlife that you are in the area.  They usually won’t bother you unless you scare them.  A whistle lessens the chances that you will spook a bear.
  • Bring plenty of liquids. Hiking in extreme heat can cause dehydration.  Be sure to bring plenty of liquids on the trip.
  • Realize that if the hike will be strenuous, you will need to take breaks. Don’t push yourself over the limit. Take breaks when you need to.
  • Wear the right shoes. There are shoes that are made just for hiking.  This will make the trip easier on your feet.
  • Wear bug repellent and check you self for ticks upon returning. Bugs are a part of hiking. Do what you can to repel them by spraying yourself before you begin the hike.  
  • If you are hiking up a mountain, don’t stay close to the edge.  Staying close to the edge will increase your risk of falling.  Once your become tired, you could easily step off the mountain without meaning to.  Stay away from the edge to be on the safe side.
  • Consider bringing along a small tent for shelter from storms. The weather can quickly change. You want to be sure that you have shelter from a storm if you run into a problem.  A small tent in your backpack will help you keep out of the weather.
  • Get advice from experienced hikers about the trail you are going on.  If you know of people who have hiked the trail, get advice from them.  What things do you need to look out for?  Information can be useful in preparing.

Hiking is a generally safe hobby if you are always prepared for the adventure.  Use the 15 tips above to make sure that you are thoroughly prepared.