When I’m all round up with work and only got a day to spare, hiking is one thing I enjoy doing. I like sweating too much under the heat of the sun, motivated by sharing of laughter with friends, almost gives up at some point, and yet reaching the peak mightily.
When on top, I can only think of how worthy a hike has been and can only look forward to another round the next time I could. So, when you’re up for some hike any time soon, here are some good points I wish to share with you:
- Know your intentions for hiking beforehand.
Hiking is fun and exciting. But it is not for everyone. A long, vigorous walk, usually on trails (footpaths), in the mountains or in the countryside, requires much energy more than you can think of. It’s a physical activity more than just leisure. Be sure not to push yourself especially if you’re not really into it and just doing so because you have some time-out. Make sure not to confuse hiking to mere walking on anywhere with flat surfaces too. Mountain or hill elevations can cut short on your breaths. Be on guard of your own safety. Know your limits. Because you might find yourself passing out in between especially if the sun is so high up and trails are quite hard to hurdle.
- Check out your destination thoroughly.
It’s important to know your way around your chosen place to hike. Consider studying your way up and down the trail. Try to identify which path is easier, average, or difficult to take and assess your capacity to match which trail suits you best. Also, consider knowing the terrain of the area as well. Hills and mountains are beautiful, but even a short steep hike can be too challenging, you could quit.
- Have a good sleep at least a day or three your scheduled day hike.
Lack of sleep can take a toll on your breaths too. When you’re too exhausted and all sweating at the same time, you might find yourself hardly losing breaths faster than you think you could. Take it from me as I have experienced it myself, first hand. (Laughs!) I have passed out in the middle of our hike resulting to this quick tip from me to guide you and not experience the same fate I did. It was burdensome not only for me, but for my companions who I know really got worried when I did. So, apart from gearing up and preparing your stuff, don’t forget to sleep early and gain as much sleep as you could to combat a day’s worth of hike.
- Pack right and light.
If you plan to hike for just a few of hours, you sure don’t want to run the risk of being dehydrated. Bring with you at least a liter of water or more if you can. Just don’t compromise heaviness with your thirst! For an eight hour straight of hike, I’m usually good with 1.5L. I usually take a sip frugally for it to last.
A simple first-aid kit comprising of alcohol, Betadine, cotton, and bandage could get you a long way just in case you get accidentally injured. It’s also important to keep your first aid kit in a waterproof container. A white flower and paracetamol is important too, just in case you feel like passing out and just don’t feel well during the hike just like I did. (Laughs!)
Moreover, a sunscreen, some cover ups, and a hat could aid you from the sun’s heat. And of course, bring a towel, extra shirt, extra hiking pants, and a raincoat too. It helps if you wear something that’s stretchable so you can move swiftly and flexibly during the whole course of the hike. Simply saying, leave all your cotton clothes at home as they should be heavier than easy wash and dry clothing.
If you are hiking somewhere with steep, rocky grades, gloves are good to wear too. Normal working gloves should do. Hiking sticks are also helpful for getting up a steep hill, particularly if you’re with a weighty pack or don’t have a good balance.
Pack a small bag to contain any trash that you make too. Do not leave any trash on the trail.
- Make sure to eat your breakfast before the hike.
Make sure to take a full good meal with you before going for a day’s worth of hike. It could provide you just the right amount of energy you need for the trail. But if you’re not a breakfast person, it’s fine. You may just bring with you some food to aid your hunger during the hike. Anything bite-sized will do, especially if you bring some more to share with your troop. By the way, sandwiches, fruits, nuts, and some sweets are good trail food.
- Let someone know that you’re hiking when, where, and with whom.
Just in case you get lost with your troop, that someone may be of help on where to find you or contact help if you don’t return as expected.
- Make sure to be conditioned for a day’s worth of a hike.
You really don’t need to buy equipment for a day hike. So long as you’re conditioned for it, I’m pretty sure that you’ll get the hang of it so well and ace it even. Just make sure that you feel good and you’re up for a day’s worth of hike challenge. Once again, knowing how steep a mountain to hike and how rocky it must be should help you evaluate your ability at the same time. Just know your limits and don’t push it if you think you can’t.
- Always remember the golden rule of hiking.
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” Please, do so. Let’s be mindful of our own wastes and be mindful just the same if we see any of others. Kindly pick it up and bring it with you to dispose properly. As much as we tend to enjoy the hike, let’s be responsible just a little on the side too. Okay?
That’s it! I hope I gave you something to aid you with your hike. If you’re new to hiking, know that I’m no pro too. I just love it and I just make time whenever I can. I hike with my troop and we intend to go for it the lowest cost possible so if you want to tag along, we’re so fine and we’d love to include you! Let’s hike, yeah?