Successfully experience hiking and exploring nature by preventing mishaps on your journey. Hikers face changing weather, wildlife encounters and decisions on navigation, comfort and basic survival. With proper planning, preparation and knowledge you can enjoy a rewarding hiking adventure.

Trail steps

Hiking: Be Prepared

Hiking Gear and Hiking Needs

Look for quality gear that’s appropriate for the weather and a comfortable journey.

Wear Layers and Breathable Clothing

  • Choose athletic, light and breathable clothes.
  • Wear layers to best handle temperature changes.
  • Bring a rain jacket and waterproof gear if there is even the slightest chance of showers.

Wear Comfortable Trail Shoes
Trail shoes are popular and comfortable to hike in. Find a pair that meets your hiking needs. Wear them on a few short hikes before starting a longer hiking adventure.

Use a Backpack: Pick the lightest, smallest, most comfortable and breathable pack for your hike. For shorter hikes, a CamelBak is great with side zippers to hold basic necessities. Keep your pack as light as possible.

Ready to Hike

Ready to Hike

Bring Basic Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Camera

Carry Emergency Items: Bring a small first aid pack for day hikes. Small first aid packs can be found at outside adventure stores. Include band-aids, matches and a fire starter, whistle, pocket knife, headlamp, bug spray and anti-itch cream. If you have allergies, remember to bring medications.

Hiking Storm

Check the Weather!

Plan for the Unexpected

The unexpected happens! So start your hiking journey early in the morning. You’ll need extra time in case you get lost, lose the trail, become injured or face more challenging terrain and obstacles than expected.

A sunny morning can change to hail, lightening, rain and drastic temperature fluctuations. Be prepared and dress appropriately for weather changes.

Hiking Trail

Plan your Hiking Route


Plan your Route

  • Hike with a partner and/or let others know your destination.
  • Plan your route in advance.
  • Bring a detailed terrain and trail map with you.
  • Know in advance about trail closures or changes.

Bring Water and Snacks

You can hike a long way if you are hydrated and stay fueled with light snacks. I suggest a CamelBak to sip water easily and often. Monitor the amount of water you drink. It’s a good idea to bring salty snacks and electrolyte replacements for longer and hotter hikes.

Hike at your Fitness Level

Ensure you are physically conditioned for the hike and comfortable carrying your pack. I’ve seen hikers on longer treks suffer from lack of conditioning or with difficulty carrying heavy packs. Work your way up to longer hikes and practice wearing a heavy backpack.


Bear

Know about Wildlife!


Know about Wildlife, Poisonous Plants and Bugs

Startling a bear or rattlesnake, brushing up against poison ivy or facing a swarm of mosquitoes happens. Be knowledgeable about the plants, bugs and wildlife in the area to help prevent mishaps.

Respect the Environment

Tread lightly, stay on trails and leave no trace. Be wise and respectful of the wildlife, nature, and trails. Let everyone enjoy the wilderness experience!

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