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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksOne satisfying outdoor adventure you can have in West Allis is to go on a hike. Going on hikes gives you many physical and psychological benefits like reduced stress levels and improved physical fitness. Any trek is more fun when it is planned and prepared for in advance, just in case something unexpected happens on the way. If you are new to hiking, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head out. These hiking tips will make your hikes enjoyable and memorable.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

If it is your first time on a hike — or it’s been a while since your last — you should pick a fairly easy hike for your first time out. If you usually take walks on a flat surface, it is good if you go for a hike with a shorter distance than what you usually do. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. Steep inclines can be challenging to an inexperienced hiker.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

A common novice mistake among hikers is packing the wrong gear. Keep yourself safe and hydrated on your hike by wearing light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. Aside from helping prevent sunburns and insect bites, the right clothing will also keep you safe from scrapes and scratches. Wear a sturdy pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and don’t forget to bring a hat! Bring along about twice as much water as you think you’ll need. And make sure you pack a backpack with snacks and some extra clothing. There are about ten essential items you must bring along when you go hiking.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

What could have been an enjoyable hiking trip can be ruined if you get lost. Make sure that you have a map or a GPS device with you before you start off for your hiking destination. Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the map ahead of time and orient yourself to the location. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Take along an extra battery if you plan to use your phone or another device. Putting your phone in airplane mode makes the battery’s charge last longer.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Hikers often begin their trek early in the morning. This is ideal especially if you will be hiking when daytime temperatures are high. To make your hike a safe one, keep abreast of the local weather reports and plan out the duration of your trek. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Hike at a comfortable pace and do not overexert yourself.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Brush up on basic hiking etiquette. This will be useful when you are on a busy trail. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. There may also be bikes and horses on your trail. Move out of their way if you can. Politely say hello to people you pass, and avoid talking loudly when hiking with friends. It is safer if you keep any dog you bring along leashed for the entire trek. Do not litter. Your trash does not belong on the trail. Granola bar wrappers, empty water bottles, and so on should never be left on the trail.

Tip #6: Use the Buddy System

The last of our hiking tips is to get a friend to hike with you since they can help you in case there’s an emergency. If you do hike alone, let someone know where you are and when they should expect you back. This information could save your life if ever you get lost.

Follow these hiking tips so you can have an enjoyable hike every time.

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