Whether it's a leisurely weekend walk, multi-day trek, or anything in between hiking is something that the majority of people come to enjoy at some point in their life. Some start earlier than others but everyone starts a novice. Let us look at some of the major mistakes we see people commit the world over when it comes to hiking.
Not Notifying People Where They Are Going: For one reason or another, many people do not do this, and when they do it often too vague. Most trails heads are only the starting point for an array of trail networks that go for large distances in opposite directions. It is important to give the exact trail one intends to hike. In the event that one gets lost or has an accident search and rescue will arrive quicker if they know what area of the park to look in.
Not Bringing Enough Water: In the city, it can be easy to take our hydration needs for granted as clean, drinkable water is ubiquitous. Most people find themselves surprised by just how much water they need. The general rule of thumb is 500 mL (2 cups) for every one hour of hiking. This needs to be increased if the hike is a particularly exerting one.
Not Investing In Appropriate Footwear: Having the proper footwear can make a world of difference and prevent injuries associated with poor ankle support and footing. It is also to choose the right footwear depending on the season and conditions. In our experience, the best men and women's hiking boots can be found here.
Not Bringing A Flashlight: People underestimate just how easy it is to get lost in the woods, one wrong turn and a slight detour off the trail can leave an individual searching for hours trying to find the trail again. There have been countless cases of people who, at sunset, were still lost and began using their cell phone light to find their way. The issue here is that the battery life on a cell phone when using its flashlight is not very good and losing power on one's sole communication device could be deadly.
Starting too Late In The Day: Many of the people who run into trouble while hiking do so because they started at the trailhead too late in the day and the sun begins to set before they are on their way back. Trying to navigate in the dark can be challenging and greatly increases the chances of taking a wrong turn. Almost all park maintained trails have signs outlining the suggested completion time. Individuals should plan their hike to give themselves extra daylight hours.
Venturing Off Marked Trails: While backcountry hiking is a great experience it is something which should only be done with an equally great amount of experience. Most people who get lost find themselves that way because they veered off the marked trail, even if it was just for a brief moment. A trail is quite clearly marked when one is on the trail but not so much when off it. Going off the trail is the best way to get lost.