Category Archives: Hiking

Safety, Equipment and Hiking Gear

When you talk about hiking, it does not mean you have to go for something as outlandish or extreme as the Appalachian Trail. It can be as simple as taking a walk through a forest or up a hill in your neighborhood’s vicinity. For the most part, hiking will cost you nothing to very little and is a great stress reliever. Indeed, the mental and physical benefits you can get from hiking ensure you can live a more fruitful and fulfilled life.

But even though hiking can be fun, there are also a number of precautions and survival tips one must take into consideration to avoid danger and stay safe. Among the more important tips is for one to hike in a group. It is much safer for one to hike in a group especially if it is on a nature trail you are unaccustomed to.

Hiking with Friends

The support and motivation obtained from the group will help you in those times when you might think of packing up leaving. Actually, even when you are hiking on trail you are used to, it does not hurt to bring at least one person along as this is a natural deterrent to anyone along the trail that may be lurking with ill intent.

You also must take precautions when hiking up and down a hill. On the ascent, you should loosely lace your boots around your ankles to provide ample room for movement. When going downhill, you need to avoid jamming your toes by placing your heels in the back of the boots and tightly tying your laces around the ankles while leaving them loose at the toes.

Use a hiking stick or trekking pole. These sticks help with balance and stability when going up or down an incline. They also provide an additional support to your legs, reduce the knee pressure and help you support the upper body especially when you embark on a long trek.

Carry Water

Always carry your own water. If you are sure there will be water at your destination, carry just slightly more than sufficient water to last until you arrive. Water is of greater importance than food to your survival. Always filter any water you find along the trail and that you are in need of using – unless the water is from a natural spring. If you can fix a long drinking straw to the water bottle so you can drink as you move, the better.

Dress in layers in order to ensure you maintain the proper body temperature with changes in weather. The weather can change drastically when you are out on a long hike and you need to be prepared for all type of weather conditions. Avoid cotton clothing because it holds moisture for long periods. Use polypropylene and other synthetic materials. Make sure you wear dark clothing because they dry faster. Wear light colored clothing if you’re hiking in areas known for their tick infestation.

It’s also important that one watch out for sunstroke when hiking in the hot sun. If you plan on hiking in the summer then you must be aware that the exposure to high temperature can cause excessive fluid loss which may lead to heat exhaustion, or in serious cases even to a heat stroke. Wear a hat that is broad rimmed and that has a strap. It gives better protection from hot wind and direct sunlight.

Hiking Boots and Equipment

Of all the hiking gear and equipment you need, your hiking boots are probably the most important. Good boots give you traction and support throughout the hike. A good pair of boots need not be overly expensive even though you should not compromise on quality in the name of lower overall cost. It is advisable that you purchase your boots from a dealer who is conversant with the standards required of outdoor wear. Boots vary from lightweight for light hiking to heavy boots that are more durable and support the feet and ankles. The features you need to look out for when buying your hiking boots include water resistance, weight of the boot, the price, the toe groove for crampons, the width of toe box and the gusseted tongue.

Apart from your hiking boots, there are other forms of equipment needed for you hike. If you plan on embarking on a day hike, you will need hiking socks, water purifying tablets (if you are not carrying your own water), a back pack, walking stick, traction devices, rescue beacons, signaling gear, Avalanche probes (if you will be on snow covered hilly terrain), jackets, binoculars, first aid kit, a compass, sunscreen and food. For an overnight hike, you will require a tent, sleeping bag, camp stoves, rain gear, matches, a Swiss army knife, and a flashlight.

Get a map of the route you plan on taking. If you plan to hike alone or with one another person, notify your family (or a ranger if you are hiking through a park) on the place where you will be and the time you expect to return. That way, someone can come looking for you if you are in trouble or just simply lost.

Hiking Equipment and Backpacking Checklist

3 Major Hiking and Backpacking Checklist Benefits – My main hiking tip for anyone getting started withHiking Equipment hiking or backpacking activities is to actually use a hiking equipment checklist or backpacking checklist when preparing for your travels. The use of checklists makes many of the tasks in life simple. The 3 main benefits of using a checklist for hiking or backpacking are:

  • Memory Jogger – A visual-aid such as a checklist is a great way to ensure that important hiking gear is not left behind;
  • Efficiency Tool – A checklist makes it a much easier and quicker task when packing for your outdoor trips;
  • Review Tool – A checklist can function as a review sheet which you can analyze in order to reduce the size of your kit before your next trip.

