Hiking through the countryside is a great way to stay fit and get back in touch with nature and it is one of my favorite ways to take a break from the stresses and strains of life, and channel my focus. My buddy Sammy Zherka and I have been hiking for many years now and have taken in many of the stunning national parks and nature routes which this country has. After many years of planning these trips, I have successful honed how best to do it and I thought I would share with you what you need to do in order to plan and prepare for a successful hiking trip.
The first thing you should start with is mapping out the route, if you are taking just a day trip then it is best to make this circular, if you are planning to hike for longer then you need to ensure that you have planned stops for where you will stay. When working out your timings it is always best to err on the side of caution. You are much better planning on an 8 mile hike than a 10 mile hike and then doing so in less time than you thought instead of the other way around and then running into difficulties which could see you hiking to your destination into the night time. Whilst hiking is a great fitness tool, it should also be enjoyed so don’t give yourself too tight a schedule.
It is well worth investing in the equipment which you need and ensuring that you only take with you the bare essentials. I have been on trips where I took everything but the kitchen sink and I can tell you that not only was it not enjoyable carrying around such weight, but I found that most of the stuff that I thought I would need, wasn’t necessary at all. Keep your equipment lightweight and necessary, focus heavily on comfort and weight when it comes to packing your equipment and if you think that you can do without something, then don’t take it.
Don’t Rely On Technology
Technology has helped hikers a great deal and whilst you can of course use GPS and phones to track your hike, don’t rely on them. There are always things that can go wrong with a phone or GPS system, batteries can die, technology can fail so you should ensure that you are also using old school techniques like maps to chart your route.
It is important that you notify people where you are going and when, this will help greatly should you run into any difficulties during your hike. If you are staying on a campsite on a hike route then let them know at what time you are leaving, equally, letting the destination point know when you ahem arrived will continue to chart your course. I know people who have failed to do this and it can play havoc should there be a medical situation and mountain rescue need to find you, play it safe and notify people of your journey.