Hiking is my favorite activity. I love getting outside and experiencing nature. As the winter months start to thaw, I look forward to warmer weather for hiking. If you’re a hiker like I am, I’m sure you’re just as excited to get back on the trail. In preparation for the coming spring, here are my ideas on what makes a successful hiking trip:
1. Dress right
You wouldn’t wear shorts in the middle of winter or a heavy coat in June. Dress for the weather. If you’re worried you might get overheated later on, you can dress in layers and remove the unnecessary layers when they become detrimental to your hiking experience. Footwear is important, too. You need shoes that support your ankles, especially if you’re hiking in rough terrain. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time walking, you should wear the most comfortable shoes possible. Investing in a pair of good hiking boots isn’t a bad idea if you’re an avid hiker.
2. Bring the essentials
You don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment, but there are some things you’ll want to take with you. Bug spray and sunscreen, for example, can help you fend off the less people friendly parts of nature. A first aid kit never hurts; hopefully it will never be necessary, but it’s worth packing in case of emergencies.
3. Prepare for the weather
Beyond clothing choices, you’ll want to be ready if the weather changes suddenly. Throw an extra jacket or poncho in your bag before you leave, or you may regret it. Even if the sun is shining in the morning, it can quickly become a rainy day.
4. Pack a snack and a water bottle
The most important part of a hiking trip, in my opinion, is food. You can really bring any kind of food with you, but here are some of my favorite easy hiking snacks: GORP (“Good Old Raisins and Peanuts”) is an easy to pack, high energy option for an on-the-go snack. You can expand this snack to make your own customized trail mix, which can include M&Ms, cereal, and dried fruits. A protein bar is another quick snack to toss in your backpack on your way out. This is another simple option to help you stay energized on the trail. And never forget a water bottle. Hydration is an important part of a safe and fun hiking experience.
5. Bring a friend!
It’s more fun to enjoy nature with a friend, and safer, too. Grab a buddy or two before embarking on your hiking trip.