hike mountain

Going on a hike is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in nature. The fresh air, stunning views and large expanses provide a break from our normal fast-paced lives. It also has numerous health benefits. It is however important to prepare oneself adequately for safety’s sake and to enable you enjoy the experience.

Safety

Whether hiking alone or with a group, inform a friend or family member where you’ll be going and when you expect to be back. In case you don’t show up at that time, they should call for help. Aron Ralston, a canyoneer, once got stuck for 127 hours in Blue John Canyon. Since he hadn’t informed anyone of his whereabouts, he was trapped there alone and almost died. Don’t fall into the same trap!

Carry the following essential items for your hike: map, first aid kit, compass, flashlight, extra food, matches, a multipurpose tool and sunglasses. These will ease your experience and come in handy in case of emergencies.

Food & Water

If your hike is only one day, you can take whatever kind of food you want and enough water. However if you’ll be away for several days, you need the right kind of food and natural sources of water. Carry dry foods to snack on as you walk. This is better than eating large meals. Nuts, high-energy biscuits, dried fruit and chocolates are ideal. ¬†Fresh fruits and veggies are heavy since they contain high amounts of water.

Remember to hydrate as you hike. Take small sips regularly to avoid dehydration. If you’ll be using natural water sources, carry water filters or purification tablets to remove any bacteria present.

On the night before the hike, eat food rich in carbohydrates to provide energy for the excursion. This is known as carbohydrate packing. It helps to reduce fatigue while hiking.

Exercise

Prepare your body by doing light to moderate exercises at least 2 weeks before the hike. This cuts down the likelihood of muscle injuries. Swimming, biking, walking are great for getting the muscles used to exertion. Remember to stretch after exercising to relax your muscles.

 

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