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5 Common Hiking Mistakes That First-Timers Should Avoid


Preparing for an outdoor trip is a big part of the adventure. For a first hike, even if it’s a short one at a nearby trail, one should always come prepared. Simple mistakes can lead to major problems while you’re hiking. So from what you wear to the food and gear you bring, everything should be thought out properly.

To ensure a smooth-sailing first hike, avoid these common hiking mistakes that first-timers usually make:

Choosing the wrong backpack

Many first-time hikers make the mistake of choosing a backpack just because it’s light, and that’s it. A good pack makes a big impact on your hiking adventure. You should consider the size and fit, quality and usability.

When choosing a backpack for hiking, take into consideration the weather, season, how long your trip is and how far you’re going.

Wearing the wrong clothes

You’re thinking, it’s only a day hike and you shouldn’t put much thought into what you’re going to wear – wrong. A short or a long hike, appropriate clothing is important to ensure comfort on the trail. Cotton fabric, even lightweight ones, take a while to dry from sweat (or rain). This increases the risk of hypothermia.

Opt for wicking fabrics instead like polyester and wool. Don’t forget to wear comfortable socks and footwear, too!

Not bringing a first aid kit

The outdoors is accident-prone and if you’re a novice in hiking, you should come prepared in case of medical emergencies, may it be a scrape, a splinter, an allergy or a snake bite. Pack a first aid kit that’s appropriate for the length of your trip and the size of your group. If there’s an item you don’t know how to use, make sure you learn beforehand. Safety should be your top priority.

Not eating breakfast

Breakfast indeed is the most important meal of the day. Before your hike, you need all the energy you can get from a healthy and balanced meal. Opt for fiber-rich foods and proteins to keep your metabolism going and to energize you. Smoothies, yoghurt with fruit and granola or some eggs are good examples.

Over-exerting yourself

Always choose a trail that’s right for you. If you’re a beginner, hike some easy trails first, preferably with a guide. Properly pace yourself and rest when you’re tired. Don’t feel pressured about keeping up with the other hikers.

Save yourself from trouble – avoid these common hiking mistakes!


Source by Daniel J. Smith

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