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Hiking 101: Walk and Climb Like A Pro

By Genevieve Smith

Hiking is a wonderful way to get your blood flowing and your mind cleared. It’s readily available, cost-effective, and a great way to connect with your surroundings. Before you go hitting the trails, let’s go over this handy list to ensure that you are well prepared for a beautiful day out in the wild!

  • Hydrate - Bring a bottle with at least 36 ounces of water per two hours of trail time. Remember, do not drink water from encountered streams. While the water may seem fresh, it is quite possibly infected with bacteria and other organisms which may make you ill!

  • Know where you are - If you’re taking an unfamiliar trail, print or photocopy a map and bring it along. Guidebooks make solid references. There are tons of great trail guide apps too, but bring backup in case something happens to your phone on the trail! A portable phone charger will be your friend on longer hikes. And, of course, tell a friend where you’re going and when you expect you’ll return.

  • Bring hiking etiquette - If you’re in a group and you encounter a lone hiker or a smaller group, step to the side to let them pass. Follow the “leave no trace” principle, which includes letting wildlife be, sticking to designated paths, and cleaning up all refuse after yourself.

  • Come prepared - Be ready for the unpredictable. Bring a few key items in a backpack. A lightweight flashlight with new batteries, a compass, and a firstaid kit go a long way. Make sure your kit includes baind-aids, an ace bandage, tweezers for splinters, and an antihistimine for bee stings. Carry a whistle -- blowing three times is the recognized symbol for help, and don’t hesitate to use it! Lightweight snacks like nuts, protein bars, nut butter sandwhiches and jerky pack a lot of energy punch and will support your exploration!

It's a beautiful world out there with so much to discover! Experience it unhindered with the help of a few key items. Consider your fellow hikers on the trail, pace for a manageable hike, and leave nature the way you found it. Whether you choose to tackle something strenuous or decide to take a relaxing outing in the fresh air, you will find the benefits of hiking in both your heart and your mind. Hiking allows a chance to contextualize ourselves in the world, and offers great exercise to boot. Oh, also bring good hiking boots!  

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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