To the uninitiated, hiking might not seem like an intense physical activity, since it is not very fast-paced. This cannot be further from the truth, though. Trekking for several miles over rugged ground that is often on an incline takes a great deal of energy and a high level of fitness. Moreover, you must come prepared with the right supplies and gear to evade injury and exhaustion. Discover some of the biggest hiking mistakes to avoid making, so you aren’t caught off-guard when you venture out to your first trail.
Forgetting Food and Water
As stated, hiking will tire you out to a much greater degree than you may be used to if you spend most of your time sitting. This is why it is critical that you bring enough food and water to sustain you along the way. The quandary that you will run into, though, is finding a balance between carrying adequate fuel and fluids and keeping your pack light. The solution that hikers have found for this is to pack energy-dense foods, including nuts, dried fruits, jerky, granola bars, and sandwiches. These items won’t weight you down, but they’ll still provide you with enough nutrients and energy to keep you moving. You can’t get around the weight of water, but you should still bring a large bottle or two, so you don’t become dehydrated as you perspire.
Tackling Challenging Trails First
You might think that you’re ready to tackle a hard trail right away, but this is one of the biggest hiking mistakes to avoid making. Not only are you uncertain about how physically challenging hiking can be in general, but you also do not have a good idea about what kinds of situations you may face while on the trail. It is more prudent to gain a general feel for hiking through shorter, less taxing trails first. There, you can work out how much food and water you need relative to the difficulty of the hike, how much time it takes you to travel a certain distance, and what supplies you need that you didn’t think about before. Approaching hiking with care will help you prevent extreme fatigue and dangerous situations that you may not know how to respond to.
Wearing Unsuitable Clothing
Having the right clothing is imperative for hiking, but many newcomers to the activity may not realize this. As with the other mistakes we’ve mentioned, wearing unsuitable clothes can increase your risk of getting hurt. You should wear fabrics made of wool or synthetics, such as polyester, instead of typical cotton because these materials wick away moisture. Not only will you be more comfortable this way, but this will also help stop you from losing too much body heat in colder temperatures. For this same reason, you should pack a waterproof jacket to protect you if it starts to rain while you’re on the trail. As for your feet, you need hiking boots that provide good grip, comfort, and a hardy construction. They’ll support your ankles and keep you from slipping or otherwise injuring yourself while hiking.
Contact ALTAI™ today if you are interested in getting into hiking. We provide sturdy hiking, work, and uniform boots that work effectively in outdoor settings.