Every year, hiking seems to grow in popularity, especially during the warmer seasons. It’s that time of year when people feel the spark to venture outside and soak up that vitamin D!
Have you ever wanted to try, but you’re a little afraid because you don’t know what to expect (or you’re not Bear Grylls)?
That’s okay! It’s not as hard as you think. Depending on your personality, you can make it social or solo. You can opt for a brisk uphill climb or a leisurely long, flat stroll. And, it can last as long or short as you like!
Before you hit the trails, prepare yourself with these helpful tips for the perfect summer hike:
Get to know your surroundings.
Before you take on the great outdoors, you’ll want to figure out where you’re going, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. There are all kinds of Apps and google searches that can offer reviews and photos, so you know exactly what to expect.
You wouldn’t want to follow a path that somehow leads you to Narnia, would you?
Well, maybe that does sound pretty cool, but getting lost won’t lead you to a magical land; it can actually be quite dangerous. So, how can you avoid this?
Research your area. Make sure you’re asking yourself important questions:
- Is this trail close to a city?
- Is this a highly-frequented trial with well-maintained paths?
- Will there be more people around, should I need help?
- Are there rest stops along the way?
- What are the local flora and animal-life like?
Preparing yourself with what to expect from the area will help you enjoy your time a lot more. Be sure to pack a map (yes, the old-fashioned kind since cellular coverage isn’t typically available) of the area and a compass, if necessary. Do keep your phone handy, too!
Arm yourself with a first-aid kit.
You might be thinking, “Do I really need a first-aid kit if I’m just going on a little hike?” Yes!
Now, that kit will look a lot different compared to one you would prepare if you’re going on a full-day trek. If you’re just going for a couple hours, it may wise to bring band-aids to cover potential cuts or blisters from those new hiking boots. Perhaps, bring some antiseptic/medicated lotion as well.
If your trip is a little more extensive, then your kit needs to be upgraded. For longer trips, The Washington Trial Association recommends including items such as:
- bandages, splints and/or moleskin for cuts, scrapes and injuries
- pain relievers and aloe vera for hot and pained spots
- anti-septic pads, gauze pads and/or antibiotic lotion
- tweezers, scissors and/or forceps for general use
And no matter how long your trip is, bring some kind of protection from the sun. Hats, mineral sunscreen, (insert Super Xanthin) and sunglasses can help provide relief from the harsh rays.
Fuel your summer hike with nutrition.
Food and drink fuel our bodies. It makes sense that you’ll need nutrition while trekking the outdoors. You’ll want make sure to pack no-cook grub with long storage-times. You can’t have food spoiling or strong aromas (especially meat), if you are near wildlife!
What might this list of food include? Try these on for size:
- granola or energy bars
- dried fruits
You’ll also want to stay hydrated! Plan on bringing water (at least one bottle), or at the very least, a filter that can purify and convert dirty water to clean, drinking water.
Our Survival Kit could be the perfect hiking companion, especially for longer trips! With veggies, fruits, protein, fiber and a water purifying bottle, you’ll be set with the essentials!
Prepare shelter (if necessary).
Shelter? Sounds crazy, we know, but don’t panic because this may not apply to you. If you are hiking in the backcountry, for a long period of time or during questionable weather, you absolutely should pack some shelter.
“Packing shelter” might sound odd, but it’s pretty common. There are lightweight tarps, bivy sacks and even emergency space blankets (sounds cool, right?) that can help provide shelter.
When would you even need it? Well, these packs can help shield you from rain, wind, harsh sun or other conditions. Better to be prepared, than left stranded.
But…what’s the most important tip?
At the risk of sounding like your mom before she sent you off to school, enjoy what you are doing! It’s summer, after all! If you go into hiking with the thought of it being bad, of course, it’s going to be bad.
And at Purium, we believe you should do things that encourage happiness and healthiness. Otherwise, why do them?
Did we forget something? Let us know in the comments! What would you bring?