There’s almost nothing more relaxing and engaging than hiking. This might sound like quite an oversimplification, but simplicity is where the power of hiking lies. By putting one foot in front of the other, you can access a range of different terrains, environments, and even weather conditions piece by piece, truly soaking in your surroundings. This effort provides you the perfect 1:1 experience with nature, but is in no way limited to just the wilder parts of an environment, as hiking through villages and towns can also be a worthwhile use of time.
Hiking a prolonged trail can be a fantastic use of a vacationing effort, be that heading to the Santiago De Compostela or another famous pilgrimage route, walking through your state, or simply walking through a great national park. No matter what your goals are, it’s hard not to see something redemptive and totally renewed about hiking a prolonged trail.
Yet while walking can seem simple, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re doing. Like anything, risk factors exist here if you’re not careful. With that in mind, please consider the following advice:
Properly Plan Your Route & Rest Stops
The appeal of hiking is that you can head into the wilderness while exploring a new environment completely. The truth is, of course, that hiking provides you with perhaps the easiest possible manner of becoming lost. When you’re lost in a vehicle, you know that roads have at least been constructed that lead somewhere, and you can always turn around. In forests, woods, and mountain trails, this is unlikely to be the case.
Planning official hiking routes and only going off-route slightly or when you’re thoroughly familiar with the are is key. This should also involve rest stops that can help you properly plan for a break and refreshments should you need it – as well as getting better directions to the next area. Also make sure to take note of landmarks, like roads, signs, and natural formations such as rivers. Some apps, like What 3 Words, can also make a difference.
Wear A Survival Pack
Wearing a survival pack can help you stay safe if you do get lost, if you’re injured, or if you need assistance. For instance, a first aid kit, a wind-up torch, a map, a short-wave radio, water and food can help you in the short term. For some, a swiss-army or survival knife can also help. While it’s unwise to plan truly out-there hikes with a pack of military survival gear, it can be nice to have a few implements you may need in order to get out of a difficult situation, even if that just means solution for disinfecting and covering a graze until you can gain appropriate and necessary medical treatment.
Choose Appropriate Footwear
One of the most important elements of hiking well is having appropriate footwear to hand. This footwear can help you more easily grip different terrains as you walk, as well as securing your feet and ankles in a stable manner. Over time, this can help avoid foot-ache, as well as prevent injuries that might occur from less suitable footwear.
In some scenarios, such as when treading in snow, you may wish to opt for footwear specifically designed for that environment (in this case, walking spikes and supports can be necessary aid). Often, footwear that provides waterproofing features is also key.
Remain Observant & Aware
It’s important to remember that while you might be hiking down natural trails, you’re still a pedestrian, and sooner or later you’re going to come across roads and other people. For this reason, it’s essential to remain as aware as possible. This means getting plenty of sleep, eating well and staying hydrated, as well as avoiding wearing earphones.
If harmed by a careless motorist, connect with a pedestrian accident lawyer in order to properly press your claim. It may also be that depending on where you’re hiking, taking special measures to stay safe is needed. For instance, in many of America’s incredible national parks, careful guidance towards avoiding forest fires and instructions regarding what to do if encountering potentially dangerous wildlife is important to understand.
It’s your responsibility as a hiker to make sure you have all of your faculties in place, and that you’re capable of making sensible decisions that respect the environment around you.
With this advice, you’re certain to hike a prolonged trail in the best possible manner. Not only will this allow you to stay safe, but permit you to enjoy a great deal of fun too.