Hiking while traveling can be an experience like no other. Exploring the terrain of a new place and admiring its beauty can be exciting. Hiking can be as simple as ambling around a mile-long, flat nature trail or as strenuous as walking several miles up rugged mountainsides. Regardless of the type of hiking involved, you need to conduct careful research for the planning phase of the trip. What clothes to wear, what equipment to bring and the types and amounts of food and drinks are all important considerations. Here are some things you should think about bringing if you want to go hiking while on your trip.
The Right Clothing
Every great trip relies on careful planning. You will need to choose the correct clothing to wear, depending on the local climate, terrain and the weather forecasts. If you are hiking inside a national or state park, you can often find helpful information on what physical conditions to expect for the time of year you will be visiting. You can also research this information yourself and check the local weather forecasts.
If hiking in frigid temperatures, you will want to wear insulated clothing. If extremely hot, then you will want to take clothing that is lightweight. A good idea is to think of how to layer your clothing for all temperatures and to wear moisture-wicking materials. Consider the amount of protection your clothing affords against the sun and rough terrain.
Hiking can be a physically demanding activity and one that can deplete your body’s energy reserves. It is very important to stay hydrated above all else, and you should take energy drinks that contain ingredients that keep you hydrated and healthy on your hike. You also need to take food that supplies necessary nutrients and provides energy for your body. If you are hiking in a hot climate, it is a good idea to take two types of drinks: pure water and performance drinks with replenishing electrolytes. Ideally, you will have a drinking schedule that alternates these types of fluids. You can also take edible forms of electrolytes, like sport jelly beans. For food, plan on a varied supply of salty, fatty, and sweet items and fruits and protein.
We’ve all seen the stories on national news outlets about lost hikers who needed rescuing. You do not want to be that person. Fortunately, there are many handy tracking devices that use GPS. You can install a GPS app on your smartphone, use a tracking watch, or take a portable GPS unit that is made for hiking. It is important to note, however, that all these devices require batteries, and you should ensure that you have backup batteries on hand. Not only can these devices act as locators—they are also handy for their mapping capabilities as you hike. You can preload various types of maps on your device before your trip.
While you want to pack lightly for your hiking trip, you also will want to think about the type of equipment you may need. The length of your trip, the climate and the terrain will dictate these choices. A flashlight, first-aid kit, headlamp and a utility knife are generally helpful, and additional things like bedding, walking sticks, cooking supplies, heat sources and other items may be desirable. Be sure to plan your equipment carefully and compare necessity against the amount and weight.
When you pack carefully for your hiking trip, you are taking the guesswork out of the equation. While you cannot control all possible issues that may arise, you can definitely reduce the likelihood of having serious problems by being prepared for most contingencies. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, as they say.
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