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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksOne of the fun outdoor adventures you can have while living in West Fargo is hiking. There are many physical and psychological benefits of hiking. These include a reduction in stress levels and improvement in your physical fitness. Planning and preparing for the unexpected will help ensure that you will have a fun trek. Is this your first time hiking? Then you should keep some things in mind before you go off on your adventure. With these hiking tips, you can make each of your hikes an adventure to remember.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

If it is your first time on a hike — or it’s been a while since your last — you should pick a fairly easy hike for your first time out. A shorter hike is recommended for those who usually take walks on a flat surface. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. For an inexperienced hiker, steep inclines could bring some troubles.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

Bringing the wrong gear is a big mistake most new hikers make. Wear light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. This will keep you safe and hydrated on your hike. In addition to helping prevent sunburns and insect bites, the right clothing will protect you from scrapes and scratches, too. Wear a sturdy pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and don’t forget to bring a hat! Lastly, pack a backpack with snacks, an extra set of clothing, and a good amount of water. There are about ten essential items you should bring whenever you go hiking.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

What could have been an enjoyable hiking trip can be ruined if you get lost. Bring along a map or a GPS device of the area through which you will be traveling. Study the map and orient yourself to the location before you begin your trek. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Planning to use your phone or another device? Pack a spare battery or put your phone in airplane mode to save the battery’s charge.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Hikers often begin their trek early in the morning. Hiking is safer and more enjoyable when daytime temperatures are not very high. To make your hike a safe one, keep abreast of the local weather reports and plan out the duration of your trek. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. If you feel you are overexerting yourself, you might not be hiking at a comfortable pace. Slow down and save your energy so you can enjoy and complete the trek.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Basic hiking etiquette is very important especially when you are on a busy trail. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Watch out and make way for bikes and horses. Say hello to other hikers as you pass them, and be polite by avoiding loud conversations if you are hiking with friends. Keep your dogs, or other pets, leashed at all times. Do not litter. Your trash does not belong on the trail. Granola bar wrappers, empty water bottles, and so on should never be left on the trail.

Tip #6: Use the Buddy System

The last of our hiking tips is to take someone along on your hike, so someone can assist you if there is an emergency. In the event that you do hike alone, make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you plan to back. This information will be vital in case you get lost.

These simple hiking tips can give you a safe and exciting adventure.

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