Hiking is an exciting activity that lets you get a good sense of nature and a pretty great workout to sweat all the bad juju from your body away.
But when you think about it, it’s no walk in the park—even if that’s the literal meaning of a hike. Before you go on a trail adventure, you have to consider certain factors to ensure your safety and comfort.
It doesn’t require a full course and training to go hiking, but learning a few basic knowledge of the activity should be encouraged because it will help you survive the trip no matter how easy the trail is.
Here are eight impressive hiking hacks you can apply on your next trip to the woods.
Know your trail
You must know where you’re going and the path you’re taking. To avoid getting off trail and losing your way completely, use a map or a GPS device to help you navigate.
You may also bring a compass, but make sure that you know how to use and read one to become highly helpful for you during the trip.
Take notes of the critical landmarks so you can trace your way back. You must also know the location of the nearest park ranger HQ in case of emergencies.
Learn about layering
The good thing about layering is that they allow you to adjust according to the weather situation on the day of your hike.
If it gets cold, you can always put on your rain jacket and layer it with some scarves. Then again, if the weather becomes warmer, you can easily remove your shell layers to avoid sweating too much.
Your undershirts should also be hike-friendly to achieve ultimate comfort.
Stock up on duct tape
Duct tapes aren’t only for your electrical needs back home. It’s a useful tool for hikers. You can use it to create a band-aid remedy for the crack on your water bottle or if your boots need a little fixing. It can also be used for your blisters.
If you think carrying a duct tape can be heavy, you can always just wrap some around in your water bottle or pens.
Bring sufficient water
Hydration is vital during strenuous activities like hiking. You may not have access to potable water during your hike, so bringing enough supply to last you the entire is crucial.
You can also check how your body breaks down as you dehydrate.
You’d be lucky to encounter a spring that’s safe to drink, but you can’t always assume that it’s available for all the trails you’re planning to explore. It’s better to come prepared than to feel sorry after.
Learn how to start a fire safely
One skill that you all must learn if you love hiking is how to start a fire safely. There are techniques on how to do this activity successfully.
You must learn how to start a fire with or without modern materials to help you. You can bring an igniter or a portable fire pit, but you can also use natural materials that you find along the trail.
The most important thing, however, is to ensure that you follow safety protocols and guidelines to avoid starting a wildfire that could affect the livelihood and wildlife.
Get familiar with poisonous and edible plants
When you go hiking, you’re dealing with the surprises of nature. And that includes being close to plants and wildlife.
Familiarize yourself with the types of poisonous plants. Before you go hiking, you can do a little research on which toxic plants are endemic to the area you’re visiting. You don’t want to accidentally swallow a plant that could be dangerous to your health, or worse, lethal.
Conversely, you can also check out the area for plants that are edible in case you need something to cook your meat with.
Use your fingers to measure daylight
If you’re camping for days, you can check how many hours left till you can hike with the sun up by using your fingers. Simply hold your fingers together and place the bottom of your pinky on the horizon.
If your four fingers can fit between the horizon line and the bottom of the sun, that means you still have an hour left of light to continue with your hike. Each finger represents fifteen minutes.
Bring a first-aid kit
Don’t forget to bring a first-aid kit when you go hiking. Of course, we all hope that you won’t need them, but being prepared and ready to deal with circumstances involving small injuries or little health emergencies will save you a trip to the hospital.
Overall, hiking should be, first and foremost, a fun activity. You should be able to enjoy every turn and every steep climb and not worry about whether you wore the wrong shoes or you forgot which to turn to take because you did not bring a map with you.
Don’t let these small things ruin what could be a perfect nature adventure when you can prepare for it.