There are over 57 million hikers in the U.S, which shows that we’re passionate about spending time exploring trails.

Preparing for your hiking trip is essential for boosting your confidence and ensuring you’re 100% ready for what lies ahead. But if you’re a newbie or haven’t packed for a hiking trip, knowing what to bring can feel overwhelming. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to prepare for your next adventure and aren’t sure where to start.

Hit the nail on the head? No worries; we’ve got you! Here’s how to prepare for your next hiking trip.

Choose Your Trail

Hiking Destination

The most important part of planning a hiking trip is choosing a trail.

Spend time researching its difficulty, terrain, and whether there are any rules or regulations. If you’re exploring a national park, for example, check out the site beforehand to stay informed. Or, if you’re planning to climb Kilimanjaro, make sure you’re traveling during the right season to avoid disappointment.

You should also browse forums and hikers’ groups on social media to get valuable insight into your dream hiking destination.

Do Practice Hikes

Before embarking on your hiking adventure, make sure you schedule practice hikes. Pack your bags and go for a weekend to give you an idea of what to expect, especially if you haven’t been on a hike in months. This will also reveal any areas of your fitness that need improvement, whether it’s strengthening your calves or improving your stamina.

Work on Your Cardiovascular Fitness

Aside from investing in quality hiking gear, you must add cardio to your training plan. This includes walking, cycling, or swimming as these are great ways of building your stamina. Or, if that doesn’t interest you, try a HIIT workout at home filled with jumping jacks, leg raises, and leg raises.

Add Strengthening Exercises to Your Routine

You should also focus on strength training, especially targeting your legs. If not, you’ll easily become exhausted on the trail and will find it difficult to ascend hills. To prevent this, set your treadmill at a higher incline and perfect lunges or squats for fast results.

Further, do practice hikes with a heavy backpack as it will prepare your back for the big event. If this feels overwhelming, slowly increase the weight each time and you’ll be surprised at how much easier it gets.

Don’t Forget to Work on Your Core

Many novices fall into the trap of ignoring their core when preparing for a hike. Note, that this refers to your abs, back, and muscles in your pelvis to improve your flexibility. Luckily, you needn’t invest in a gym membership to build your dream core; simply add crunches, planks, and bridges to your routine.

Bring the Right Clothes

Out of all the hiking essentials, the clothes you bring are the most important. Make sure you pack outwear that insults your body, wicks away moisture, and is water-resistant, especially if you’re hiking during the cooler months.

As a general rule, you should follow the three-layer approach. This is when you have a base layer, an adjustable insulating one, and an outer shell to protect you from the water. You should also invest in wool socks because, thanks to their moisture-wicking abilities, they will prevent blisters.

Essential Outdoor Safety Tips When Camping or Hiking

Pack Enough Food and Water

Food and water also rank highly on your list of hiking trip essentials.

The amount will depend on whether you’re going on a weekend or a two-week adventure, so pack accordingly. Avoid bringing cans or fresh produce as they’re heavy to carry. Instead, bring plenty of dehydrated food because they’re lightweight and easy to cook.

Further, pack snacks for the trail, such as nuts, chocolate, and energy bars because they’re great for a boost. And, if you haven’t already, bring portable water filters, so you can refill your bottle at natural water sources.

Invest in a Reliable Navigation System

Regardless of how confident you are at hiking, prioritizing navigation is a must. Make sure you bring a map and a compass at the very least. Plus, download a GPS that works offline for peace of mind.

Take Care of Your Feet

It’s no surprise that how well you care for your feet can make or break the adventure. Invest in a quality pair of hiking books and take them on several shorter hikes to adjust to them. You should also pack plenty of socks and change them daily; otherwise, sweat will build and cause blisters.

Be Mentally Prepared

We often forget this step, but being mentally prepared is essential. You must be confident and relaxed before heading off. The best way to alleviate self-doubt is to arrive fully prepared, so you know your body is ready and you have the right gear. You should also visualize success by imagining yourself at the end of the hike as it’s the first step towards achieving it.

Always Warm Up First

Hiking

Make sure you always warm up before hitting the trails. You could either spend time stretching or go for a 10-minute brisk walk to get your heart pumping. This will help your muscles gradually warm up and get your body prepared for the hike.

Prepare for Your Next Hiking Trip Today

Hopefully, after reading this post, you’re ready to plan your hiking trip.

There are many ways to do this, such as finding the right trail and doing practice hikes to prepare you for the big event. You should also be prepared with quality gear and always warm up to avoid any injuries on the trail. Good luck!

Found this post useful? Awesome! Then, check out the rest of our blog for more tips and tricks.

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