Camping, hiking and the outdoors are for everyone, young or old. Being out in nature provides plenty of health benefits to all of us; that’s why it’s no surprise that more and more older adults see the appeal of hiking to keep active and healthy.
Follow these vital hiking safety tips for active seniors before going out and while on the trail!
Plan your trip safely and wisely
The most important thing to consider before going on a hike is whether you’re physically ready. You might want to consult your doctor beforehand, even if you’re active.
When it comes to packing, the lighter your pack, the easier it will be for you. Bring only the essentials like water (at least 2 litres), snacks, protein bars, trail mix, bright colored rain jacket, whistle, first aid kit with medications, your cellphone and extra socks.
Start with short hikes
Choose a trail that is appropriate for you. Start with a 30-minute hike and see how you feel after. As you gain more experience and strength, you can choose longer hikes and more complicated trails.
Plan to hike early in the morning or in the afternoon when it’s not too hot out. Be sure to go with a group or a guide.
You would want to be as comfortable as possible when it comes to clothing because you will sweat a lot. Dress in light layers that are easy to add or strip off in case the temperature changes. Avoid cotton and go for moisture-wicking fabrics.
Depending on your trail terrain, wear a good pair of hiking boots or a sturdy pair of rubber shoes.
Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching and doing some basic warm-up exercises is crucial for anyone hiking, no matter what age. Even if you think the trail is easy, never skip this step.
Move at your own pace
Hiking is not a race – your only goal is to enjoy the scenery and reach the end of the trail at your own pace. Don’t worry if you’re slower than everyone else; rest if you need to, and don’t hesitate to tell your group leader any concerns.
Just as long as you enjoy yourself and you finish the hike safely, all is good!
Remember that your safety should always be your top priority. Follow these essential hiking tips for active seniors, and you’re sure to have a fantastic time!