b) Know the area you will be going into. Although many states, like California, Colorado, or Wyoming have exceptional hiking hot spots, even your local park will have some kind of useful information. Whether it’s a website with information and trail details, or a map at the park office, trailhead, or visitor center, always check before you head out on your hike so you know what to expect.
c) In addition to knowing the weather conditions, you will need to be prepared with a first aid kit that matches the hiking you will be doing. In most cases a simple kit will do. You can pick up a simple first aid kit at a local department or sporting goods store. Or you can build you own, which should include these basics:
– Different sizes and shapes of bandages and gauzes.
– Various types of tape for wounds or fixing tools.
– Suntan lotion.
– A light emergency blanket (preferably with some kind of water resistance).
– Aspirin, allergy, laxative, and anti-diuretic medications.
– Small multi-use tool with a knife, scissors, and a needle and thread.
– A cell phone can come in very handy in emergencies. It is recommended that you pack all of this in a waterproof bag or container.
d) Know the conditions you will be facing, wherever you go. Nothing is worse than traveling to a hiking destination only to miss the hike, because it was raining or freezing and you weren’t prepared. If the trail is flooded out, or snowy conditions have shut it down for an extended period, you should be able to find this out as well. It is also good to know if there are any plants or animals to watch out for at your hiking location. Wiping with poison ivy won’t feel good in the morning.
These tips should ensure a comfortable, short hiking adventure. Have fun and let us know how it was!