What Are The Do’s And Don’ts Of Hiking?
So you are thinking about hitting the trails for some relaxation and exercise. Great! We are glad to have you! We hope this new hobby gets you to explore the outdoors more and see the true benefits of hiking and camping. But before you go to REI to stock up on gear to prepare for your first group or solo hike, there are some things you need to keep in mind. We are talking about common mistakes newbie hikers can make that could not only piss off your fellow hiker, but could potentially put your personal safety at risk. In this article, we will talk about safety tips, and more importantly, what should do (and don’t do) while on your hiking trip.
Hit The Trail With Confidence – What You Should Do When Hiking
Listen, we don’t want to be your parents here. We want you to enjoy every hiking trail you travel upon and all the fun activities that come from being in Nature. With that being said, there are some basic things you should always do and be mindful of before you take any hiking trip. Here are 13 things to consider before you plan your hike!
- Do follow trail etiquette and leave no trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment and maintain the natural beauty of the trail. Again, LEAVE NO TRACE!
- Do wear appropriate clothing and hiking socks to protect your feet and keep you comfortable.
- Do bring a trail mix or other snacks to keep your energy levels up.
- Do plan your hike, taking into account your experience level, trail conditions, and the weather forecast.
- Do bring enough water and food for your hike and drink water regularly to prevent dehydration.
- Do have an emergency plan in place in case of unexpected events.
- Do wear sunscreen and a hat on hot days to prevent heat exhaustion.
- Do be aware of common hazards such as poison ivy and potentially more dangerous hazards such as mountain lions.
- Do wear appropriate gear such as sturdy shoes, and a backpack with a first aid kit, map, and compass.
- Do be mindful of other hikers on the trail and give way to uphill hikers.
- Do follow trail etiquette by keeping the noise down, not leaving the trail, and not wear headphones while hiking.
- Do check the weather before your trip, and carry appropriate clothing and gear depending on the forecast.
- Do have fun, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, desert, beach, or wherever your hiking adventure takes you!
Trailblaze With Caution – The Hiking Don’ts You Need To Know For Safe Adventures
Now that you have a good idea of what to do before your next outdoor adventure, here are some things that should be avoided while hiking. Yes, avoided. These are mistakes to avoid on your hiking trip so you are respectful of other outdoor adventurers, and so search and rescue don’t need to be called to save your stupid ass.
- Don’t leave your trip plan behind, ensure you have an idea of where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone.
- Don’t hike beyond your experience level, it can be dangerous and will not be enjoyable.
- Don’t hike alone on solo hikes, instead, if you’re new to hiking, it’s best to stick to day hikes with experienced friends or family.
- Don’t forget to bring sleeping bags and other camping gear if you’re planning an overnight hike.
- Don’t neglect safety tips, such as checking the weather forecast, and leaving an emergency plan.
- Don’t forget to bring enough water and food to sustain you on the hike.
- Don’t leave the trail, shortcuts can damage the environment and will be harder on your feet.
- Don’t wear headphones, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and respect the natural setting.
- Don’t neglect to check for poison ivy, it is common and can cause a rash.
- Don’t underestimate the power of the sun, especially on hot days, use sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn.
- Don’t neglect to bring a friend or family member on your hiking trip, it’s always safer to hike in groups.
- Don’t forget to check trail conditions before you start, it can be dangerous to hike on trails that are wet or icy.
Related Article: Best GPS Trackers For Hiking
In Conclusion: The Importance of Following Hiking Etiquette and Safety Guidelines
Have fun. Seriously. Hiking should be about you connecting with Nature and absorbing the beauty of your natural surroundings. Simply, keep these tips in mind whether you plan on hiking solo or with a group of friends. These “dos and don’ts” aren’t just for your personal safety, but for every other person who hikes safety.
And always remember the golden rule when hiking and camping: leave no trace!