Hiking is not only relaxing but also a great way to work out. It allows you to work your muscles, build endurance and mentally relax. However, before hitting the trails, there are some things to consider – especially if you plan to take a long hike. Whether you enjoy traveling to hike or just have a local trail you traverse on the weekend, here are some tips to help you get the most out of a hike.
Before heading out, you should plan where you are going to hike. Consider the terrain, trail distance, rest areas, etc. Also plan out how long you want to be hiking for and how far. If you’re casually hiking to explore, you may not have a set goal in mind; whereas if you’re training, you may set a destination goal with pacing and timing in mind, having a plan in mind will help motivate you to achieve your goals.
Consider the essential items you will need while you’re out on the trails. Since you will most likely be away from resources, you need to pack the appropriate items. However, packing too much in a bag/backpack can become heavy and weigh you down. Water, snacks, and communication devices are the essentials, but consider whether anything else you pack will be critical to your goals of the hike.
The clothing you wear while hiking is critical. Wearing the appropriate shoes/boots will help prevent sore legs and feet. Lighter clothing with proper moisture management, such as DryWear athletic shirts, will help keep you cool and dry versus heavier cotton material that traps sweat and heat.
As with any activity, you should remain attentive at all times to prevent injury. Hiking trails contain uneven surfaces, which can cause ankle sprains and breaks. Also keep in mind that trails are a shared space, including wildlife. Be aware of your surroundings at all times to ensure your safety and the safety of others.