The following guest article was kindly provided by Eric who talks about some dangerous hiking mistakes you should avoid making.
8 Dangerous Hiking Mistakes You Should Avoid While Hiking
One way of getting away from the hustle-bustle of daily life is to go on a hike. When you do this with friends, its all the more fun and exciting. To be in the outdoors, exploring the beautiful parts of an area can give the kind of pleasure nothing else can.
Despite this, you could lose yourself in an unfamiliar area, not knowing which way to go. At first, you may be a little adventurous, but after a while, things could become perilous if you don’t take all the right precautions.
Here are some hiking mistakes you can easily avoid:
1. Not drinking sufficient water
Don’t assume that a little bit of water is enough to keep you going. On the contrary, hiking routes don’t always have water sources. Result: you can be dehydrated.
To enjoy the hike, however, you need to stay hydrated. Practical wisdom tells you to carry as much as you’re going to need. And drink water every 30 minutes to stay hydrated.
2. Not dressing appropriately
A trek isn’t where you dress as you would in an urban setting. Here, you dress according to the weather and the terrain. So, avoid wearing cotton as they keep the sweat and moisture in and you feel wet longer. Don’t wear jeans either as they make you sweat a lot. Wear clothes that “wick away.”
Rugged shoes with comfortable socks are a good idea. They’ll keep you from developing foot blisters or achy feet along the way. Avoid wearing new shoes.
3. Wandering off alone without informing the group
You might think it’s great fun to wander off on your own in the middle of nowhere. You may be armed with GPS maps and trackers, but often they let you down with incorrect information.
So, stay with your group, use a good map, and follow the trail as planned earlier. If you want to do something on your own, inform your group members. For enhanced safety, carry a whistle with you, which can be heard far away.
4. Not using your senses
When hiking, it’s very important to have your ears attuned to your environment. Keep a sharp ear out to listen to certain sounds, like the call of birds or animals. Or perhaps you can smell something unusual?
If you do a practice of using your senses when you’re out on a hike, you’ll enjoy your time out better, and you’ll feel safer too. This way, you can anticipate danger and avert it in time.
5. Not doing your homework before setting out
If you’re smart, you’ll get yourself a map of the area you’re going to be hiking in and study it before leaving for your hike. This is plain common sense as it can prepare you for pitfalls if any, and you can find a way out of it before getting there, which could save you a lot of time too.
It’s wiser to study your trails. The weather could play up too, so pack the necessary gear for the rains or gales.
6. Dress soberly if you’re entering animal land
You may be an animal lover, but when you’re in the wild, remember that territory belongs to someone else, even if it means a four-legged creature. So, even if the animal you encounter looks sweet and you want to reach out to it, desist from doing that, or it may poke you in the ribs. Or worse.
Instead, feel happy that you encountered an animal few people would and leave the animal alone. Respect its privacy and move on. And yes, animals don’t like brightly-colored clothing, so keep it sober and simple.
7. Don’t make mistakes while hammock camping
Hammock camping may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you do want to try it, ensure you do it the right way. For instance, when you set up your hammock between two trees in the forest, ensure you use tree straps to hold your tent securely instead of rope that might lack ‘give’ to keep you secure.
But that’s not all. Perhaps, you might like to follow these few “hammock camping tips” so that your hammock camping experiences are successful.
- Sleep like a banana instead of at an angle, or you’ll wake up in pain
- Use insulated material below your hammock, or you’ll feel the cold on your back
- Practice knot-tying skills because you’re going to need them for all kinds of things.
8. Don’t see your trek as a race
Trekking isn’t a race that someone needs to win. When you go trekking, you aim to enjoy the scenery and the serenity. But some trekkers miss out on this aspect and focus on quickly reaching their destination. That spoils the fun of trekking and its basic spirit.
So, instead of rushing your way through, stop every hour or so and rest for a few minutes. When you’re ready to resume your trek, move on. And enjoy yourself.
Hopefully, these few pointers will give you a good idea of planning for a trek and having a good time rather than being foolish or competitive.
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