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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksOne of the fun outdoor adventures you can have while living in Johns Creek is hiking. Hiking is not just fun, it also has a number of physical and psychological benefits including lowered stress levels and better physical fitness. Planning and preparing for the unexpected will help ensure that you will have a fun trek. If it is your first time to go on a hike, there are some things you need to know before you head out. These hiking tips are going to make your hikes fun and memorable.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

If you haven’t been on a hike — or it has been a while — it would help if you choose an easy trail for your first time out. If you are used to taking walks on a flat surface, go for a hike that is a little shorter than usual. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. Steep inclines can be a problem for an inexperienced hiker.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

One usual mistake among novice hikers is bringing the wrong gear. Wear light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. This will keep you safe and hydrated on your hike. In addition to helping prevent sunburns and insect bites, the right clothing will protect you from scrapes and scratches, too. Wear your sturdy sneakers or hiking boots, and bring a hat along! To top it off, pack a backpack with snacks, extra clothing, and more than enough water than you think you might need. There are about ten essential items you must bring every time you venture out on a hike.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

Getting lost can quickly ruin almost any hiking trip. A map or a GPS device can help ensure that you find your way around the area you will be traveling through. Study the map and orient yourself to the location before you begin your trek. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Bring a spare battery for your phone or any other device you want to use as a map. Putting your phone in airplane mode also helps save your battery’s charge.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Many hikers like to start off on their trek early in the morning. Hiking is safer and more enjoyable when daytime temperatures are not very high. You should check local weather reports and figure out how much time you need to complete the trek. This will make your hike a safe one. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Hiking at a comfortable place will ensure that you can complete the trek without overexerting yourself.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Basic hiking etiquette is very important especially when you are on a busy trail. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Watch out and make way for bikes and horses. Be polite and say hello to other hikers, but don’t hold loud conversations with friends you are hiking with. Keep your dogs safe by making sure they are leashed when you bring them along on your hikes. Do not leave any trash behind as well. 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 bring someone along on your hike, to be safe in case of an emergency. If you are planning to hike alone, make sure someone knows where to reach you and when you expect to be back. If ever you get lost, this information could spell the difference between life and death.

By following these hiking tips, you can make hiking an activity you enjoy.

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