Throughout all my years of travel, I feel that I could narrow down the fellow travelers that I’ve met into two categories. The adventurous and the not-so-adventurous. I’ve met backpackers who just wanted to laze by a beach and I’ve met resort stayers who just wanted to get out into nature. What I found to be a common activity between them both was hiking. With this in mind, here are my tips to help you get prepared.
Choose the Right Adventure
While hiking can offer an amazing experience and some breathtaking views, all hiking trails were not created equal and offer their own unique challenges. Choose one that’s right for you based on your abilities and the level of fun you want to have. While an expert or difficult trail may lead to some amazing views, if you can’t make it all the way or are exhausted by the time you get there, it isn’t going to be much benefit and you aren’t likely to enjoy yourself.
Take the Right Gear
This can be a tricky one because as travelers we are always mindful of packing light. If you’re planning on doing some hiking during your travels, take only what you need, but make sure it’s the right gear. Find a good hiking shirt and pants that can draw the sweat away, just one pair will do. There are a number of Groupon coupons for outdoor stores like Gander Mountain that have light and purpose designed hiking boots. A trick to hiking boots it to wear them on the plane so they don’t add to your baggage allowance. And always, always, take plenty of water with you and a cap during your hike!
Take a Camera – Not a Phone
If you have both a camera and a phone, designate one person to take an emergency phone (turned off and packed away) and only bring your camera. Hiking can be a long adventure, but the benefit is that it can provide great opportunities to learn about your friends and new people and really build a sense of comradery, so be sure to leave as many distractions behind as you can.
Whether it’s a small hike on a local trail or heading across the mountains for a few days, the best advice is to choose wisely and always, always enjoy yourself!