You don’t have to hike the Appalachian Trail or do anything crazy. You can simply walk in the woods or climb a hill within your locality. Hiking is an excellent stress-relieving activity that costs little to nothing. Hiking can provide you with both mental and physical benefits that will help you live a happier and more fulfilling life.
While hiking is fun, there are some safety tips and precautions you should take to ensure your safety. One of the most important tips is to hike with a group. Hiking in a group is safer, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the trail.
Hiking With Friends
You will find the support and motivation you need from the group to help you when you feel like packing up and moving on. Even if you’re hiking on a trail you know, it doesn’t hurt to have at least one person with you. This is a natural deterrent for anyone who may be trying to harm you.
Also, be careful when climbing up or down hills. To allow for freedom of movement, loosely tie your boots around your ankles when you are climbing. You should avoid jamming your feet by placing your heels in the boot’s back and tightening the laces at the ankles.
A trekking stick or hiking stick is a good choice. These sticks can help you balance and stabilize yourself when climbing or descending an incline. These sticks can also be used to support your legs and lower the pressure on the knees. They also help support your upper body, especially when you are embarking on long hikes.
Always bring your own water. You should always have enough water to get you through until you reach your destination. Water is more important than food for your survival. Water that you find along the trail or need to use should be filtered, unless it comes from a natural spring. The best way to drink water while moving is to attach a straw to your water bottle.
Layers are important to keep your body warm in the face of changing weather conditions. You need to be ready for any weather condition when you go on long hikes. Cotton clothing is a poor choice as it retains moisture for long periods. Polypropylene and other synthetic fabrics are better. Wear dark clothes as they dry quicker. If you are hiking in areas that are known for tick infestation, it is a good idea to wear light-colored clothing.
When hiking in hot sun, it is important to be aware of sunstroke. You should be aware of the dangers of excessive fluid loss when hiking in summer. This can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. A wide-rimmed hat with a strap is recommended. This provides better protection against direct sunlight and hot winds.
Hiking Boots & Equipment
Your hiking boots are the most important piece of equipment and gear you have. Boots provide traction and support for your hike. You don’t have to spend a lot on boots, but you shouldn’t compromise on quality for a lower price. Boots should only be purchased from an authorized dealer that is familiar with outdoor wear standards. There are many types of boots, from lightweight boots for light hiking to more sturdy boots that support the feet. When shopping for hiking boots, you should consider water resistance, weight, price, toe groove for crampons and width of the toe box.
You will need other equipment if you plan to hike. You will need to bring hiking socks and water purifying tablets if you don’t have your own water. You will need a tent, sleeping bag and rain gear.