Whether you’re looking to spend time with friends, get away from the busyness of the 9 to 5, or simply enjoy nature, going for a hike is sure to provide relaxation, rejuvenation, and a good workout. While hiking is undoubtedly enjoyable, it doesn’t come without its risks. Here are some pointers for planning a day hike!
Know Your Route
A nearby trail or a more distant venture? Regardless of where you choose to hike, do some research before setting your course. Some websites allow you to search nearby trails, read reviews, and gain an understanding of what to expect. Once on the trail, maintain awareness of your course with the necessary navigational components. While devices such as a cellphone or GPS are excellent tools, they should never fully replace a map and compass. Even with a power bank, electronic devices can break on the trail or run out of battery. However, a topographical map and compass are reliable, lightweight, and will never run out of battery. Store them in a waterproof pouch with your cellphone to keep them dry and protected.
Take Safety Precautions
Safety should always be a top priority whenever hiking or adventuring outdoors. Since many trails are secluded and often do not allow for immediate medical attention, it’s best to plan accordingly. Let someone else know where you will be hiking and the route you plan to take. Consider leaving your itinerary in your car in the event search and rescue is required. Apps such as What Three Words help provide a precise location even in places with few landmarks and roads. Other apps can offer first aid tips and weather information. It is also wise to bring a flashlight even if you don’t plan to be out after dark – just in case.
You’ll always want to carry a comprehensive first aid kit when planning a day hike. As you become more comfortable and experienced with hiking, you’ll be able to determine what to include in your first aid kit. But if you’re new to hiking, a pre-packaged first aid kit is a good starting place. You may decide to use a waterproof first-aid case to protect your medical gear. To keep your load as light as possible and maximize your space, you may also choose to store other items such as your phone, map, matches, or flashlight in the case as well.
Pack Enough Food
When planning for a day hike, bring enough calories and water to sustain you with enough energy throughout the day. High protein snacks like protein bars, jerky, and nuts will keep your muscles in good shape and help keep those hunger pains away. Energy bars, dried fruits, sandwiches with meats and cheeses, and salty foods are also excellent choices. Heavier foods will provide needed calories and sustenance, and salt will help prevent sodium loss and dehydration. If you’ll be hiking for an extended period of time, be sure to pack foods that are especially dense in calories. Eating high-calorie foods at least an hour beforehand, such as the Backpacker’s Pantry granola with blueberries, almonds, and milk, is also wise.
Prepare for Building a Fire
It is essential to be prepared for any type of weather. Building a fire may save your life if the weather becomes harsh or cold. Choose from any number of possibilities to quickly make a fire – two lighters (one kept in a dry place for backup), stormproof matches, fire flint, or magnesium firestarter. Quick Lights Firestarters are an efficient combo between firestarter cubes and matches. Whether you prefer a more survivalist approach or are more concerned with simply getting the fire started, you may consider packing more than one fire-starting method to ensure you can build a fire when you need it. If you’re unfamiliar with the best way to make a fire, be sure to research it beforehand.
Bring a Knife or Multitool
A lightweight multitool or knife, along with other basic repair equipment, have endless uses while on the trail. A knife can be used to create kindling, assist with a make-shift shelter, open packages or food, cut rope or tape, treat blisters, or remove splinters. Duct tape and Tenacious tape have many uses as well. Tape may help with repairing fabric tears, splinting a broken tent pole, repairing sunglasses, and even preventing blisters.
Experience Outdoor Living!
At Omni Outdoor Living, we make it our mission to help our customers make the most out of their outdoor experiences. We offer quality outdoor products focused on outdoor recreation, DIY projects, entertaining friends and family, or just relaxing outside! If you have any questions about your outdoor experience or our wide range of outdoor products, don’t hesitate to contact us today!