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Go Hiking to Experience Things You Could Never See From a Car

Most of us live our lives in the world made by man, but there is a vast and colorful natural world you can see first hand, when you go hiking!

Most of us live close enough to nature that we can go a relatively short distance and step backwards into time, to experience the world as it was before the hand of man changed the world in which we live. Whether you decide to rough it, go on organized hiking adventures with guides (and if you are not familiar with hiking and the wilderness, it is always the best idea to take someone who knows the area, understands the indigenous wild life, and can get you back to civilization safely, regardless of your degree of expertise, or lack thereof.)

When you begin to plan a hike, it is important to know your own limits. Are you directionally impaired? Are you experienced at hiking? Are you familiar with the hiking territory, or are you going on an adventure, exploring new territory? These things are all very important, and your safety depends on being prepared.

Hikes can be short and sweet, beginning and ending at your automobile, with your day ending in your own comfy bed. Hiking can be complex, lasting extended periods of time, requiring camping and eating on the trail. This type hiking is the type that requires careful planning, and you’re being brutally honest about your capabilities.

Hiking Partners:

You should never go on any extensive hiking trips alone. It is important, even for short, familiar hiking, that you have a partner, a cell phone, and that a responsible individual knows your itinerary, knows when you will check in, and knows the exact trail you plan on hiking, so someone will know where to look, in case of an emergency.

Planning Ahead:


Most experienced hikers have a check list, and follow it diligently. Some even suggest keeping the hiking lists, making notes, and using them as references when planning future hikes, so that you avoid mistakes you may have made previously, and refresh your memory from one hike to the next.

Permission to Hike: If yours is a hike that is part of a managed trail, check with the agency that manages the trails you’ll be using. If permits are required, you might need to apply in advance.

Other Questions to Ask:

* What are the weather and climate conditions likely to be? Is there any particular gear you will need? Are there any seasonal considerations you need to be aware of?

* Decide who will bring what, to eliminate carrying extra gear you don’t need.

* Check with your partner regarding sharing gear: You don’t both need an army knife, stove, tent, first aid kit, and water filter — so this is a great opportunity to shed some weight.

* If you haven’t been hiking in a while, it’s a good idea to take a few walks wearing your boots. It’ll help you break your feet — and avoid blisters on the trail.

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Hiking by Outdoor Vital
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