One outdoor adventure you can have in Brandywine is going on a hike. Hiking offers a lot of physical and psychological benefits, including lowering stress levels and improving your physical fitness. It is important that you plan your trek ahead so you will be prepared for anything unexpected. If you are new to hiking, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head out. These hiking tips are sure to make each and every hike enjoyable.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Trail
If you’ve never been on a hike — or it’s been a while — it is strongly recommended that you choose a fairly easy hike for your first time out. A shorter hike is recommended for those who usually take walks on a flat surface. Also, pick a hike without any abrupt elevation changes. An inexperienced hiker might have difficulty managing steep inclines.
Tip #2: Pack the Right Gear
One usual mistake among novice hikers is bringing the wrong gear. Being safe and hydrated on your hike means wearing light, moisture-wicking clothing that covers your arms and legs. Aside from helping prevent sunburns and insect bites, the right clothing will also keep you safe from scrapes and scratches. It is also important that you wear a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and always bring a hat! Bring a backpack with snacks, extra layers of clothing, and twice the amount of water you think you’ll need. There are about ten essential items you must bring every time you venture out on a hike.
Tip #3: Bring a Map
Getting lost can quickly ruin almost any hiking trip. A map or a GPS device will help you make your way through the area. Study the map and orient yourself to the location before you begin your trek. If the hiking trail is marked, stay on the course. Bring a spare battery for your phone or any other device you want to use as a map. Putting your phone in airplane mode also helps save your battery’s charge.
Tip #4: Time Your Hike Right
Hikers often begin their trek early in the morning. It is safer to hike when daytime temperatures are not very high. To make your hike a safe one, take note of the local weather reports and plan out how long your trek should be. Be conservative with your estimates – hiking is not a race. Hike at a comfortable pace so that you will have enough energy to complete your course without overexerting yourself.
Tip #5: Use Good Hiking Etiquette
When you are on a busy trail, you must remember some basic hiking etiquette. Hikers going uphill always have the right of way. Move out of the way of bikes and horses when you can. Politely say hello to people you pass, and avoid talking loudly when hiking with friends. You may bring your dog along, but make sure it is on a leash all the time. Do not leave any trash behind as well. Granola bar wrappers, empty water bottles, and so on should never be left on the trail.
Tip #6: Use the Buddy System
The last of our hiking tips is to bring someone along on your hike, to be safe in case of an emergency. Make sure someone knows when to expect you back when you hike alone. Let them know where you are going as well. This information will be very useful if ever you happen to get lost.
By following these hiking tips, you can make hiking an activity you enjoy.
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