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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksHiking is one of the fun outdoor adventures you can do in Raleigh. Going on a hike can reduce your stress levels and improve your physical fitness. These are some of the physical and psychological benefits of hiking. Any trek is more fun when it is planned and prepared for in advance, just in case something unexpected happens on the way. But if this is your first time to go hiking, there are some things you need to keep in mind before your venture out. These hiking tips will make your hikes enjoyable and memorable.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

Pick an easy trail for your first hike out. This is very important especially if you’ve never been on one or it has been quite a while since your last hike. Go for a hike that is a bit shorter in distance than you usually do when you go for walks on a flat surface. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. For an inexperienced hiker, steep inclines could bring some troubles.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

Most beginning hikers make the mistake of bringing the wrong gear. You must make sure that you are hydrated during your hike. You can also protect yourself by wearing light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. The right clothing will protect you from scrapes and scratches and will also help prevent sunburns and insect bites. Don’t forget to wear a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and bring a hat! Bring along about twice as much water as you think you’ll need. And make sure you pack a backpack with snacks and some extra clothing. There are about ten essential items you should bring whenever you go hiking.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

Getting lost can quickly turn your happy hiking trip into a bad one. Bring along a map or a GPS device of the area through which you will be traveling. Study your map beforehand and make sure you orient yourself to the location before you start off. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Planning to use your phone or another device? Pack a spare battery or put your phone in airplane mode to save the battery’s charge.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Many hikers begin trekking early in the morning. High daytime temperatures may negatively affect your hiking experience. To make your hike a safe one, keep abreast of the local weather reports and plan out the duration of your trek. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. If you feel you are overexerting yourself, you might not be hiking at a comfortable pace. Slow down and save your energy so you can enjoy and complete the trek.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Hiking on a busy trail will be easier if you follow the basic etiquette rules. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. There may also be bikes and horses on your trail. Move out of their way if you can. Politely say hello to other hikers and keep your voices down when hiking with friends. It is safer if you keep any dog you bring along leashed for the entire trek. Carry all of your trash. Granola bar wrappers, empty water bottles, and so on should never be left on the trail.

Tip #6: Use the Buddy System

The last of our hiking tips is to invite someone to come along on your hike, just in case you have an emergency. In the event that you do hike alone, make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you plan to back. This information will prove very important in case you get lost.

Have a safe and memorable hiking experience by following these simple hiking tips.

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