7 Essemtials Tips for Hiking in the Mountains
Mountain hiking is a great activity yet challenge for beginners. Before hitting the mountain trails, check these 7 tips to make sure your stay safe and have fun when hiking in the mountains.
Compared to the pruned hiking trails, the terrain and weather condition in the mountains is rougher. Hiking in the mountains can be a little challenge for beginners, but that shall not stop you from having fun. This guide will give you essential tips on hiking in the mountains to make sure you have fun and stay safe.
- • Adjust your hike to the weather
- • Let Somebody Know Where You Are Going
- • Gear You Should Bring
- • Dog in Leash
- • Navigation and Communication
- • Watch Out for Wildlife
- • Leave No Trace
Adjust your hike to the weather
You need to pay close attention to the weather forecast because you want to avoid bad weather conditions when hiking. It is not only for your comfort but also a safety matter. If the weather forecast predicts a high possibility of thunderstorms in summer and snowstorms in winter, you should probably stay home. When plan any activity outdoors, your safety mush always comes first.
Checking the weather forecast will also help you make the right decisions about what to wear. The weather in the mountains may change quickly, so it is recommended to bring an extra jaket. When checking the weather forecast, take into consideration that the temperature drops 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1000 feet (300 m) elevation you gain.
Let Somebody Know Where You Are Going
You need to make sure that you let somebody know where you're going before heading out to hike. Call your mom, your sister, your cousin, or even a friend to let them know where you're going and at what time you should be back.
If you're not back and they haven't heard from you, they should be looking for you or calling for a rescue team. In this way, if you end up getting lost wherever, they will know where to look for you. You should not go on any other paths that you haven't told people about because then I'll just make it harder.
Gear You Should Bring
Needless to say that you need to wear appropriate footwear, clothes and bring enough water. Besides the gear for regular hiking, I want to add a few more. The first thing you should always have is bear spray if you're heading the backcountry. You never know if there's going to be a bear or other wild animals out there.
Another thing to bring is first aid kit. Actually, you should never hike without a first aid kit because you never know what could happen out there. If you are going to stay in the mountains during the night, you should bring at least one first starter. A well built fire starter kit is worth consideration.
Furthermore, sunscreen is also necessary as the potency of UV rays increases with the altitude. You may also want to bring some multi-use tool for gear repairing or other things. Hiking in the mountains, there are many uphills and downhills, so it is important to protect your knees. Hiking poles are a great option to reduce knee pressure and stady your way.
Dog in Leash
If you're hiking with a dog, you need to check the hiking conditions of the height to see whether it is suitable for the dog. You should also make sure that your dog is always on the leash because other animals like, bear, woleves, and coyotes. If you're bringing a small dog or even larger dogs, those predatory animals that are out there in the mountains and they perceive your dog as prey. Besides, youd dog may be curious about many things in the moutains and wander around, so keep your dog on a leash at all times.
Navigation and Communication
You surely don’t want to get lost in the mountains, so always you bring a map and a compass. What’s more, you have to learn how to use a compass with a map. Be aware that maps have expiry dates, so make sure you get the latest edition.
Most of the smartphones, if not all, have GPS built-in. It is handy to use your phone for navigation when it works. Just be sure to bring extra batteries or power bank because batteries don’t last as long when it’s cold outside.
In the mountains, you cannot always count on mobile coverage, so a better idea would be an off-grid GPS tracker like GoFindMe. It is a real-time GPS tracker that works without cell service. By pairing it with your mobile phone, you can also send text messages, SOS, and GPS coordinates when needed.
Watch Out for Wildlife
Hiking in the mountains, it is inevitable to deal with wildlife. It is unlikely to come across snakes, bears, or even mountain lions because they do not take human as prey. Even if you encounter one, for the most of the cases, they will just let you wander on by, but it is good to be cautious no matter what.
Generally, a good practive is to make noise while walking to let the animals know your approach. Usually, when animals sense your presence, they will move away. However if you startling a wild animal, it may cause a dangerous encounter.
Leave No Trace
When you're going out hiking, make sure that you take out everything that you bring with you. If you eat some food in a plastic bag, make sure that you put that plastic bag back into your backpack or your pocket or somewhere before you head out, so that you're not littering out there. You should keep the environment out there nice for everyone, so other people can enjoy it as you do.