Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 Tips For A Successful Hike

I have spent the last couple of days talking about hiking in my posts Take A Hike and Our Top 10 Trail Foods. We are in prime hiking season here, and if you haven't done much, I highly recommend you get out there and hit some trails. If you do a lot of hiking, bear with me and share any ideas you have that I haven't mentioned.

Today I will give you 10 Tips to ensure you have a successful hike.

1. Good Shoes. This is the number one thing. You can go in your pajamas or birthday suit if you have good shoes. Keep those puppies happy and the rest of you will be happy. If you invest in any kind of equipment for your hiking adventure this should be it.
2. Water. Make sure to have plenty of that great hydrating liquid. Water is your friend. The hotter the day, the more you are going to need. We use hydration packs so that you have your water and still have your hands free: there are also fanny pack type water bottle holders you can use to keep your hands free.
3. Extra Set of Eyes. Don't forget your camera and binoculars. It would be a shame to work hard to get to a mountain top and then not have your camera to remember it by. Binoculars are a great thing to have too: you never know what you are going to see.

4. Wear Comfy Clothes. Make sure your outfit is loose fitting and comfortable.  Test things out on a walk before you head out to the trail to make sure everything stays where it's suppose to. There is nothing more miserable than continually pulling up a pair of socks or yanking out a wedgie because things are fitting properly.

5. Element Protection. The last memento you want from your great day out in nature is a sunburn or a body full of bug bites. Make sure you have sunscreen and bug spray in your pack at all times for when it's needed. Wearing a hat is also a good thing to do to protect the top of your head and face from the sun if you are hiking in a place without cover.

6. Berry Containers. Living here in the Pacific Northwest we have blackberries, blueberries and huckleberries galore up in the mountains. We always have extra ziplock baggies in our backpacks in case we run across a patch of berries. Ziplocks are light and fold down to take up zero space, but you have a container for picking.

7. Frozen Water. A great trick is to freeze a small water bottle, full of water, the night before you leave. This has a two-fold benefit: 1. it will keep you food cold and fresh and 2. you will have a nice, refreshing, cold drink of water with your lunch.

8. Check Conditions Before Leaving. Make sure to check the conditions of the trail before you leave. Just this last weekend we were planning a trip up to one of our favorite hikes only to find it was impassable. With the heavy snow in the mountains this last winter, along with our insanely cold weather for spring/summer, there were 10 foot snow falls across the trail. Hop on line before you go to make sure the trail you want to use is usable.

9. Be Courteous. Please, remember these few rules. It makes the hike so much better for everyone involved:
  • Pack it in, Pack it out. There is nothing more frustrating than hiking along, only to find someones empty water bottle laying in the middle of the trail. Keep nature clean and keep all your trash with you!
  • Stay on designated trails. This helps to maintain the beauty so that all can enjoy it. It's also amazing how quickly you can get turned around and loose where you are.
  • Pet peeve coming.... When hiking and you come upon some other hikers, move to the right single file so that you both can easily pass each other. Don't take up the entire trail and push the other group off.
  • Use your library voices. There is nothing more annoying than trying to be out enjoying nature and you have to listen to Daun Juan talk about his weekend escapades.
  • Another pet peeve..... pets. People, there is a leash law. Keep your pets on a leash and please bring your little pooper scooper dogie bags. I DON'T want your dog up in my crotch and I DON'T want to be stepping in his business.
10. Reward Yourself. You just spent anywhere from 30 minute to all day hiking and seeing the sites. Now is time to relax and enjoy in the afterglow of that accomplishments. We always bring our flip flops and leave them in the car. You can't imagine how great it feels, after being on your feet for so long, to take those hot hiking boots off and let your feet be free. Sometimes we will even throw in some extra clothes, depending on the hike. If you are gonna run into some snow, or water that needs to be crossed, you will want dry clothing. Throwing in some sweats is especially comfy and warm.

Now get out there and have some fun!! 

picture taken by wanksidh

1 comment:

  1. LOL....the "Don Juan" and "keep your dog out of my crotch" examples ring a bell!