Several years ago I knew a girl that went on a hike in the blazing summer of Arizona with some friends. Deciding to that in general probably wasn’t very smart but what made it worse is that when everyone was at the store getting water before heading up the mountain, this girl decided she’d rather take a small bottle of diet soda and that’s it. Despite being warned again and again and pleaded with to change her mind, she bought her soda and joined the group. Not only that, but instead of wearing the waterproof hiking shoes for women that had been suggested, she had donned Converse sneakers. Several hours later saw her being taken by ambulance to the hospital for severe dehydration. You might think that this particular girl was very silly and while that’s true, there are too many people that make these kinds of mistakes. If you haven’t been hiking before then here are a few tips that should make your hike not only safer but more enjoyable.
Stay With the Group
Never leave the group. You need to be with at least one other person. Don’t risk going alone especially if you are not an experienced hiker. It’s a good idea to bring someone with you that knows the trail and has a little more hiking experience than you if you are a newbie.
Make sure you stay hydrated. Don’t be ignorant like the girl mentioned above and think that any liquid is going to work at keeping you hydrated. As a side tip: if you carry all of your water in your back pack at the beginning of the hike, as you drink it, your load will get lighter. This will be helpful because you will feel more tired and weak as the hike goes on.
It’s better to eat small snacks more often. This will keep up your metabolism and energy levels. If you eat one large meal at a time, this will drag you down and even make you sleepy. Make sure that you bring the right kinds of snacks. Chocolate and chips are not going to get you far on the trail. Bring nuts and protein bars to keep up your energy levels and keep you full for longer.
You should always use sunscreen even if it is winter and even if it’s cloudy. Sometimes these are the most important times to wear sunscreen because you won’t notice that you are getting burnt until it’s too late. You should also wear a hat in order to prevent your skin getting burned by the sun. However, hats can sometimes cause your head to sweat a little more profusely then it would otherwise so make sure you are applying sunscreen more frequently to those areas.
Pre Plan Your Hike
It’s a good idea to map out your hike before you even leave. Make sure that the hike is suitable for everyone that is going on the hike. Once the group has determined where you all are going to go. Leave a hiking plan and map with someone that isn’t going. Estimate how long it is going to take and have that person expecting a phone call when you make it. If they don’t get the phone call then they will be able to send for help to make sure that everyone is alright.
Wear Suitable Shoes
Your adventure shoes should not be flip flops or Converse for that matter. Waterproof hiking shoes for women are a good choice as well as trail walking shoes which are a very similar type of waterproof shoes. The only thing about getting such heavy duty boots like waterproof hiking shoes for women is that you don’t want to wear them brand new on the hike. Make sure that you break them in before leaving for the hike otherwise you might end up with some very uncomfortable blisters that make the hike torture after awhile.
Keeping to tips like wearing waterproof hiking shoes for women and drinking water is what is going to make your trip successful. Don’t try out any of your new ideas on our first few hikes. Stick to the tried and true until you have a little more experience and know what you are getting into.