10 Tips To Prepare For Hiking This Summer

Summer is here! Planning on getting outside for some hiking? We figured we share a few quick tips to help you prepare:

1. Evaluate your fitness level: Hiking can be physically demanding, so it’s essential to assess your fitness level and gradually work on improving your endurance, strength, and flexibility. Incorporate regular exercise, such as walking, running, or cycling, along with strength training exercises to prepare your body for the demands of hiking.

2. Research and plan your hikes: Look for information on the trails you intend to hike. Study trail maps, read trail descriptions, and check weather forecasts. Pay attention to the length, difficulty level, elevation gain, and any potential hazards or restrictions. Planning your hikes in advance will help you choose appropriate trails that match your skill and fitness level.

3. Gear up appropriately: Invest in good-quality hiking gear that suits the terrain and conditions you’ll encounter. Essential gear includes sturdy hiking boots or shoes, moisture-wicking and layered clothing, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a backpack, a map, a compass or GPS device, a first aid kit, a headlamp, a whistle, a multitool or knife, and sufficient water and food. Consider using trekking poles for added stability, especially on uneven or steep terrain.

4. Break-in your gear: If you have new hiking boots or any other gear, make sure to break them in before your hiking trips. Wear your boots on shorter walks or hikes to allow your feet to adapt and minimize the risk of blisters or discomfort.

5. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is crucial during hiking, especially in the summer heat. Carry an adequate amount of water and regularly drink to stay hydrated. Consider using a hydration bladder or water bottles with built-in filters for convenience.

6. Practice hiking and navigation skills: If you’re new to hiking or haven’t hiked in a while, start with shorter and less challenging trails to get comfortable. Practice using a compass and map, and familiarize yourself with basic navigation techniques. Knowing how to read trail markers and signs will help keep you on the right path.

7. Check for trail conditions and closures: Before heading out, check for any trail closures, alerts, or warnings in the area you plan to hike. Contact local park authorities, visitor centers, or check official websites for up-to-date information. Be aware of potential weather changes or wildlife activity that might affect your hike.

8. Leave no trace: Follow the principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact on the environment. Pack out all your trash, dispose of waste properly, stay on designated trails, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other hikers.

9. Inform others: Let someone know about your hiking plans, including your intended route and estimated return time. It’s always a good safety measure to have someone aware of your whereabouts in case of an emergency.

10. Take care of yourself: Prioritize your well-being during your hiking trips. Pace yourself, take breaks when needed, and listen to your body. Be mindful of signs of fatigue, dehydration, or heat-related illnesses. Carry high-energy snacks and meals to fuel your body on longer hikes.

Remember, each hiking trip is unique, so adapt your preparations accordingly. We hope you have an amazing summer of enjoying the outdoors! And as always, we’ll be conducting several hikes within our community so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to join us!