If you talk about hiking, it does not mean you need to go for something as outlandish or extreme as the Appalachian Trail. It could be as simple as taking a walk through a forest or up a slope in your neighborhood’s vicinity.
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For the most part, trekking will cost you nothing to very little and is a great stress reliever. Indeed, the particular mental and physical benefits you will get from hiking ensure you can reside a more fruitful and fulfilled lifetime.
But even though hiking can be enjoyable, there are also a number of precautions and success tips one must take into consideration to avoid danger and stay safe. Among the more important tips is for one to hike in a group. It is much safer for one to hike in a group particularly if it is on a nature trail you happen to be unaccustomed to.
Hiking with Buddies
The support and motivation extracted from the group will help you in those times when you might think of packing up making. Actually, even when you are hiking on trail you are used to, it does not hurt to bring at least one person along because a natural deterrent to anyone across the trail that may be lurking with ill intent.
You also must take precautions when hiking up and down a slope. On the ascent, you should loosely lace your boots around your ankles to provide ample room for motion. When going downhill, you need to prevent jamming your toes by placing your heels in the back of the footwear and tightly tying your laces around the ankles while leaving them loose at the toes.
Use a hiking stick or trekking pole. These sticks help with balance and stability when going up or down a good incline. They also provide an additional assistance to your legs, reduce the knee stress and help you support the upper entire body especially when you embark on a long travel.
Always carry your personal water. If you are sure there will be water at your destination, carry just more than sufficient water to last until you arrive. Water is of higher importance than food to your success. Always filter any water you find along the trail and that you are looking for using – unless the water is definitely from a natural spring. If you can fix a long drinking straw to the drinking water bottle so you can drink as you shift, the better.
Dress in layers in order to make sure you maintain the proper body temperature with changes in weather. The weather can change drastically when you are out on a long hike so you need to be prepared for all type of climate conditions. Avoid cotton clothing because it retains moisture for long periods. Use polypropylene and other synthetic materials. Make sure you use dark clothing because they dry faster. Wear light colored clothing in case you are hiking in areas known for their particular tick infestation.
It’s also important that a single watch out for sunstroke when hiking in the hot sun. If you plan on trekking in the summer then you must be aware that the contact with high temperature can cause excessive fluid loss which may lead to heat exhaustion, or even in serious cases even to some heat stroke. Wear a head wear that is broad rimmed and that includes a strap. It gives better protection from popular wind and direct sunlight.
Hiking Boots and Equipment
Of all the hiking gear and equipment you need, your trekking boots are probably the most important. Good shoes or boots give you traction and support through the entire hike. A good pair of boots need not be overly expensive even though you must not compromise on quality in the name of reduce overall cost. It is advisable that you buy your boots from a dealer who may be conversant with the standards required associated with outdoor wear. Boots vary from light-weight for light hiking to weighty boots that are more durable and assistance the feet and ankles. The functions you need to look out for when buying your hiking boots include water resistance, weight of the boot, the price, the particular toe groove for crampons, the particular width of toe box and the gusseted tongue.
Apart from your hiking boots, there are other forms of equipment necessary for you hike. If you plan on getting into a day hike, you will need hiking socks, water purifying tablets (if you are not carrying your own water), a back pack, walking stick, traction devices, save beacons, signaling gear, Avalanche probes (if you will be on snow protected hilly terrain), jackets, binoculars, first aid kit, a compass, sunscreen and food. For an overnight hike, you will need a tent, sleeping bag, camp stoves, rain gear, matches, the Swiss army knife, and a torch.
Get a map of the route you plan on taking. If you plan to walk alone or with one another person, notify your family (or a ranger in case you are hiking through a park) on the place where you will be and the time you anticipate to return. That way, someone can come looking for you if you are in trouble or just just lost.