6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Hike

6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Hike

Know Your Limits

National parks, State Parks and Local recreation areas offer a wide range of hiking trails to accommodate different hiking skills and capabilities. You won’t miss out on the spectacular views, wildlife sightings, and connection with nature by choosing an easier trail for your adventure. Don’t overestimate your abilities. Take the time to ask yourself before you go:

  • What is my experience level with hiking? Do I go hiking often or is this my first time hitting the trails?

  • How much equipment, food, and water (weight) can I comfortably carry in a backpack?How long can I carry a backpack with all the essentials?

  • Am I physically fit for the hike I would like to do? Have I practiced hiking up and down steep hills or am I more comfortable on flat, paved paths?

  • Have I ever hiked in this type of environment before? Environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity take time to get used to, especially if you live in a different environment from the park you are visiting.

  • Am I able to go to higher elevations? More effort is required to hike at higher elevations due to the reduced amount of oxygen available in the air. Remember that at 8,000 feet you are at risk of altitude illness, a potentially life-threatening condition. If you don’t know, ask your healthcare provider.

  • Am I hiking alone or do I plan to bring a friend? It is safer to hike with a companion, but if you prefer go solo, take extra measures to ensure that you are prepared since you will be traveling alone.

So...is this the hike for you?


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