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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 Bellevue is hiking. 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. If it is your first time to go on a hike, there are some things you need to know before you head out. These hiking tips will help you make the most of your hike.

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. If you usually take walks on a flat surface, it is good if you go for a hike with a shorter distance than what you usually do. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. Steep inclines can be challenging to an inexperienced hiker.

Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear

Bringing the wrong gear is a big mistake most new hikers make. Keep yourself safe and hydrated on your hike by wearing light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. In addition to helping prevent sunburns and insect bites, the right clothing will protect you from scrapes and scratches, too. Wear your sturdy sneakers or hiking boots, and bring a hat along! A backpack with snacks & a few extra items of clothing will be a lifesaver. Don’t forget to bring more water than you think you need, too. These are around ten essential items you should have on you when you go on a hike.

Tip #3: Bring a Map

What could have been an enjoyable hiking trip can be ruined if you get lost. Make sure that you have a map or a GPS device with you before you start off for your hiking destination. It is important that you orient yourself with the map and to the location before you begin your hike. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Take along an extra battery if you plan to use your phone or another device. Putting your phone in airplane mode makes the battery’s charge last longer.

Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right

A lot of hikers start their journey early in the morning. This is ideal especially if you will be hiking when daytime temperatures are high. You should check local weather reports and figure out how much time you need to complete the trek. This will make your hike a safe one. 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

Basic hiking etiquette is very important especially 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. Be polite and say hello to other hikers, but don’t hold loud conversations with friends you are hiking with. Keep your dog leashed for the duration of the hike. 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 along on your hike, so someone can assist you if there is an emergency. If you do hike alone, let someone know where you are and when they should expect you back. This information could save your life if ever you get lost.

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

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