 

10 Hiking Tips For Hiking and Backpacking Checklists – Listed here are my favorite suggestions with reference to packing when using a Hiking Equipment Checklist or Backpacking Checklist:

  1. Appropriate Gear – Packing gear that you believe to be appropriate for your trip, and having the knowledge regarding the way it is meant to be used, should go a long way to ensuring that you have a pleasurable outdoor adventure.
  2. Protected Hiking – In areas such as forests and protected zones along the coast, there is a certain degree of protection from the weather. In such zones, it is most likely that you could cope with a lesser amount of gear and not really need the top grade gear needed when in mountainous areas.
  3. Unpredictable Climates – Particularly when it comes to mountainous regions, there could be a wintery climate. Therefore, be certain that you are carrying extra warm garments on your trip.
  4. Load Reduction – Unneeded load gives rise to squandered energy use. Equipment that you do not really need is best left behind. Take a lighter load and get more pleasure from your hiking and backpacking trips.
  5. Fluid Consumption – Many hikers and backpackers carry water on trips but water is quite a heavy load. Immediately prior to you trip, try to drink as much water as you can. Having said that, do not leave out drinking water from your checklist, not even for shorter trips or even on cold or over cast weather conditions. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated.
  6. Apparel Weight – Your backpack weight is influenced somewhat with the kind of apparel you decide to use. Purposefully developed man-made materials tend to be lightweight when compared with natural materials. They usually perform better also. For example, they wick away sweat from your skin at the same time as providing a warm insulation layer. Alternative materials are able to keep rainwater out at the same time as still permitting moisture to move away from the skin.
  7. Load Share – A number of hikers or backpackers could group together to share equipment which could be carried in turns within one backpack. However, it is advisable to keep your individual essential gear near to you all the times, just as a precaution, in case the companion carrying the pack is suddenly separated from you. You could also buy a few bigger food storage containers to share so that a lesser amount of volume is lost during the packing, for example: 1 water filter; 1 bug spray; etc.
  8. Gear Check – Examine your complete kit prior to hiking to make certain that it is remains fit for purpose: footwear still fits you and is still fit for the intended terrain and the laces are not frayed; backpack belts and buckles are ok; first-aid kit is complete; water container is clean; batteries are fresh; and knife is sharp; etc.
  9. Mobile Phone – As your mobile phone might someday turn out to be your lifesaver, make sure it is protected with something soft such as kitchen paper towels and also sealed within 1 or possible 2 waterproof bags.
  10. Waterproof Bags – Carry some spare waterproof bags since their weight is negligible and they occupy minimal space, yet they have many uses for keeping things dry or separated.

After you return from your adventure, take a look at your equipment checklist to determine whether something of the list was not used. If you find some unused, non-essential gear, you could eliminate it from your list before your next adventure. However, please be sensible. That does not mean leave out crucial protective gear like a waterproof jacket just because there was no rain on your last trip.

Five Reasons Not to Buy Discount Hiking Gear

Weather you may be a first time hiker, are thinking about taking up hiking or one who has been at it for a long time, hiking tips from the right person can be invaluable for your long term enjoyment of a lifetime on the hiking trail.

Poor advice at the outset could have you undergo a very bad experience even on your first hike. We are certain you do not want to happen.

Here are a number of tips we wish we had heard prior to first outing.

