How to Prepare For Your First Weeklong Hiking Adventure

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Post by Guests » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:54 pm

How to Prepare For Your First Weeklong Hiking Adventure

Get a backpack, stuff it with the essentials, put it on your back, put on a pair of sturdy boots and wander off into the woods and mountains to those beautiful places where you can only get to on foot. You have become a hiker.

The human machine will only stay in trim when it is used in its most natural way - by walking. Whether it is only a leisurely afternoon stroll or a strenuous climb up a steep mountain, it remains one of the most effective natural cures for body and soul.

It has no age restrictions and can be adapted to the abilities of every human being. It is never too late or too early to start and should not stop unless the body is worn out beyond repair. Fact is, your body is guaranteed to heal itself with hiking, and, you can start hiking without any of the expensive equipment needed for other sports. It remains a relatively inexpensive sport with huge benefits even in the long run.

For those who always want to know what is beyond the horizon, trekking could take one into remote places in the Himalyas, to the top of Kilimanjaro, along the Drakensberg or simply along the beautiful South African coast, to leave you with enriching experiences unobtainable in any other way.

It is advisable to join a club to get acquainted with the venues and to learn the do's and don'ts from experienced hikers.

You need very little to get out of the car and head up a trail. But you can get into trouble very quickly without the right equipment. Make sure you have the basics with you at all times.

The most essential things to bring on every hike would be a map, compass, matches, fire starter, knife, flashlight, extra food/water, extra clothing, first aid kit and sunglasses. Don't forget to bring a small roll of toilet paper, just flatten it and tuck it in your pack. Something a lot of people forget! It is always preferable to bring safe water with you. No matter how good that river water looks when you are thirsty, it is still a source of all kinds of critters and bacteria.

When planning to hike in mountain areas, always make sure that you take rain gear with and try not to wear cotton clothing. Cotton is bad when it gets wet. Instead wear clothing made of various synthetic materials.

An uncovered head accounts for the majority of body heat loss - always bring a hat.

To save energy and move faster on free terrain, consider wearing trail running or hiking shoes instead of hiking boots.

Enjoy your hiking experiences.

Frik has been hiking for over 30 years. Now he hikes all over the country in South Africa. Frik is the Webmaster and author of where you can read about his approach to hiking, climbing and adventures.

Frik is a computer software engineer, lives in South Africa with his wife and three grown (hiking) children.

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