Anyone who hikes knows it may be an enjoyable walk in the woods, but it’s certainly no walk in the park. By that, we mean, it’s a lot more difficult that it seems and requires a lot of effort in ensuring you are safe and hiking at the appropriate level. Take a look at 10 hiking tips for your next trip.

Choose the right trail for your skill level.

Whether you’re a first time hiker or a veteran, it’s important to choose a trail that aligns with your skill level. If you’re not used to hiking for long periods of time, it’s probably not a great idea to pick a long and strenuous hiking trail. If you’d like some hiking tips on what we believe are the best trails in America, click here.

Get to know the trail.

Once you picked out the hiking trail you will be hiking on, take some time to get to know the trail. How long will it take you? What is the level of difficulty?

Keep an eye on the weather.

About a day before your hike, be sure to check the weather. Knowing how the weather will be will give you the right information you’ll need to know how to dress and what to pack.

Let friends or family know where you will be. 

One of the most important things you’ll need to know about hiking is to make sure you take all necessary precautions incase of an emergency. Be sure to tell a friends or family member where you will be.

Pack the essentials.

Here are some essentials you should keep handy:

Navigation (map & compass)

Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)

Insulation (extra clothing)

Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)

First-aid supplies

Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)

Repair kit and tools

Nutrition (extra food)

Hydration (extra water)

Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)

Proper foot ware. 

Painful feet can ruin a hike. Invest in quality hiking shoes and socks and be sure you wear them while you’re hiking.

Proper hiking attire. 

Once your feet are taken care of, dressing right is key to comfort on your hike. Skip cotton anything, it gets damp and stays that way leaving you feeling clammy and causing chafing. Instead go for synthetics. To easily adjust for your temperature and the weather, wear layers that you can add or shed as needed.

Travel light. 

Okay, now that I’ve told you to pack all of this stuff, I’m going to tell you to pack light, even if it sounds impossible. This means opting for the lightest of each item.

Keep a steady pace. 

Pick a pace you can maintain all day. It might feel a little awkward at first, but after a few miles, especially uphill, but you’ll be glad you did!

Take care of nature.

The beautiful trails we love will only stay beautiful if we care for them, so remember to not leave any unwanted items behind.

Are you a hiker? Do you have any hiking tips? Tell us your tips in the comments below!