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Hiking Safely

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that is healthy and can be done alone or with others in which case it becomes a social activity that can help acquaint you with the outdoors. Hiking is good in a physical sense but it is also a mentally refreshing thing to do. It is important when you hike to always make sure you do it safely. Read on for some suggestions on how to make that happen.

Footwear

Always choose good quality hiking boots that fit your feet well. Blisters and/or sore aching feet have a way of ruining an otherwise relaxing hiking trip if you are not careful! Choose boots for both comfort and safety and choosing a pair that is waterproof is your best bet. Look for a pair with Gore-Tex lining. Proper hiking boots are ones that support your ankles and have good soles but not so tough that they will bruise the bottoms of your feet. Wear two pairs of socks with your hiking boots but make sure you do not choose cotton socks as, cotton absorbs perspiration and can make your feet feel wet.

Clothing

Avoid cotton clothing as it gets wet easily and stays that way for a substantial period of time. Instead choose polypropylene in regards to underwear and undershirts or some other type of synthetic material. Snug, but not loose clothing is best as is layering your clothes for warmth. The best material for your second layer of clothing is fleece. Always wear proper clothing.

Food and drinks

Always make sure you have plenty of supplies with you. Take more than you expect to need when it comes to food and water. High-energy foods are the best choices to pack for a hiking trip such as dried fruits, nuts, bagels and high energy bars. Water is an absolute essential as dehydration, especially when you are in the woods and away from home, can be dangerous to your health.

Preparedness is key

Never start out on a hike without first mapping out the route you plan to take. Always obtain a map of the area before you set out and guidebooks from the local area are another helpful tool. Talk to other hikers or a person that works in the tourist bureau if there is something about the area you are going to that you need clarification about.

Going solo or with a friend  

If you plan to hike alone or even if you are hiking with another person always let family members or friends know where you are going for your hiking trip and when you will return.

It cannot be emphasized enough that sensible clothing that is appropriate for hiking is so important because you cannot always predict weather conditions. Always make sure you have extra clothing with you in the event that you require it.

Wet weather gear for rain or for wading through rivers or streams is a good idea to bring along and this means a waterproof jacket as well as leggings or gaiters. Carry a backpack that is comfortable to wear while still holding everything it needs to hold.

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