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Five common hiking mistakes and how to avoid them

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It is imperative that you do not make the following five common mistakes.

Hiking can be a lot of fun. But when you head out for a hike, it is imperative that you do not make the following five common mistakes.

1. Not checking that a hiking trail is open
If you are heading out to a hiking trail that is not open all year round, it is crucial that you check that the trail is open before you leave home.

Many trails are closed in winter and some trails close from fall to late spring. The last thing you want is to arrive at a trail that you are unable to access, so ensure you check the status of any trail you are considering hiking online early on.

2. Not checking how long it takes to hike a trail and the weather conditions
The other thing you need to check beforehand is how long a hiking trail will take to complete. Not only do you need to know how long it takes to walk the trail at a reasonable pace. You also need to factor in things like breaks and poor weather conditions.

You should always finish a hike before night falls, otherwise, you could run into serious problems.

So, make sure you work out how long a trail will take to hike and what the weather conditions will be like ahead of time.

3. Not wearing the proper clothing
You should wear the proper clothing for hiking. That means avoiding things like jeans, which would stay wet if you are caught in the rain, and cotton clothes, as they can cling to your body when you sweat. And you are sure to sweat when you go hiking!

Your hiking clothes need to be comfortable and warm. They also need to wick away sweat. As for pants, you can find out what the best pants for hiking are in this article.

In colder climates, you need to ensure you wear thermal clothing. Also, a waterproof jacket is indispensable.

If you are planning on hiking in high altitudes, you will also need warm clothing like a hat, a scarf, and a pair of gloves. Of course, it should go without saying that you also need a good pair of hiking boots.

4. Not using the right bag and not packing it with all the necessities you could need
Another common mistake that people make is not packing their bags well. A backpack is a must, as it will be difficult to hike when you are carrying a bag in your hands, especially if you intend to use walking aids like walking poles.

In addition to using the right backpack – a 20 to 30-liter backpack is fine for short hikes, but you may consider getting a larger 40-liter one for hikes that take all day – you need to ensure you take the right items with you.

Spare clothes are essential, as weather conditions can turn quickly. You also need to ensure you have enough water and food with you. A First Aid kit is essential too. And you will want to take other items with you, like a map, a headlamp, and tissues.

However, you also do not want to overpack your backpack. If you do, you may not be able to complete trails or walk for as long as you want to.

A heavier backpack is sure to slow you down and reduce your stamina. So, keep your bag light but ensure it contains all the essentials you need for hiking in the great outdoors.

5. Not being respectful
Lastly, you should have respect for nature. That means not leaving any garbage around. Things like plastic bags can negatively affect the environment and animals can become entangled in such items.

But even things like apple cores should be picked up and disposed of once you are back home. If you leave food items like apple cores, they could attract creatures like bears. That could not only cause you problems. It could also be dangerous for other hikers.

And if you are planning on camping overnight, make sure you keep the noise down to a minimum so that you do not disturb animals or other hikers.


Photo by Pexels from Pixabay 

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