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Hiking Essentials You Need Before Hitting the Trail

Posted by Lisa Sitwell on

It's a beautiful day, and all you want to do is spend it outside. You decide to take a hike, and off you go. Before you take on any lofty endeavors, make sure you have what you need. Even for short hikes, you need to do a little preparation so that you can make the most of your outdoor adventure.

Snacks

It's important to keep your energy up and stay hydrated, especially when you are using energy and sweating, like when you're hiking. There are some small snacks that are full of the carbs and protein you need that you can put in your backpack or pocket. Beef jerky, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and granola bars are at the top of the list for go-to hiking snacks. Protein from fish is great for refueling. You can often get tuna or salmon in soft packages or in flip-top cans that are easy to transport. And, as always, carry water. If you are backpacking deep into the woods, you might want to get a water purifier instead of carrying bottles of water.

Adequate Clothing

Hiking in tall grass can put you in danger of attracting bugs that are hiding in the ground cover. Even on hot days, it is wise to wear long pants tucked into your hiking boots. Certain risk factors make people more likely to contract Lyme disease. If you spend a lot of time in the woods, especially with exposed ankles and lower legs, you could get Lyme disease, which is carried by deer ticks. If you get bit by a tick, make sure to remove it quickly and see your doctor.

You can be a bit more flexible when dressing your top half. Layering is never more necessary than when hiking because the temperature can change quickly. You can start with a tank top as a base, then add a short-sleeved T-shirt, a longer-sleeved T-shirt, a sweatshirt, and a jacket. Use good sense and adjust your clothing depending on the weather where you are hiking. Remember to bring sturdy hiking boots, a hat and sunglasses.

Tell Someone Where You Will Be Hiking

Before you go on a hike, you need to make sure that you tell someone where and when you will be hiking. This is especially important when hiking alone. Also, carry emergency contact information with you. If you get lost or injured, the rescue party will know who to reach on your behalf. Carrying a charged cell phone with you is also a good idea, so you can keep in touch with people as you hike and can call them if you get lost or injured. If you’re going to be on the trail for a long time, it’s also a good idea to carry a portable cell phone charger in case your phone dies while you’re out and about.

Hiking is a healthy way to get exercise in the great outdoors. Take precautions, and you will make new memories to bring home with you.