Are you planning a hiking trip? These can be great for exercise and provide a fun time. If you are new to hiking, there are some things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable. From picking the right trail walking shoes to planning for weather, these tips will help make your experience a lot better.
1. Research the trail.
Before you put on your trail walking shoes, you need to look into the trail you will be walking on. Many trails are labeled for beginners, intermediate hikers and advanced hikers. Some parks use colors or numbers much in the same way the ski resorts use diamonds. Keep these factors in mind when you are looking at your trail options.
- How much do you work out? If you do not work out a lot or it has been a long time, you should go for easier trails that are labeled “beginner.” This hike should be fun, not horribly painful. Be realistic when you are thinking about what you do on a regular basis and what you can do when pushed.
- Do you exercise at least three times a week? if your answer to that is “yes,” you are probably ready to grab your lightweight hiking boots and hit the intermediate trails. People do best on these trails when they have no problem going at least a few miles without being uncomfortable.
- If you work out a lot and have good knees and hips, maybe you should try out the more advanced trails. The terrain is often a lot rougher on these trails so you need to pay attention to that. The higher your fitness level, the more fun you will have on these trails. People who work out at least five days a week have the best experiences on these trails.
2. Get the right gear.
- You need to make sure you get the right trail walking shoes. A lot of your shoe choices will depend on the kind of trail you choose and the weather you encounter. If it is rainy, you need waterproof hiking shoes. If you are going on the advanced trails, you may want to look at adventure shoes. When you are looking at trail walking shoes, you want to get the lightest walking boots that meed your needs. Your boots will add more to your load than you may think. There is a saying among people who hike often, “”a pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back.” Keep this in mind when you are picking your boots.
- Bring and use sunscreen and insect repellent. The last things you want to deal with are bad sun burns and bug bites when you are out hiking. These are easy things to prevent or avoid.
3. Break in your trail walking shoes.
If you are planning a big hiking trip, you do not want to wait until the last minute to break in your hiking shoes. When you head off for your hike, you need to have your hiking boots very well broken in. If you wear new boots, your feet will blister and it will be a miserable experience. When your feet are happy, you are happy.
4. Keep an eye on the forecast.
You should make it a point to watch the weather. If you are hiking in an area that is prone to bad storms, you should keep an eye on that. If there is a big storm headed your way, you may want to delay a hiking trip until it passes. You should always bring clothing for wet weather but you should not plan your trip for the same week a hurricane is hitting.
5. Bring food and water.
When you are out hiking, you can easily become dehydrated. This can lead to a lot of problems and make your trip miserable. Bring enough water to have one cup of it every 15 minutes. That may seem like a lot but it really is not. When you are out on long hikes, you should take a snack break every hour to hour and a half. You can pack something healthy like nuts, fruit or granola to eat.
With the right preparation, your hiking trip will be great.