Hiking is one of the most provoking and exciting activities that you can ever pander to. It’s one of the best ways to get close and enjoy the wonders of nature that doesn't cost you much.
While several outdoor sports activities require special gear to get started, hiking is relatively much simpler. It is one of the easiest sports that is accessible to all ages and requires the least gear. Also, it is extremely beneficial to your physical and mental health and well-being.
The health benefits of this sport are endless. It is a good way to burn all that extra weight that has accumulated over the years and helps improve cardiovascular health. Moreover, it helps in reducing elevated blood pressure, preventing the onset of osteoporosis, relieving backaches, slowing down the aging process, and even preventing diabetes. And by immersing into the wonders of nature, the stress levels are lowered, gaining mental and emotional benefits way beyond the physical.
But like any outdoor sport, it comes with its fair share of risk. Some hikes may turn into tragedy if we are not prepared to go for a hiking trip.
Here are the tips on how to prepare yourself for a great hiking trip.
1. Get a decent night's sleep before you go for a hiking trip
Hiking will require you for physical exertion. Your body must have a good rest the night before you go for a hiking trip. If your body is exhausted on the day of your hike, it may not make your hike enjoyable. Moreover, having less sleep can cause fatigue.
2. Train your body
Before going for a hiking trip, make sure to train your body for the hike. Walking 3 to 4 times a week for 30 minutes is helpful to build your lung capacity so you can hike for a longer distance. Also doing exercises such as crunches, balance disc exercise, and walking in the sand can help you improve your flexibility and can help you build muscles to protect your knees and ankles as well.
3. Know the trail
It is important to know the area where you are going to hike. Having a detailed map of an area where you are going to hike is always helpful. Equip yourself with the trail information, guidebooks, or a GPS file of the route. This helps you to know the distance between the trail, the general landscape of the area, the highways, and the nearest human settlements.
Also check for the hiking information for potential animal life, poisonous plants, and local hunting season.
4. Have a good footwear
Your hiking footwear can make or break your hiking trip. Any form of extended walking requires good and functional footwear. So when choosing hiking footwear, ensure that you pick boots and shoes that compliment your fitness, the trail you are challenging, and your injury history.
If you have injured ankles, having a mid-cut hiking boot can help for extra support. And boots that are higher than the ankle provides more protection from an ankle sprain.
5. Anticipate for emergencies
Not everything may go well in a hike. One mistake can turn your hike into a disaster. It is always a wise decision to be prepared in case of possible emergencies. A medical kit is something that you cannot afford to miss in your backpack. A flashlight is also important, as it will help you navigate in the night, or dark places in the daytime.
You also need to carry an extra piece of clothing so that you don't have to wear dirty clothes soaked in sweat, as they may also cause infections.
6. Food and Drink
Food and drink are of huge importance. You’ll need to have a big calorie-dense meal to provide your body with power and high-protein snacks when you do not have time to prepare and eat a full meal.
7. Never hike alone
While going a solo hike is not automatically dangerous, at times, things just don’t go as planned on a hiking trip. Along the way, you may injure yourself and when you are hiking alone you cannot count on anyone to help you carry your stuff to help you continue walking. Along the way, getting attacked by animals while hiking solo can happen. And no one will be there to help you right away.
8. Notify someone that you are going for a hiking trip
Be sure to tell someone where you are going and your plan on when to be back. Telling someone can help a lot when something might happen on your hiking trip.
Along with the above-mentioned essentials on how to prepare for a hiking trip, you have to be aware of your surroundings. Happy hiking!