You can never go wrong with hiking. Aside from promoting physical fitness, hiking is also one of many activities that make you want to realize how beautiful the world actually is. Whether you’re in the forests of Japan or the mountains of the Appalachians, it’s always great to go on a hiking trip where you can appreciate nature and escape city life even for just a day.
If you’re thinking of going on a hiking trip, a great deal of preparation is necessary. After all, you need to make the most out of the experience and, more importantly, keep yourself safe during your trek.
Here are a few tips you will need to consider before you start planning your trip.
Plan your destination
Just like any traveler would, planning where you want to go is crucial. If you search out of town, you can find great hiking venues without having to drive long distances. If you’re living in New York City, for example, you may as well go upstate for places like Anthony’s Nose in Peekskill or the Old Croton Aqueduct in Westchester.
When looking for a destination, however, you will also need to do ample research. For this, make sure that the area has emergency services close by. You will also need to know the trails you will have to follow, lest you get lost in the middle of the hike.
Pick the right season
For sure, you wouldn’t want to go on a hiking trip during hurricane season or when there’s a blizzard coming your way. Picking the right time for your trek is just as important as picking the right place. The weather can make the hike easier or harder for you. One thing’s for sure, you should be able to pick the best season to visit trails or national parks.
Generally, you should go in the summer when the weather’s fine and you are treated to lush scenery, especially in states like Wyoming and around the Great Lakes. If you’re not particularly fond of summer outings, then you may as well go on a hiking trip during autumn, where the weather’s cold and the landscape is blanketed by a thin mist.
Still, when picking the right time to go on a hiking trip, safety should be your first priority.
Focus on keeping safe
In an article by Whimsical Hikers, the chances of being involved in a hiking accident are fairly slim, but this shouldn’t be a reason to sideline safety. Basically, anything can cause an accident while you’re on a hiking trip. From dehydration to wild animals, you are at risk of serious injuries if you’re not careful enough, more so if you are not too concerned with safety.
That being said, you should be able to have the proper gear and accessories that can make the hike not only easier but also safer. You will also need to make sure you’re fit to go on a hiking trip. Doing warm-up exercises and stretches can help prevent injuries such as a sudden sprain in your ankle. Although you can always count on local authorities to respond immediately, it’s still best to avoid possible injuries right from the get-go.
For more helpful safety tips for hikers, you can visit sites like parkcityluxuryrealestate.com that have everything you need to experience an injury-free hiking tour.
Take it slow
If you’re a first-time hiker, it’s important that you start off on the right foot. As much as you want to reach the peak of a hill of a mountain, you need to understand that hiking demands a lot of work, so you may as well make the journey slowly but surely.
Never try to exert yourself beyond your limit. Make sure to take intermittent rests along the way. To be sure, choose a shorter trail for your first hike and be familiar with any steep elevations. For this, use apps like Google Maps to get a more comprehensive view of the landscape. This should enable you to find possible rest spots and calculate the trail’s length from the starting point.
Enjoy the view
Taking pictures takes the fun out of a hiking trip. It’s not that it’s wrong to document your adventure, but what’s important is that you immerse yourself in the experience. You’ll be fine with a few shots of picturesque landscapes and exotic wildlife you get to see during the trek. You won’t be able to relive it when you come back to the city, so make sure you enjoy every second.
Rey is a writer and editor based in the Philippines. He writes about politics, but he also takes a break from it by writing about beautiful destinations in his home country.