When it comes to hiking, it’s always best to come prepared. Hiking can be a challenging activity, but it’s a very rewarding experience. Over time we’ve figured out some do’s or don’ts that have helped us and may help you too!
1) Stay on the trail
Always stay on the marked trail since they’re created to maintain the environment. Conservation areas work very hard to protect the ecosystem while offering a chance for everyone to explore nature. But when you go off the beaten track, you can do enough damage in seconds that takes years to undo. Don’t veer off track!
2) Be prepared
Before you head out, make sure to research the trails and weather. Trails will vary in difficulty, so it’s good to find one that’s suitable for your fitness level. It’s also important to keep an eye out for the weather, so you can stay warm and dry.
Remember to pack enough water and snacks, a phone, a map, a first aid kit, rain gear, warm clothes and your ID.
3) Hike with a buddy or group
For your safety, never hike alone – especially in bear country. If your friend can’t join you, consider joining a hiking group instead. Anything can happen out on the trail and you may be many kilometers from any help. Having someone with you can save your life. Plus, it’s always more fun to hike with a friend!
4) Watch your time
Be sure to keep an eye on the time when you’re on your hike. At the beginning of the hike, you’ll have more energy and can finish more of the trail in a shorter period of time. However, as you continue to hike, you’ll get more tired and slow down. Because of this, it’s always better to plan extra time for breaks.
If you happen to be hiking after the sun goes down, make sure to pack a flashlight or headlamp to help you see in the dark.
1) Don’t deface, damage or disturb any property or wildlife
When you’re on a trail, don’t vandalize any property or damage wildlife. As the saying goes, “take only photos, leave only footprints.”
2) Don’t litter. Pack out what your pack in.
Whatever you bring onto the trail, you should also take out with you. It helps to bring a small garbage bag so you can keep track of your trash.
3) Don’t tackle a trail that’s too difficult
Sometimes it’s the difficult trails that offer the most beautiful views, but you have to remember that your safety is key. If you get too tired from the trail, head back to the beginning of the trail and try again when you’re feeling better. Trust us: we’ve had to turn back a few times.
4) Don’t underestimate nature
Depending where you’re hiking, the weather can change in an instant. Storms can be dangerous if you’re in the middle of nowhere without shelter. So make sure to keep an eye out for weather changes. If you know that there’s going to be a big storm, avoid heading out to a trail.
If you happen to hike in an area with bears, it’s really important to make a lot of noise to let a bear know of your presence. Also, remember to carry bear spray with you at all times on the trail – you never know when you may have to use it!
We hope these tips are helpful for your next adventures!