Whether you are going on your first hiking trip or you are an experienced hiking pro, there are a few essential things that you must never forget in order to keep hiking as pleasurable as possible. The most important things you must and mustn’t do could be summed up in this top 10 tips for an awesome hiking trip article. These 10 essentials include things you should take with you as well as advises on how to behave once you’re on the hiking trail or anywhere outdoor, because as nice as the nature could look, sometimes the most beautiful sights could get you carried away and forget to keep yourself safe.

If you follow these 10 essential advises, you should be able to get the most out of your hiking trip, so read on and hopefully, you’ll find this article both educating and interesting.

1.First and foremost always communicate

If you’re taking a different path or you’re simply getting tired of the vigorous pace of the rest of your hiking buddies, it’s really crucial to always keep them informed of your status. No one would judge you because you’re slower or because you’re taking your time climbing a steep hill, don’t be afraid to tell the people you’re with that you need to go slower or to take a break. Just like with anything else, there’s no shame in being slower or if you’re not so confident in your own abilities at first, so this advise is really important to beginners more than anyone else. The same goes for experienced hiking veterans as well, as if you are more of an experienced hiker and you decide to take a different unmarked approach to the final destination, it’s mandatory that you let your fellow trekkers that you’re doing so, so they don’t need to start looking for you once you get out of sight. It’s a good idea to let them know the particular trace that you’re planning on taking as well, so if somethings happens, they know where to look for you.

It’s an awesome idea to take signaling devices with you and even the simplest ones could save your life in an extreme situation. A mirror, or matches to start a fire for smoke signals could help you if you get hurt, but in most cases a whistle, cell phone or a walkie-talkie would suffice.

2. Always stay hydrated

Anyone who’s been on more than 1 hiking trip would tell you that staying hydrated is really important. If you’ve been on a hiking trip, you’d know that even if the weather doesn’t suggest so, because the weather isn’t really hot, drinking lots of fluids is important. That’s mostly because you’ll be climbing high hills and even if you’re not, the backpack of most trekking enthusiasts weights from 70 to 160 pounds in some cases. This extra weight will definitely make you sweat and if you want to be able to keep up with the rest without collapsing drinking lots of water is essential.

Taking more water than you expect to drink would be a good idea too as our estimations are often wrong and even if they’re not, someone else in your group might not have taken enough, so you ought to be prepared for such scenarios too. In case something happens with the water you already have and you’re on your own, carrying a water purifying system in your backpack is another great idea to make sure you’ll have something to drink even if you didn’t bring it with you. (This obviously doesn’t really work if your hiking in the desert.

3.Do your homework and research your next hiking trail

Chosing a trail which is within your abilities is really important as if you try doing a trail which is beyond your capabilities, you might find yourself staying in the wilderness overnight and this isn’t necessarily a fairy tale in which you sleep under the stars and everything looks amazing. View a map of the trail, read forums where others have done this trail in particular and see how long it took them. Elevation changes is something you should consider as well as the distance, because 90% of the times, a hiking trail is different from a walking trail and will include some elevation gain. You could also ask a park ranger or someone from the cottage you’re staying at (if you’re staying at a cottage) on how long it takes people and basically get prepared for what you’re up against.

4. Plan ahead and don’t forget that you’ll have to get back to where you started

You’re gonna have to get back to where you first started from. If you’re expecting to take 2 hours to get from point A to point B, keep in mind that it could take you about 30% longer to get back. This is partially because you will be exhausted already and you will know where you stand in terms of distance to your final destinaion.

5. Make sure you know how to navigate around

If you’re traveling by yourself or in a group of inexperienced people, it’s crucial that at least one person know what they’re doing. If you can’t read the markings on the trail, or it’s simply unmarked (this isn’t really advised upon though) at least carry a GPS with you or even a hand held map would be better than nothing. A compass along with your map would work pretty well even in the hands of an inexperienced person.

6. Keep yourself and your friends safe

Being protected doesn’t mean, bringing guns for protection against Grizzly Bears or attach of wild animals, although depending on where you’re hiking, you might want to be prepared even for such extreme scenarios. Being protected means to get protected from anything you might encounter, such as :

  • Heavy rain
  • Strong sun
  • Strong winds
  • Heavy snowing conditions

and many many others.

In order to keep yourself protected from the water, we actually have a list of the best waterproof hats and socks for hiking  which will keep you dry at all times. Keeping yourself dry is really important, but sunburns could also be a major pain once your adventure has come to an end. So make sure you get the proper sunscreen product for your skin.

Having a few extra layers of clothing underneath your upper ones will keep you from heavy winds, but a good wind blocking jacket would also benefit you a lot if it comes to this. Having a pair of good hiking boots is included in this list as well, as they will keep your ankles healthy – and with ankle injuries being some of the most common ones in this sport or outdoor activity, you’d want to have this covered.

7.Energize periodically, but don’t stuff yourself

If you’re planning on a day long hiking adventure or a trip longer than three hours, bringing some snacks to eat along the way will keep you full and keep your energy levels high. Fruits such as bananas and protein bars are great, but sandwiches that you’ve prepared the night before would do just as good. You won’t get fatigued easily this way and if you eat small amounts of food once every couple of hours you should be good. Hunger pangs or headaches from starving yourself are going to be an unnecessary enemy if you’ve prepared well, so take the time the day or night before and your hiking trip will be as awesome, as you would have imagined.

Keep in mind that salty snacks will help you maintain more water in your body, so if you’re hiking in the desert, this might save your life and although eating salty foods will make you want to drink more water, at the end it could prove to be your life saver. Although Food is an important source of energy, a person can survive a long time without it and the water you drink is far more important for your overall well being and survival.

8.Gear up properly

Like we’ve mentioned already, having the proper hiking gear is the most important thing, especially if you’re going on a hiking adventure which is longer than 2-3 hours. And we wouldn’t be the Hiking Gear Guru if we didn’t have all the necessary guides for you. Check our hiking gear guides gallery where you will easily find all the information you’ll ever need to find the best you can get in every single category.

Here’s a  little tip from our best boots for men guide:

“Be careful about wearing shoes for the first time on a long trail, since all shoes need a breaking in period.”

9. Tread Lightly and keep the nature beautiful

Respect the environment and the nature you’re enjoying so much. Think about the others before you and the people after. Wouldn’t you love to visit this place with your children  and show them the same things that you’re seeing right now. That’s what I thought, so get involved in keeping the nature as pure as it should be and if you see someone littering or making the trails dirtier than they should be, make sure that you tell them the same that you’ve read here.

Make sure that you stay on the marked and established trails to prevent erosion and try not to disturb any plants or the wildlife in the area. If you’re familiar with the butterfly effect, you’d know that even the smallest details matter.

10.Last but not least – Enjoy youself!

As a matter of fact, this is the most important thing you’ll read here. Enjoying yourself is the most important thing for a number of reasons, but most importantly, because this is what life is all about. Enjoying your hiking trips the way you enjoy your life and you’ll see that when you’re out in the nature you’ll be able to enjoy yourself even more as nature is beautiful and the sights you’ll stumble upon out on the hiking trails are something you can’t see in the city. So take in the fresh air, smell the flowers and get rid of the day to day life, cuz that’s what hiking and trekking is all about.

And if you want to remember these moments or capture the moments better, take a camera, write in your journal and basically do what you love. There isn’t a formula that works for everybody, so go out and find the one that works for you!

10 Tips for an Awesome Hiking Trip
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