Hiking, nowadays, has been one of the most popular pastimes among people around the world. It has a lot of health benefits as well. It keeps your heart active and lessens the risks of heart diseases, improves blood pressure, strengthens your bones and much more.
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But in this article, we are not going to discover all the health benefits of hiking. Instead, we will emphasize on the checklist you must need before planning a successful hiking to go. Hiking can be planned during anytime or any season like winter, summer and so on. But here we are going to discuss the summer hiking checklist.
You need a proper planning as well as preparation before going on hiking. Your successful hiking depends on your preparation; planning, necessary things you need to pack into your backpack and so on. Also, consider the terrain you are going to select. Read the map of the trail carefully and start your journey then.
Before going more in-depth, we want to define the term “Hiking” in brief.
Hiking is one of the best physical as well as mental exercises that give you the opportunity to take physical exercise and mix with nature equally. In another word, it allows you to spend some valuable time coming closer to nature and keeping away from busy, hectic day-to-day life.
However, to make a successful hiking plan, you need some important things along with you which your hiking may go wrong without. As a result, you may fall into danger while hiking.
There is nothing to be worried about it. We had researched online a lot of time and made an essential and precise checklist you need before going for hiking.
When you are ready to go for hiking, you need to have a strong mentality. During hiking, you may have to face any difficulty at any time. In this situation, if you are mentally strong enough, you can handle the odd situations with ease. That’s why before starting; persuade your mind actively that you are going for hiking.
Food is one of the must-have items you should consider to bring with you. When you are on hiking, you need food more than you take in regular days. The reason is that you burn your calories while walking on the terrain. So, in this situation, you need a lot of trail food. But make sure your foods can fulfill the following requirements.
Pack your backpack with those foods that contain little or no water. These types of foods are lightweight and last long. Especially, dry foods are the best choice for hiking. They are lightweight as well as nutritious. They do not break easily inside your backpack.
As you are on hiking and you have a short time to prepare foods, you have to take dry foods that are ready to eat. Salty foods, high-energy bars, candy, and fruits are ideal for a hiker.
While walking on the terrain, you sweat more than regular days. As a result, sodium and more calories get out of your body. A hiker may burn up to 6,000 calories per day. To fill up the shortage of energy, you have to take foods that contain high levels of nutrition.
Another name of water is life, and it is needed more for a hiker. Sometimes, you may forget taking water bottles with you. In this case, you may suffer from altitude sickness or mountain sickness. It causes when you ascent to high altitude and of course, for the shortage of oxygen. Water bottles that you need, it can play a great role in this situation and prevent you getting dehydrated.
Try to drink water with electrolytes frequently to avoid mountain sickness like fatigue, nausea and so forth.
To protect you from the scorching sun overhead, we include sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.
In summer, the day starts with a clear sky, but it starts to change as time goes. You may not look around easily in the scorching sun. Sunglasses, on a sunny day, can keep your eyes safe from the sun.
Percentage of UV increases for elevation gain. If you want to protect your screen from sunburn, wear sunscreen. A UV protected sunglasses will do.
A hat can also play an essential role in this situation. A baseball cap or beach-hat can be a good choice in summer.
Navigation tools are equally necessary as foods and water. A map can show you the way you are going on the trail. But, it is recommended that learn how to read a map first. There are so many resources online about how to read a map. It will help you to go accordingly. You can also take a map bag with you because it will keep your map dry if it rains. Always try to bring an updated trail map to avoid a wrong turn.
Your compass will help you to read the trail map you can get from forest’s ranger district office. Otherwise, you may face problems when you are going for hiking. But make sure you have one or purchase one that has excellent customer reviews. If you want to learn how to use a compass, you can watch the following video.
A GPS can be a great choice instead of a map. You can consider it as an alternative to your map. But don’t forget to bring batteries with you. You should not always rely on your mobile phone or GPS as their batteries may die out. On the other hand, a map and a compass should be your primary navigation tools.
It is essential to put on hiking boots when you are going to hike on a tail. On the trail, there may be poisonous insects. Other than that rocks and roots of trees may also harm your feet without a pair of hiking boots. Make sure your hiking boots are waterproof as well. You can walk well if it rains too.
A first aid kit will assist you if your cuts or sprained ankles as there are rocks, tree roots, holes, and many other things. Choose a lightweight box with painkiller medications, adhesive bandages, ointment, etc. as it is easy to carry in the backpack. You can also include an insect repellent in your pack.
Sometimes, it is seen that a hiker may turn to the wrong way if the map is not updated. In this situation, it can become dark finding the right way. A lightweight flashlight can help you turn back to the right path of the trail. If it is late to return and gets dark, you fall in problem finding your ways.
Your anticipated time may not be accurate sometimes. It can take more time returning to your desired place due to injuries, weather and so on. What if night falls before returning? A headlamp can be a lifesaver. So, bring a headlamp into your backpack considering few things in mind. Your headlamp should be lightweight, long battery life, excellent brightness and decent beam distance, water resistant and so on.
Take a pack of matches or lighter into your backpack. You may need fire for an emergency, and matches or lighter will help you to start a fire. To keep them dry, you will need a waterproof bag. Fire is a must-have thing you should consider. It keeps the dangerous wild animals and insects away from you.
In the Rockies, it tends to rain frequently especially in summer. So, it will be an excellent decision to take a good coat with you. A good raincoat will also protect you from hypothermia as well. Make sure your raincoat is lightweight. If they are lightweight, it will be easier for you to carry.
A tarp will also protect you from getting wet in the rain. It is a quick shelter for you to protect you from rain as well as wind. It is easy to make and time-saving also. It is lighter too than a tent. So, bring one with you when you are planning for hiking. It also saves space in your backpack as well.
It is also essential to take a whistle with you. Sometimes, it may also happen that you can lose yourself in the forest. In that case, a whistle can come in handy. Whistle as much as you can to draw someone’s attention nearer to you. They can discover you hearing the whistle.
A pocket knife can help you cutting something sturdy. Otherwise, you can use it also to protect you from some dangerous insects too. So, keep in mind to bring a knife inside your pack. You can also use it cutting small trees to make your tent or use them for fire.
An additional plastic bag will help you in some ways. If it starts to rain suddenly, it will help you preserve your things inside it like foods, matches and so forth. You can also store your clothes inside the plastic bag. This is not a must, but you can bring one for you.
Your mobile phone can help you in various ways. Sometimes, you may need to call an emergency if you need. In this situation, you can use your mobile phone even if there is no standard network.
Besides, if your mobile can get a standard network, you can also use some app related to your hiking that helps you with some functionalities.
Before planning to go for hiking, calculate the time for both going ahead and coming back. Your physical and mental states are also important to consider before hiking. Depending on the elevation and altitude you like to gain, the situation may change dramatically. You have to have prepared for all the odds and evens. In this situation, your strong mental state works nicely.
Besides, summer’s sky tends to change drastically. So, it will be wise to bring all the necessary things and gear into your backpack. Otherwise, your hiking may cost you much.