Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a great love for hiking adventures. There’s no better way to see the world, in my opinion. All that fresh air, the health benefits, and the spectacular scenery that you will take in are unbeatable. But – what makes the perfect hiking trip? I thought I would draw on my years of experience and answer that question for your today. Let’s get started with the basics.
Where to go
The world is your oyster when it comes to hiking trips. But, if you are just starting out, I would advise on sticking to your level. There are some spectacular places in this country alone, but they aren’t all hospitable. I would hate it if you were to get lost, or have an accident. You will need to be at a reasonable level regarding fitness – and I would also suggest going with friends. Start with small trips, and get used to walking long distances before you start going up mountainous regions and tougher trails. Trails.com is a great starting point for any level of hiker looking for a new challenge.
The most important item of clothing you will bring with you is your footwear. I strongly recommend splashing out on a pair of high-quality hiking boots if you are going to be serious about it. They will give you more grip when going over harsh terrain, and will also stop you getting blisters and other foot issues. Sneakers are OK, depending on the terrain – and you can also try a pair of Vibrams. Other than that, it depends on the weather. You should always wear pants – especially if you are going through woods and forest trails. And, make sure that you wear a bright jacket that can keep out the rain, and make you easier to see in the case of an accident.
What to take
Any hiker worth their salt will have a backpack with them while on their travels. You’ll need lots of water, and some high energy snacks to keep you going. Sunscreen is essential – whatever the weather. The sun’s rays can get to you even if it’s cloudy. A first aid kit is another must-have and bring some insect repellant to stay comfortable if you are camping. Don’t forget about a vehicle, either. A lot of the best hiking trails are miles away from anywhere, and you might need an RV or SUV to get you into some of the most inhospitable places. Finally, don’t forget a camera. The thing I love most about hiking is that you see so much with your own eyes, but capturing those moments for posterity is something you must do!
Before you go on your trip, always tell someone where you are going – including the route you intend to take. It’s also a good idea to study the area you are visiting and make sure that you know all the meeting points in case anyone gets lost. Bring a compass and a map, too. A smartphone comes in handy, of course; but less so when you are out in the wilderness with no battery or signal.
OK, so that just about wraps it up for now. Happy hiking, folks!