Walking through the woods and mountains, cleansing your soul and witnessing beauty at each step − hiking is a great adventure. But if you are a beginner, it’s easy to make mistakes because of lack of knowledge. Without careful planning and research, hiking can be a bit of a difficult task. Here are the common hiking mistakes that beginners need to avoid, to prepare for an adventurous journey.
Make sure to also read: What to Expect When Trekking the First Time
Common Hiking Mistakes to Avoid
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All trekkers start as beginners and are bound to make some mistakes. However, as a beginner, you can always avoid the common hiking mistakes by following the pointers listed below.
Research Related Issues
Researching is the first step towards any hiking tour. Without proper research, you might end up with unexpected consequences –
The weather: Ignoring the weather forecast is the primary mistake that most hikers make. Checking on the weather helps you decide the kind of clothing you need to carry, and not doing so can expose you to unforeseen dangers.
The terrain: Not knowing about the trekking terrain is another issue that we face. Hence, it is a good idea to read the handy guides that provide length, elevation and difficulty ratings of trails, to plan your trip accordingly.
The duration: Lack of knowledge about the average time required to complete the hike can create problems. You need to analyze the time required to reach the destination by evaluating the difficulty of the trail and the weather.
The skill level: Also, you might choose a trail that is above your capability, resulting in an unpleasant hiking experience. When you are a beginner, you need to select the shorter and easier trails, and then slowly advance to the difficult ones.
The essential gear: Purchasing the right hiking kit is a crucial step. It is recommended to buy the kit from an experienced outdoor specialist than from a supermarket.
Important: Must Have Gear for your next Trek.
If you are a beginner, hiking on your own without a guide or companion, is not a great idea. You need to choose the right group of people or a local guide, to avoid high risk.
Packing Related Issues
Packing is an important part of hiking. You need to know what to pack and what not to pack if you want to avoid an uncomfortable hiking experience. Leave the unnecessary items and do not over pack!
Equipment: Not carrying the right equipment to the hike, can create problems. Your hiking kit should contain necessary items such as a torch, rainwear, hiking poles, sunglass, hat and gloves, and these should be pre-tested.
Food: Packing the wrong food and carrying inadequate sources of hydration are common hiking mistakes. Take only the necessary items, because a heavy bag can lead to muscle strain and a sore back.
First Aid: Packing unnecessary medical supplies or forgetting the first aid kit is the wrong approach towards hiking. Hikers need to carry a first aid kit that includes a medical or a duct tape, alcohol wipes, adhesive bandages in various sizes, anti-allergic, painkillers, antibiotic ointment, sterile gauze, and moleskin.
Directions: Also, leaving a trail map behind is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make. A trail map allows you to know where you are going and prevents you from losing your way.
Inappropriate Clothing Related Issues
Different terrain and weather call out for different kind of clothes. Well, at times leaving the blue denim at home is not a bad idea. Choosing the wrong clothing is the fundamental mistake that can result in an uncomfortable experience and might also lead to injuries. You need to make sure that you invest in a good-quality lace up boots with a sturdy grip. Wearing them brand new on a long hike may also not be ideal. It’s advisable to use them in before hand on smaller walks. Depending on the climate carrying along a light rain coat or a windcheater may prove to be quite helpful. Comfortable, flexible and practical clothing is recommended for a wonderful hiking experience.
Fitness Related Issue
Hiking requires your muscles to be healthy and durable. Sleep and nutrition are equally important to have the energy to complete your hike. Start your hike well rested. Don’t stay up late the night before ticking off a last minute checklist; plan in advance. However, a good tip is to stretch. Stretching as a minimal warm-up before a hiking trip is important even for experienced hikers, to avoid sore muscles or injuries.
It will help you relax, prevent injuries and aching muscles. Lastly, stay at a comfortable pace and don’t be afraid to take a break, drink some water and stretch some more.
Avoid these common hiking mistakes and start exploring the trails.Make your days memorable and conquer the heights. For a beginner, mistakes are inevitable. Learn from these mistakes and watch yourself transform into an experienced hiker.
Read out guest bloggers first trekking experience! ‘I so wanted to quit my first trek – but I kept on walking.’
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