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How to Plan and Prepare for a Hike

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Sep 07, 2021 09:08 PM EDT

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How to Plan and Prepare for a Hike

(Photo: pixabay)

While taking a hike may seem like a simple process of throwing on sweats, heading out to the park, and hitting the trails, there is more to it. You don't want to be dehydrated, become lost with no service, or worse, get bitten by ticks. Therefore, hiking requires pre-planning, where you can make your experience safe and enjoyable without any unexpected mishaps. You can start by mapping out your route and learning about valuable methods to improve your next hike.

Planning and Preparation for a Hike

Your hike begins long before you even hit the trail. Try to bring a hiking partner. However, if you decide to hike alone, you should let a friend or family member know where you'll be.

Study Hiking Trails and Maps

Make sure you know what the hiking area looks like. You should study the routes to help prevent you from becoming lost and confused out in the woods. Stay aware of where the entry and exit points are. Also, try to note where there are water spots so you can refill your water bottle, just in case you run out.

Map Out Your Hike

Before you go out on the trail, make sure you plot out the route you are taking. You can highlight this on a map and mark areas you plan to stay out. Plan out your day ahead, such as where water stops are, rest stops, and campsites if you are backpacking overnight.

Pay Attention to Timing

You need to know how long it will take you to hike across a specific area. To get more information, you can call the park authorities and ask them about the average time it takes for most hikers to cross particular trails. This way, you can estimate how long it will take you to get to certain points. That way, you don't adventure too far down a trail, then try to find your way back after dark.

Bring Appropriate Gear

Even on a lightweight hike, you should be prepared. If you are walking on a bushy trail, you should wear airy long-sleeved clothes to help protect you from mosquitoes, ticks, and deer flies. Additionally, when hiking through wooded areas, a lot of the brush can be poisonous. Some of the most well-known toxic plants include poison ivy, stinging nettle, sumac, and poison oak. If you are walking down a path that is plant-free, you still will need bug spray. This will help prevent you from getting bitten and having allergic reactions. Finally, don't forget to bring water and sun-tan lotion on a path with a lot of sunlight.

Check the Weather

Never go hiking without first checking what the weather will be like. Once you know that the weather conditions are safe for hiking, dress appropriately. You might get hot while hiking, but you should still dress for the temperature. For example, it is a good idea to layer up in cold weather, then progressively pull off layers and put them in your backpack as you get sweaty. However, if temperatures drop when the sun sets, you'll have something to keep you warm.

Learn More About Hiking

You can find out more information about hiking and read about the best hikes in USA. Even hikers with plenty of experience can learn something new.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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