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6 Essential Hiking Tips

Older Couple Resting During Hike with BackpacksOne satisfying outdoor adventure you can have in Dover is to go on a hike. Hiking is not just fun, it also has a number of physical and psychological benefits including lowered stress levels and better physical fitness. A fun trek starts by planning for the experience as well as preparing for anything unexpected. But if you are new to hiking, there are some things you need to remember before starting off on your adventure. These hiking tips are sure to make each and every hike enjoyable.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail

Pick a relatively easy trail if this is your first hike or if it’s been a while since your last. This will make your first time out a lot of fun! If you are used to taking walks on a flat surface, go for a hike that is a little shorter than usual. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. Steep inclines can be difficult to manage for an inexperienced hiker.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

A common mistake among beginning hikers is bringing the wrong gear. You must make sure that you are hydrated during your hike. You can also protect yourself by wearing light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. Appropriate clothing helps prevent sunburns and insect bites, as well as protect you from scrapes and scratches. Wear your sturdy sneakers or hiking boots, and bring a hat along! To top it off, pack a backpack with snacks, extra clothing, and more than enough water than you think you might need. There are about ten essential items a hiker must always have with him.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

No one wants to get lost during a hiking trip. A map or a GPS device will help you make your way through the area. Understand the map and orient yourself to the location before you start hiking. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. If you are planning to use your phone or another device, be sure to bring a backup battery. You can also put your phone in airplane mode to make the battery’s charge last longer.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

Hikers usually start out early in the morning. It is safer to hike when daytime temperatures are not very high. To make your hike a safe one, check local weather reports to know how long you will be on your trek. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Do not overexert yourself. Hiking at a comfortable pace means you will have sufficient energy to finish and enjoy the hike.

Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette

Brush up on basic hiking etiquette. This will be useful when you are on a busy trail. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Look out for bikes and horses so you can move out of their way if needed. Hiking with friends is fun, but remember to keep your voices down. Be polite and say hello to other hikers as well. You may bring your dog along, but make sure it is on a leash all the time. Do not litter the trail with trash. Dispose of them properly once the hike is complete. 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 with you on your hike, just in case you have an emergency. If you will hike alone, leave your itinerary with someone who knows when to expect you back. If ever you get lost, this information could spell the difference between life and death.

Follow these simple hiking tips, so you can enjoy a safe hike.

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