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Top 10 Important Things to do to Get Ready for the Hiking Season

North America ToursWe all want to be prepared and ready for things in advance but often we blink and time has gone by so fast that we are caught unprepared.

It is so beneficial to be prepared in advance for the hiking season, including; less aches, pains and blisters, less chance of needing search & rescue and extraordinary memories & experiences.

According to the experts, here are the top 10 ways to get prepared for the hiking season:

1)      Set a training schedule and stick to it. Give yourself about 12 weeks to get fit and ready. If you start at the beginning of April you will be ready for hiking by the end of June.

2)      Cardio 3 – 5 times a week. brisk walking, step or rowing machine, cycling, aerobics class (maybe even a little Zumba) and skip rope are all good to get the heart rate up and improve endurance.

3)      Build Strength – Do strength resistance training 2 – 3 times a week (with at least 48 hours in between resistance work outs.) At the beginning of your training, use a moderate amount of resistance and do two to three sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise, resting about 30 seconds between sets. As you become comfortable with the exercises, gradually increase the resistance by adding additional weight and decrease the number of reps to help you develop more strength.

4)      Always Warm-up and Stretch. If you don’t you can do damage and put yourself behind in your training schedule. Be sure to do a five- to 10-minute warm-up prior to your resistance-training workout. The warm-up should include two to five minutes of light aerobic activity followed by two to five minutes of some dynamic stretching. Afterwards, perform at least one static stretch for each of these major areas: hamstrings, quadriceps, hips and calves. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to receive the most benefit, and don’t forget to breathe while stretching.

5)      Go on short hikes! Sorry to state the obvious but there is no better way to prepare for a longer hike than to go for a shorter hike. Mean while make sure those hiking boots are broken in really well before any longer hikes.

6)      Check your required equipment to make sure it hasn’t been misplaced or whether it needs repair or replacing. Check your:

  • Navigation (map and compass or GPS)
  • Daypack/backpack *Reference Blog on choosing the best Backpack
  • Sun Protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • Insulation (Extra clothing)
  • Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  • Ultralight First-aid kit
  • Fire source (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  • Repair kit and tools
  • Nutrition (extra food)
  • Hydration (extra water)
  • Whistle
  • Boots that fit well and are broken-in

Optional

  • Binoculars
  • Trekking Poles
  • Insect repellent
  • Journal/Pencil
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Sanitation shovel/toilet paper/Hand sanitizer
  • Swiss army knife
  • Bear Spray
  • Camera!

7)      Stay Positive! Keeping an open mind and a buoyant attitude in dealing with obstacles is crucial, whether in your physical training or trip planning process.

Just focus on taking small steps, as long as they are in a forward motion, in the direction of your goal. Attitude is your most powerful weapon in getting beyond any mishap, fear, self-doubt or weariness.

If you get bored with your work out routine, don’t give up – change it up. Take the dog for a nice long walk, play golf, go bowling, do some yard work…

8)     Start planning your routes. Take out your bucket list of hikes you want to do. Obtain a good book or route map to become familiar with the trails. Consider the time of year and check out the weather almanac (far in advance) weather forecast (right before), to make sure that you are prepared with the correct equipment.

9)     While planning your routes for the summer take into consideration Elevation, Total Distance, Type of Terrain. All these factors will determine how to prepare fully.

10)    Most importantly; you are now physically prepared, you have all the equipment you need in good repair, you have responsibly planned out where you are going … make sure you tell someone you trust where you are going and when you will be back.

West Adventures can not wait to welcome our first hikers of the season on our trips! We will be exploring some of the most sought after trails. Our trips visit the Rocky Mountains, Denali National Park, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and the list goes on. We are getting prepared, are you?

hikers near Moraine