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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksHiking is one of the fun outdoor adventures you can do in Michigan Park. Going on a hike can reduce your stress levels and improve your physical fitness. These are some of the physical and psychological benefits of hiking. It is important that you plan your trek ahead so you will be prepared for anything unexpected. But if this is your first time to go hiking, there are some things you need to keep in mind before your venture out. These hiking tips will make your hikes enjoyable and memorable.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

If you haven’t been on a hike — or it has been a while — it would help if you choose an easy trail 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 a problem for an inexperienced hiker.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

One usual mistake among novice hikers is bringing the wrong gear. Make sure that you are safe and hydrated on your hike. Wear light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. It will not only help prevent sunburns and insect bites, but appropriate clothing will protect you from scrapes and scratches, too. It is also important that you wear a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and always bring a hat! A backpack with snacks & a few extra items of clothing will be a lifesaver. Don’t forget to bring more water than you think you need, too. These are around ten essential items you should have on you when you go on a hike.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

Getting lost can quickly ruin almost any hiking trip. Make sure that you have a map or a GPS device with you before you start off for your hiking destination. Study your map beforehand and make sure you orient yourself to the location before you start. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. You can also use your phone or another device as a map. Remember to bring along an extra battery. Putting your phone in airplane mode also helps keep the battery’s charge last longer.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Many hikers like to start off on their trek early in the morning. High daytime temperatures may negatively affect your hiking experience. You should check local weather reports and figure out how much time you need to complete the trek. This will make your hike a safe one. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Hiking at a comfortable place will ensure that you can complete the trek without overexerting yourself.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Hiking on a busy trail will be easier if you follow the basic etiquette rules. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Move out of the way of bikes and horses when you can. Politely say hello to other hikers and keep your voices down when hiking with friends. It is safer if you keep any dog you bring along leashed for the entire trek. Do not leave any trash behind as well. 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 bring someone along on your hike, to be safe in case of an emergency. If you are planning to hike alone, make sure someone knows where to reach you and when you expect to be back. This information will prove very important in case you get lost.

By following these hiking tips, you can make hiking an activity you enjoy.

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