Hiking is a fun and rewarding outdoor activity. It can also be a frustrating experience, especially if you fail to plan. From the route to the weather to your gear, many things require your attention. You have to plan a hike properly for your safety, comfort, and convenience.
Clueless about how to plan a hiking trip? We got you covered! Read on and we’ll let you know how to do it right!
1. Find a Hiking Destination
Like with how to plan a backpacking trip, one of the most important is the selection of your destination. Consider its accessibility. Choose one that is near where you live so that you can reach it easily. Make sure as well that it has accessible trails that are perfect for your skills. For instance, if you are a beginner, choose a place that will be easy for you to traverse.
At this point, you also have to research everything that you can expect in the hiking destination, including the terrain, weather, wildlife, vegetation, time estimates, sun exposure, and remoteness, among others. Go online and you will find most of this information in reputable hiking guides.
If you have a hiking buddy or group, make sure to consider the opinions of others as well. Look for a destination that everyone likes.
Hiking for beginners can be an intimidating experience, which is why you need to plan a hike carefully by choosing the right destination. Check the trail details, including the topographic map and reviews from other hikers. Their real-life experiences will make it easy to decide.
2. Be Physically Prepared
Now that you know where to go, as you plan a hiking trip, you should prepare physically. This conditions your body for the hike. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, the right training is important to have the strength and endurance you need.
When it comes to training for hiking, you first need to consider the length and the duration of the hike, as well as the conditions of the terrain. This will let you know how hard you need to train to prepare for the hiking trip.
Among others, your focus should be on cardiovascular fitness. Some of the best exercises to include in your routine include jogging, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming.
Hiking will include a lot of walking, so you also need to work on the strength of your legs. Whether it is cross-country walking or Nordic walking, the right exercises will be crucial to prepare your legs. In the same way, you have to work on your core and back. Back strength is important if you are carrying a large bag.
3. Get Your Gear Ready
As you plan a hike, another important thing to consider is the gear that you will bring. Equip yourself with the essentials. The following are the most important to have:
- Backpack: Choose a lightweight backpack that is suitable for your body type. It should be breathable and ergonomic, especially if the hike will belong. Consider the things that you will bring to find the right backpack.
- Navigation Tools: Even if you carefully plan a hike, you might get lost on the trail. Prepare tools that will make it easy to navigate, including a compass or hiking GPS.
- Multi-Purpose Tool: This will come in handy in many situations, such as when preparing food, defending yourself from animals, and cutting bandages, among other situations.
- First Aid Kit: Hiking can be unpredictable. Accidents and injuries can happen when you least expect it. To demonstrate preparedness, make sure to pack a first aid kit. Some of the must-haves in the kit include bandages, gauzes, medicines, alcohol, and tweezers, among others.
- Headlamp: If you will be hiking at night, this is another gear you need to have. This makes it easy to navigate your way through the darkness.
- Poles: Trekking poles will make the hike easier, especially if you are going downhill and you are carrying a bag at your back.
4. Dress Appropriately
You also have to plan what to wear when hiking. The goal is to make your clothes lightweight and comfortable while being protective. The wrong clothes can quickly turn your hiking trip into a disaster.
Find yourself the perfect pair of hiking shoes. When you are wearing the wrong footwear, you will be uncomfortable when walking and this can easily make you feel tired. This also makes you prone to accidents, especially when the trail is slippery. Pay attention to the traction of the sole. Consider the material as well. It should be flexible and breathable.
You also need the best hiking pants. We recommend pants over shorts because they offer better coverage to protect your legs, especially from mosquitoes. Denim is a big no when you are hiking. Consider as well if it is winter or summer when deciding on the best material for the pants.
If it will be cold, insulation is also critical for your hiking checklist. A lightweight and thick jacket can keep you warm while being easy to carry. In most cases, a windbreaker jacket is enough, unless it is winter. If it is cold, you might also need to wear base layers. You might also need a rain jacket depending on the weather during your hike.
Worried about the heat of the sun? Don’t go without a hat and sunglasses. This protects the face from the extreme heat of the sun, making you more comfortable as you like.
5. Mind Your Health and Safety
Your safety is also one of the most important considerations when you plan a hiking trip. If you are traveling to a foreign country where you will be hiking, check if you need vaccines or if you have to take certain medications for your trip.
Food and water are also important. Before you leave for a hiking trip, load up on foods that will give you the energy to burn. Your pre-hike meal should include healthy carbs, including whole-grain bread, fat-free yogurt, and brown rice. During the hike, trail mix, granola bars, dried beans, and nuts are some of the essentials. Hydration is also crucial. Invest in hydration packs, hydration bladders, and backpacking water filters.
Before you go on a hiking trip, leave your itinerary to a family member or friend. Include a note about your detailed route. Keep in touch with them a soft as possible, especially if you are doing a multi-day hike.
Protect yourself against wildlife and insects. Learn about the animals that you might meet on the trail to help you prepare. A bug spray or an insect repellent is also a must-have.
Globo Surf Overview
While hiking is a great way to enjoy and explore the outdoors, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you aren’t prepared. Make sure to plan a hike properly. It all starts with choosing the destination and your route. You also need to physically prepare your body for the demands of the hike, pack the must-haves and emphasize your safety. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!
More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:
- Hiking Sandals
- Hiking GPS
- Hiking Watch
- Tactical Watch
- Hydration Pack
- Road Trip Essentials
- Wonderland Trail
- How To Pack A Backpack
- How To Wash A Backpack
- Best Hikes In The World
- Ultimate Guide to Planning Hiking Trips, CamoTrek.com
- Planning a Hike for Dummies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating the Perfect Trip, Adventures.HartleyBrody.com