  • Do not buy discounted hiking gear. You see the advertisements blaring at you to buy this or that at 75% off. Do not be tempted. The main reason for this tip is that you may be buying bootleg goods which is against the law first of all. Secondly the goods may be factory rejects. The only time we would advise you to buy hiking gear at a discount would be if your favorite outdoor gear store is having a sale on regular priced merchandise.
  • Buy the best gear you can afford. This tip does not mean that you should buy the most expensive hiking boots or the most expensive hiking jacket. What we mean by this is you should do your research first based upon what hiking and camping equipment has proven to be best by your friends or online reviews by those who have done so. Sometimes the most expensive may just not live up to the price charged. There may be an instance when those very expensive hiking boots leaked or fell apart.
  • Do the research. There are thousands of online reviews on every conceivable piece of hiking and camping gear. Avoid the reviews by manufacturers. According to them, their goods are the best.
  • Deal with a reputable outdoor equipment store with a knowledgeable staff. Again, ask your friends which one is best. This level of store will employ a staff who are also outdoor doers. No doubt they have had a chance to do their own testing and will have a wealth of first hand knowledge at their table.
  • Invest in a GPS unit. We put this item of hiking gear in here because it is an amazing piece of technology that will help you to get out of a tight situation. We remember the first time we set out with the map and compass. We had to travel to a lake three miles through the woods without a trail of any kind. This is the time to trust your gear. There is no arguing with the GPS.

Hiking clothes are a vital part of your outdoor trips. A lightweight, waterproof pair of pants may be stuffed in a pack and take up little space. Get used to wearing a cap on your head. It will protect you from the sun but mostly it will keep you warm in winter and make sure it is waterproof to keep your head dry in the rain.

A warm pair of waterproof mitts or gloves may come in handy. Again these are lightweight and help to keep you protected from the elements.

If you are able to keep both the hands and head warm you will hold the heat within the body.

Camping Tent and Hiking Tips

When you are planning for your next camping tent or hiking trip, typically you find yourself going through a checklist. Making sure you have your camping tent, backpack, pocketknife, food and even more items depending on the type of trip you are going on. The one thing some people do not do before their trip is re-familiarizing themselves with simple survival tips. Most of these tips could be the difference between life and death.

Before going out on your hike to explore the nature around you, make sure you have scanned your surroundings. Be aware of any mountains, hills, or any other major landmarks around you and the camping tent site. When beginning your hike try to stay around a valley, river or mountainside if possible. Just by doing this it will help keep you going in the same direction. The next step seems simple enough, keep track of time. Make sure you are aware of the time when you leave your campsite. By doing this you will know what rate you are hiking at and then by the time you reach your destination you know exactly how far you are from the camp site. If you have a GPS make sure it is in good condition and you are very familiar with all its settings.

If by chance of you do get lost the first, do not panic! This will not solve the situation and will cause you to lose energy that could be used towards other things. Sit down regain your thoughts. Think back and try to retrace your steps. Ask yourself, what direction did I come from? Can I get back? How long have I been lost? Once you have come up with a game plan try to find a place high where you can see your surroundings, search for a river, familiar areas or even signs of civilization. You are probably asking yourself, should I stay or should I keep moving? In order to answer this question, you want to make sure that you have a shelter to protect yourself. Next if no one is aware of your camping tent trip then it may take awhile before they begin a search. Look around and see if a signal could be seen from your location. If most of these cannot be answered then it is probably in your best interest to keep moving.

A good rule of thumb is walk away from the mountains, because most likely they may lead you to a road or trail. As you are walking try to leave hints and signals along the way. This will give anyone who could be searching for you hints and signals. Leaving parts of clothing, make arrows out of sticks or rocks are great ways to let searches know what direction you are heading in. This will also help them know you are still alive.

If you know that there will be people searching for you, hurry and find a safe and obvious place where you could have the best chances of a rescue. Try to find a shining or flashy object that could be seen if held against the light. This could be seen for sure by an airplane or a helicopter. Move the mirror or object back and forth so that the reflection could be noticed easily. Another life saving technique is building a fire. There are two types of fire to build for different times of the day. During the daylight make a smoky type fire using wet, damp and green materials. At night make a bright blazing fire using all dry materials. Most people try to yell and scream but end up losing their voice. Instead of using our voice try banging pots and pans they will really echo, much louder than your voice. If you had a whistle that would be even better.

No matter how many precautions someone can take there is always the possibility of getting lost or turned around. Always make sure you are aware of the places you are going and someone knows the details of your trip. There are always more outdoor survival tips you can take on your journey and this article just names a few. Always make sure you are prepared for your camping tent or hiking adventures.