Planning your first hike? We get you! We know the excitement, too—the thrill of walking past trees and up the peak of the mountain; plus, the anticipation of getting to that wonderful view awaiting at the top. It's an exhilirating feeling when you finally reach the summit, but getting there is not without the struggle. Let's be realistic. No matter how much of an adventurous person you are, hiking isn't the easiest activity. That's why you want to be as planned and as organized as possible.
What you do pre-hike matters just as much as the climb itself as it will literally save you from any unfortunate and untoward experiences (i.e. getting injured, dehydrated, etc.). Let these reminders guide you and keep you happy and safe throughout your escape to the mountains!
1. Get enough sleep. You're gonna need all the energy you can save, so hitting the sack early before the climb is number one on our list. Most minor climbs can last 4 to 5 hours, and it can take a toll on your body if you stretch yourself too much without enough rest.
2. Wear comfortable hiking shoes. WE REPEAT: Wear comfortable hiking shoes. We know someone who wore the wrong footwear on their first hike and regretted the decision up to this day. (No, it's not us). A pair that's durabale, non-slippery, cushioned, and even waterproof would be your best friend. We recommend the Merrell MOAB, Salomon Eliipse, and Reebok Trailgrip shoes. Your feet will thank you for it.
3. Choose comfort over style. Stay classy if you must—black or white shirt, leggings or joggers, a jacket, and voila! That's your hiking attire. Leave the accessories behind because, trust us, you won't need it when you start sweating buckets during the hike.
4. Bring enough water and pack your trail food wisely. At least three liters of liquids or more if you can! Protein bars, Jelly Ace, nuts, chocolates, bananas, and apple slices are good muchies along the way. Energy-rich food will keep hunger pangs in check and give you strength to push through!
5. SPF, people! No, you're not heading to the beach, but the mountain won't let you escape from harmful UV rays. So slather on some sunscreen for protection! You'll thank yourself when you realize you don't have to deal with bad sunburns and tan lines.
6. Carry a few more essentials. Don't forget extra clothes, a head light or flashlight, mosquito repellent, personal meds, a trekking pole (if you prefer), your phone, and a powerbank. Oh, and water-proof all your stuff, just in case!
It pays to be prepared, especially during exciting adventures like hiking. Make the most of it by keeping these tips in mind!
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Banner photograph via Unsplash.