Hiking indeed is an enjoyable activity – you get to see breathtaking nature scenes, breathe fresh air and enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors. But hiking can also cause harm, especially if you’re a beginner who doesn’t come prepared and don’t take the necessary precautions.
There’s much to learn about this beautiful outdoor activity, and before you venture on your first hike, it’s best to know the most common hiking mistakes so that you can avoid them. This way, you’ll be able to execute your first hike successfully.
Here are three things you should never do while hiking
Don’t Hike Alone
Going alone on your first ever hike is a big no-no. Beginners should always hike with a group, a guide, or someone with experience or knowledge of the area. Some experienced hikers don’t venture out alone, especially if they’re not familiar with the trail. So don’t think that it will be like a walk in the park. Remember, overconfidence can be deadly!
If you must hike alone (which is not advisable), be sure to bring navigation, never get off the trail and let others know when and where you’re hiking and what time you expect to be back. This way, responders will know where to find you if you don’t return on time.
Don’t Wear the Wrong Clothing
Even if you’re hiking just a short distance, it’s essential to wear appropriate and comfortable clothing on the trail. Don’t wear cotton or denim. Instead, go for lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing – add layers when it gets cool and remove layers when it gets warm.
Only use good socks and comfortable shoes to protect your feet (no flip flops!) – nothing ruins a day hike faster than a blister!
Don’t Bring the Wrong Snacks
You’ll need to pack a good amount of nutritious snacks and drinks (just enough for the length of your hike) to keep you energized. Don’t bring junk food or candy bars with no nutritional value to contribute anything to your body while hiking.
The classic snacks that are good for the trail include trail mix, beef jerky and energy bars. Salty snacks like pretzels are ideal well as they replace the salt lost through sweat. While energy drinks replenish electrolytes, nothing beats replenishing and refreshing your body other than water, so be sure to keep hydrated on the trail.
There’s a lot to learn once you enter the wonderful world of hiking. But as a beginner, it’s essential to know the things you should never do while hiking!