Research Your Trail & Plan Ahead
Before you head off on any trip make sure you have researched the trail you will be hiking on, what sort of wildlife you could meet whilst hiking and the sort of terrain you will be walking on. Plan how long you aim to hike for each day and see where that leads you roughly on the map so you can decide on a camping site. It's very important that you double check your maps before heading out making sure they cover all the areas that you are hiking and don't forget your compass too.
A cool trick is that if you are trekking over long distances and through villages or towns check to see if they have a post office, you can then send yourself parcels meaning you won’t have to carry EVERYTHING in your pack. Make sure you over pack slightly on food and water and always carry a water filter with you and remember to always let people know where you are you don’t want to turn out like Aron Ralston.
Make Sure It All Fits
Before you head off on your trek make sure that you have worn your boots in making them more comfortable and make sure your rucksack fits you perfectly before you head off. Play around with all the straps and clips and try different ways of packing your equipment to get the most comfortable position on your back. And most importantly pitch your tent up in your garden till you can pitch it blind folded, upside down, in a tank of water filled with sharks!
Walk With Your Group First
So before you all head out the door on your trek try to sort out some small hikes and walks. Doing this will make you a stronger group when hiking for longer distances. You will be able to see who the strongest hiker is, who can walk better with shorter distances, basically you will be able to sense everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and then you can plan your actual hike or trek accordingly.
Hang Your Food
Now this is a big deal in the USA because of bears and other wild animals but this might not be such a bad thing to do when trekking in the UK. Now of course it depends on where you’re staying and to be honest this rule only applies to the wild campers out there.
We all know that the smell of food and no doubt humans attracts animals so if hanging your food up in a stuff stack stops unwanted guests sniffing around your tent or you cooking area then it should be done, it’s a no brainer.
Take A Buddy
Try and plan your trips and treks with your mates or family! One you are safer in numbers, two it’s ALWAYS good to get another opinion and three it stops you talking to the trees and rocks! But on a serious note if you are new to the trail you are hiking on just having that extra person means you can double check where you are, where you're going and as we said earlier safety in numbers!
Don’t Forget The Sunscreen
Even when hiking in the UK you can still get sunburnt even if it isn’t that sunny! Weather is always unpredictable no matter how many times you check the weather report. One of the main factors of getting sunburn is due to the wind, so if you’re on a summit on a hot but slightly cloudy, windy day and you haven’t got sunscreen on you will no doubt get burnt! Always remember sunscreen people!
Learn How To Make A Fire
Learning to make a fire should be on every hiker and trekkers mind, it can reduce your pack size and the weight that you carry which is brilliant if you are on a long trek (just make sure you are allowed to make a fire first). If you’re camping on a cold night making a fire can be a massive moral boost to you and your buddies turning it from a cold restless night sleep to maybe the best night sleep they have ever had which in turn means they are ready for the next day.
Take Something Good To Read
If you’re like us lot here at Simply Hike nothing gets you more excited than going on a long hike! Don’t forget to plan your down time though, take in the beautiful scenery, talk rubbish with your mates and just enjoy yourself. But what if its day three it’s raining and you are all tired… take a book with you, it will chill you out (depending on what book you read) and set you up ready for the next day.
Check Weather Reports
Always check the weather forecast before you go on your trek, check it the night before you leave then check it again in the morning and see if anything has changed. To get a better understanding of the weather always compare weather sites, this will help you get a more accurate weather reading, if you’re a bit of a weather geek then always look at the past week to see what the weather pattern has been.
Key Safety Essentials To Pack
Pack your bag safe and smart, never go on a trek or a hike without these items:
- First Aid Kit
- Survival Bag
- Emergency Shelter
- Mosquito Sprays
- Mountain Sunscreen
- Water Tablets or Filters
- Lightweight Stove
- Head Torch
What are your hiking hacks? We would love to know what you take with you when hiking and trekking so comment below!