Hiking may not look like a very dangerous activity, but it can be when you’re not prepared. There are certain steps you can take both before and after a hike that can limit injuries and muscle soreness.
Here are some safety tips to follow before and after hikes:
1. Prepare for the Weather
The weather can change your hiking trip around in a matter of minutes. You don’t want to be left stranded in the middle of nowhere in a thunderstorm. Before you even decide on a date to go hiking, check the weather forecast; it will tell you what kind of weather to expect, how to dress, what kinds of footgear to wear and what to take with you.
The more prepared you are for the weather, the better your hike will be.
2. Set an Emergency Plan
Things go wrong in the outdoors all the time; it helps to have a backup plan just in case. Don’t leave for a hike without informing a loved one; tell them where you’re going and when they should expect you to return.
3. Pack all Essentials
Take your time when packing for a hike. Speak to experienced hikers about what you must take with you and the type of items you can leave behind. Remember, filling your backpack with unnecessary items will only slow you down.
Your list of essentials should include a first aid kit, navigational tools, sunscreen, food, water supply, water purification, flashlight, matches/lighters, etc.
4. Build Strength and Stamina
Don’t underestimate how physically exhausting a hike can be. You’re engaging every single muscle in your body which means you need to be in good physical shape before you head out.
If you haven’t been a regular at the gym, consider stretching and running/power-walking around the block every day for 3-4 weeks before going on a hike. It will help build strength and stamina so you can complete the hike without getting too sore.
5. Stretch and Self-Massage
You should stretch before and after your hike. Your muscles may have been working for many hours at a time; stretching soothes them. Check out some post-activity yoga poses to stretch your body out and use a foam roller to relax your muscles.
6. Buy a Backpack Made for Hiking
Pulling out any old travel pack from the closet may be the convenient thing to do, but such bags aren’t always suitable for hikes. Walking long-distances on your own is a physically rigorous activity and when you’re carrying a large load on your back, it makes everything that much harder.
Light Hiking Gear offers a selection of scientifically-designed backpacks that were made to reduce pressure on hikers’ necks, backs, shoulders and joints when they’re on the trail. Our bags comfortably fit around your body without restricting movement.
Check out our daypacks, StrongLites, and UltraLites online and place your order today.