With a miscalculated step or a thoughtless selfie, one can tumble off a trail, cliff, or ravine. Irresponsible hiking practices cause countless cases of hiking accidents. We totally understand that capturing the epic sunset or jaw-dropping mountain peaks is an irresistible notion (pics or it didn’t happen), but there is just so much to be had out of a day hike than a picture.
Immersing yourself fully in your surrounds, opening your ears to the rustling of leaves and scattering of creatures, breathing in the fresh air, appreciating the grandeur of nature’s vistas, letting go of technology and your modern-day concerns. Below we share some classic blunders made by hikers, beginner or not.
Not Checking the Weather
Yes, you can get away with a heavy-duty raincoat and water-proof jacket to beat a light rain. However, nothing can protect you from a severe storm or strong winds. Be sure to check the weather forecast in the area where you plan to hike. We find it helpful to visit www.noa.gov for the five-day forecast because results are more accurate than traditional forecasts.
Heading out too Late
If you check out our blog post “Five Father’s Day Hikes To Check Out This Weekend,” you can see that we included the average expected time of completion. It’s there for a reason!
The hours were included to help you plan your hike and identify the best time to pack your bags and start your hike. Arriving late for an 8 AM hike takes its toll (on you and other hikers). For one, being several hours behind schedule can prevent you from completing the trail on time. Not wrapping up a trail before dark has many consequences, not least among them hypothermia, shock, or exposure.
Hiking in New Boots
Wearing shiny new boots might seem tempting, but if you want to enjoy your trip, be sure to wear in your shoes first. The stiff material of hiking boots can rub against your feet and heels and cause blisters. After a few miles, your feet will be sore, and eventually, each step will feel torturous. Trust us; you do not want to wear a new pair on an 8-hour long hike.
Hiking in jeans might seem appealing as they are thick and provide protection against cold but denim is cotton. It can’t wick your sweat. Since denim retains sweat, it freezes in below-freezing temperature and makes you more susceptible to hypothermia. Unless you’re going on really short, summer hikes with no risk of getting chilled, it’s better to pick clothes made from polyester and wool.
Not Bringing a First Aid Kit
When going hiking, it’s always a good idea to pack a first aid kit. Not only will it help patch up any wounds, but it can also provide support to anyone who gets injured along the way. Therefore, be sure to pack a kit that’s appropriate for your trip and for the type of company that you’ll be with. Also, avoid bringing stuff that you don’t know how to use. It will only eat up space that should be allocated to other first-aid essentials.
Do you have some hiking blunders that you’ve learned from? Share them in the comment section below.
- Peter Von Panda
- Adam | Adventure Camping
- Bryan | Survival On Purpose
- Chris | That Hiking Guy
- Jeff | Common Sense Camper
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