Hiking is many people’s favorite outdoor activity because it doesn’t require too much preparation. When you organize it properly, hiking can be highly enjoyable and great fun. But if your skills are still somewhat underdeveloped, you need to learn how to avoid some common beginners’ mistakes.
Being a successful hiker is too difficult a thing to accomplish as long as you follow the tips and the advice of your more experienced hiking buddies. Here are the most common mistakes that newbies make, and the ones you should avoid.
Choosing the wrong hike
The primary thing you need to do before your hike is to know where you’re going. The most important things to consider are the terrain and the distance you will have to walk. Beginners usually want to start with long and difficult routes, but that’s not smart. As a newbie, you need to find a trail that going to be a challenge for your physical condition, but not too challenging.
Ending up exhausted and dizzy is not what you want to achieve here. Hiking is a great recreational activity that should make you feel better, not drain your energy completely. So, choose a trail that matches your needs and fitness.
Not carrying enough water
Staying hydrated over the whole time of the hike is crucial. If you’re heading into a wilderness environment where you’re not sure you can find a drinkable water source, then bring enough water to last the whole trip. Sometimes people don’t feel thirsty, especially during autumn or winter hikes, but that doesn’t mean that the body doesn’t need regular sips of water. Stay hydrated!
Wearing bad shoes
The key to a successful hiking experience is wearing the best shoes you have. Be sure they have a sturdy sole, an ankle support, and if possible that they are waterproof. New hiking shoes that your feet are not used to wearing are not a good idea. First, you need to test them if you want to avoid serious blister problems. Make sure that your shoes are good for a hike that lasts a couple of hours or so and that your feet feel good in them. Choose shoes that are appropriate for the weather as well.
Ignoring the weather forecast
Ignoring the weather forecast is what many new hikers do without realizing how dangerous it can be. The weather has a huge impact on what you should you pack for the hike. Sometimes it’s better to stay at home than be in an open field when a lightning storm starts. That’s why checking the weather before a hike is a must-do task. Although the weather in the mountains is often unpredictable, you still need to know in as much details as possible what to expect when you’re out there. Getting trapped in the middle of a hail storm at a high altitude is no fun at all. Check the weather before you leave home!
Wearing the wrong clothes
Layering your clothes is a fundamental hiking rule. The cool thing about layered clothing is that it allows you to make quick and easy adjustments when you get warm or the weather changes. If you feel too hot, just take off one layer. If it starts raining, put on your rain jacket. Choose comfortable materials that will wick your sweat and keep your body temperature normal.
Starting the hike too late
This one is very important! If you’re hiking somewhere for the first time and you start in the afternoon there is a big chance that you’ll get lost on your way back because it will probably be dark. The best time to start any hike is early in the morning, so you’ll have plenty of day light in front of you. Don’t make these mistakes and good luck!
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