Hiking in the wilderness is an up-close way to experience nature. If this is something you are planning to do for the first time, here are some tips to help you prepare.
The wilderness is filled with beauty, but it’s also a place of hidden dangers. With a little preparation, you can protect yourself from a variety of hazards. The basics like sunscreen and bug spray are important, but you need to plan for other dangers such as carrying a snake bite kit, a tourniquet and even bear spray. If you are going to an area with large animals such as mountain lions and bears, carrying a gun secured in a concealed shoulder holster or a large hunting knife is also a great idea.
Buy the Right Gear
If you are planning on hiking at least a few miles, make sure you have the right shoes. Hiking boots help support your ankles on rocky terrain, and some are constructed to be waterproof. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat that protects your face and neck from the heat of midday sun and carry a lightweight jacket for brisk evenings. Even if you aren’t planning on staying out overnight, carry a pack with emergency supplies such as matches or fire-starting materials, a compass and ideally, emergency communication equipment.
Pack Water and Food
Fitting everything you need into a small pack that’s light enough to carry is essential for a good trip. Lugging 20 water bottles and boxes of food, any significant distance just isn’t possible. Outdoor supply stores carry various freeze-dried food, high protein meal replacement bars and powdered electrolyte drinks. With access to a running stream, you have an endless supply of water. To ensure your drinking water is safe, purchase a refillable filtration water bottle that is designed to take harmful organisms out of the water and make it safe to drink.