Hiking Tips and Tricks – Don’t learn it hard way!
Do you hike?
If your answer is, "Yes, I do." then you must be aware of the fact that we need proper planning before we hit the trails.
You can't go for the hiking without having hiking trips and tricks. If you make that stupid mistake, then you'll learn the hard way.
I made this mistake during my first even hike, and things went terribly wrong. Though I was able to enjoy, however, it didn't live up to my expectations.
Though there are a lot of things to be considered as it depends on where you're hiking, with whom you're hiking and what hiking gears you're carrying, however, I can share my 2 cents of advice that will help you to fix some common mistakes.
Hiking Tips and Tricks
1. Find Your Hiking Companion
The dumbest mistake one could make is hiking alone. When you don't have enough experience, then it's better to find your partner or group of people to hike with.
Hiking in a group of people is always exciting and ensures extra safety. You get to learn from others' experiences which add up to you personal hiking diaries.
If you ever get into the trouble, then your companions would be able to tp help you. If you're alone, then things might get out of hands which you certainly don't want to.
Your hiking companion doesn't necessarily have to be a human; it can be your dog. Yeah, you heard it right. If you don't have any friends or you don't like hiking with people, then a dog could be a good choice too.
Not every dog can be an excellent companion. Here we have written an article on best dog breeds, do read it before you hit the trails with your dog.
2. Find Entertainment Source
If you're interested in long hiking tours, typically more than two days, then there should be a source of entertainment. I see nobody talking about it. I'm betting you guys despite such beautiful nature and surrounding; you might get bored when you've free time especially when you're alone.
I would suggest you guys bring your phone with you guys, but if you have made your mind to keep yourself away from technology and regular busy life, then a book can be the best option.
When you're sitting down in a calm environment, it's mind pleasing to read books. I personally like reading hiking books which doesn't let me go off-topic. If you're into photography then you wouldn't get bored at all.
3. Know Your Essentials
The one common mistake every beginner hiker make is overpacking the backpack. This blunder results into the heavy pack and walking with the load of unnecessary things that you won't even touch.
Rather than learning the hard way, it's better to understand the priorities and needs. Here are few things that are important that should be in your hiking backpack.
Sunscreen is a must have. There are a lot of useless sun protection creams in the market. Make sure you get yourself the one which has titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, photo-stabilized avobenzone, or Mexoryl. They protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays.
Map and Compass:
- You need to have Map and Compass in your backpack to make sure you're on track. If you don't know how to use a compass, then you use your mobile or hiking Apps.
Check our article: Best Hiking Apps
First Aid Kit:
- I can't stress it enough. Instead of packing your backpack with fancy stuff add first air kit. When you're in the wilderness, you don't know when you might get into trouble.
- It may sound an optional addition if you don't hike during night time, however, if you're staying overnight then you never know what might surprise at night time, so it's important to have a flashlight with you.
- Either you're hiking in hot conditions or freezing conditions you need firestarter with you. You might not be able to start a fire with traditional methods, and it's time and energy consuming so firestarter is the essential.
Mosquito Repellent or Net:
- Mid to late August is a time when mosquitoes mostly fade away, and hiking becomes easier. However, before that period or in wet conditions the things become opposite. Before you creep out, make sure you guys have mosquito repellent, or you can use a mosquito net.
Mosquito net can be utilized during dawn and dusk since mosquitoes are very active at that time.
The one thing you've to make sure before hiking is that you don't get dehydrated. Unfortunately, if it happens, then you'll start to vomit, and you'll be attacked with the sickness which can even result in death (if you don't find a way to get yourself hydrated immediately)
You've two choices, carrying a hydration bladder or a water bottle. It all comes down to the person choice. The water bottle is easier to carry, can be cleaned quickly and inexpensive.
Hydration Bladder is a better option in our opinion. You can take more water, and you don't have to waste your time opening the cap, unlike water bottle.
We have listed a few best hydration bladders, don't forget to read that article if you want to purchase a hydration bladder.
Here some interesting tips and trick for hydration bladder
- Keep the bladder in the freezer to prevent it from getting mold and funk.
- Add cubes of ice when you're filling water in the hydration bladder so that it stays cold for a longer time.
- Try using electrolyte tablets like Nuun to add vitamin, mineral, and taste to your water.
5. Keeping Your Feet Healthy.
Don't you dare to go with your regular shoes for hiking, trekking, and backpacking! It sucks big time. I made this stupid mistake on my first ever hiking trip, and it turned out to be a disaster.
Get yourself proper hiking boots if you're serious about hiking. Hiking boots keep your feet safe and provide better traction and safety. And, hiking boots are waterproof as well which keeps your feet dry from mud and small ponds.
It also keeps your feet healthy by reducing the fatigue factor which you won't find in your regular shoes and slippers.
Check out our list of best hiking boots for men and women.
Extra Tips and Trips
- We recommend you guys use good hiking socks. Here we have reviewed hiking socks, if you're looking for a pair then make sure to read that article.
- Don't forget to take baby powder to prevent your feet from swelling and odor.
6. Hiking in winter
- If you find yourself in a position where you get out of the water, during the winter season, then don't eat snow. Your body will consume a lot of calories to melt the snow to water, and you'll be under hypothermia radar. So, don't make that mistake.
- Dress like an onion, in layers. It's critical when you're hiking in cold climate. Temperature varies greatly on the bottom of the trail and the top of the mountain. Having a variety of insulating clothes will help you stay comfortable and warm.
- Use crampons on your hiking boots. The crampon is a metal plate with spikes fixed to boot for walking on ice or rock climbing. Therefore, crampons are extremely necessary to walk on an icy trail.
- When the weather is sick make sure to eat even if you have to stop for a short time if you don't then you will feel colder.
- If your alcohol stove doesn't inflame, then light a paper and hold it to the fuel that you have previously poured into the stove and it will heat up the fuel and ignite it. This trick will work through the winter without any problem.
Hiking in Summer Season
Make sure to get up early in the morning. If you wake up late like at 10-11 AM, then you've to survive the heat. It's boiling between 11 AM to 2 AM, so make sure you get up early and cover the most miles before that time.
- If you're directly exposed to sun rays, then it may result in the heat strokes. Wear loose fitting hiking pants and long sleeves; it helps a lot. If you wear skin tight outfit, then your body will start itching.
- Cover up your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses. And, apply the lotion to the exposed area.
- Water is not enough for summer hiking. You not only lose water in the form of sweat but you also lose electrolytes. Sodium (NA) and Potassium (K) are two major sources that keep up the energy.
- Consume complex carbohydrates because these carbohydrates provide energy for a longer time as compared to the simple carbs.
It's important to know the signs of heatstroke. If you and your companion feel one of the following symptoms then just stop hiking and look for the help around or simply call 911.
- Muscle cramps
- Throbbing headache
- Disorientation or confusion
- Lack of sweating, despite hot temperatures
Do Share Your Experience!
These were our hiking tips and tricks for you guys so that you guys don't have to learn the hard way. However, everyone has some different story to share. Our blog has the relevant audience, so please don't forget to leave your feedback on this post and share your own hiking tips with out readers, we will appreciate it.