There’s nothing quite like packing your bags and heading for the hills with your mates for some time in the great outdoors. Spending time outside, powered by the power of your own two feet, is incredibly rewarding. What’s more, spending time outdoors in the fresh air has been proven time and again to be amazing for both your physical and mental health.
Hiking is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, however, like any outdoor activity, you are at the mercy of the elements so it’s crucial that you take the time to prepare and plan in advance so you stay safe and have fun in the mountains.
Hiking at its core is all about putting one foot in front of the other. However, as any hiker will tell you, what you put on those feet will be the difference between you having a great time or wanting to turn around and go home. Of all the gear that you can buy to go hiking, the most important thing you need to invest in is a solid pair of hiking boots.
With a decent pair of boots, you will be able to maintain your grip, keep your feet dry and protect your ankles and feet from scratches, bumps, bruises and even snakebites. While a decent pair of boots, for many people, is the only thing you need to enjoy a day in the mountains, there are a few more tips and tricks you can use to maximise your comfort on the trails.
Let’s take a look at a few things that you can do to ensure that you and your hiking mates stay comfortable so you have more fun on your next hiking adventure.
Watch The Weather
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than getting caught in bad weather when you’re in the mountains. Bad weather will not only lead to you being wet and cold but it can also impact the safety of you and your group.
Before you set off on your next adventure, make sure you take the time to check the local weather for where you are going. Knowing what the weather is going to do will ensure that you pack appropriately so you stay dry and comfy throughout your hike.
Wear The Right Clothing
As mentioned above, a good pair of hiking boots is essential if you want to be comfortable on the trails. However, in addition to a good pair of hiking boots, you should also consider the rest of your attire.
Lightweight breathable material is always the best choice and whatever you do make sure that you avoid wearing cotton as once it gets sweaty, it will take forever to dry, leaving you feeling cold and damp for the duration of your hike. Wear multiple light layers so you can add or subtract clothing with ease to regulate your body temperature as you walk.
Bring Waterproof Gear
Even if the weather forecast is for good weather, it’s a good idea to always pack your waterproof clothing. If there is a sudden downpour, you will be glad that you have them in your bag.
Rainproof gear nowadays can be compacted down easily so that it doesn’t take up much space in your bag. It’s a good habit to carry your rain gear with you, especially if you are going on a multi-day hike. The weather in the mountains can often be erratic so be prepared for the worst.
Pack As Light As Possible
Carrying a big heavy pack for hours uphill is exhausting and is one sure-fire way to negatively impact your personal comfort. To ensure you remain nimble and agile on the trails, make sure that you pack as light as possible. Once you have your layers, waterproofs, snacks and water in your bag, the next step is to speak with your group.
Additional items such as rescue bags, first aid kits, head torches and other safety gear can be shared between the group. Decide who will carry what so that you don’t end up carrying more weight than what is necessary.
No matter what time of year you are hiking it’s vital that you carry enough water for the duration of your trip. If you’re hiking in the height of the summer months, this will be even more essential. It’s worth keeping in mind, that if you are going on a long hike, it might not be feasible to carry all the water you need with you.
In this situation, make sure you research where you can find water along the trail. There might be water-refilling stations you can use, you may be able to fill from a stream or a spring, or alternatively, you can bring some kind of filter with you.
Stay Safe, Be Comfortable And Have Fun On Your Next Hike
Before heading out on your next hike, make sure that you follow the tips above to ensure that you stay safe and comfortable on the trails. When you are properly prepared, you can enjoy more peace of mind, knowing you have everything that you need to stay safe when you’re exploring the mountains.