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2,866 Alabamians have logged 88,642 miles

4 Keys to a Successful Hike

4 Keys to a Successful Hike

Hiking is a great activity for a variety of reasons. A broad range of ages and abilities can enjoy a day or longer out on the trails. Taking a hike allows one to connect with nature, see a beautiful sunset, or get the heart rate up on a steep climb. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just starting out, properly planning a hike is essential to having a good, safe experience. So, we’ve listed below a few keys to having a successful hike.

Go Well-Equipped

From the proper trail shoes or boots, to the selection of calories and liquids carried, coming prepared with the right hiking equipment is crucial. Hiking requires preparation for all the elements and conditions. When in doubt, take more than you need. Make sure you wear the proper clothing, bring plenty of food and water, carry wet weather gear, and have some form of map and/or GPS device for finding your way in and out of the woods. You can carry all these items in a light backpack. Oh, and don’t forget a flashlight!

Capture the Moment

Getting out in nature means you’re bound to see something you want to remember long after your hike. Make sure to bring along a camera or your phone to capture all those important moments. Don’t worry about going too slow while taking all of those overlook photos. Hiking isn’t just about the physical activity—it’s meant to be enjoyed at your own pace and in your own way.

Choose a new trail or location

Variety is the spice of life. And changing up your hiking routine is a good way to re-energize your passion for hitting the trails. Grab a guidebook and find a new destination. Trail systems are all different and each has their own “must see” features. If your usual hiking destination doesn’t have waterfalls, find a trail that does. Missing out on the perfect overlook? Spend some time searching online for suggestions by other local hikers and get out there!

Tell someone where you’re going

This key tip seems pretty obvious, but too often hikers don’t tell anyone where they’re going. Often it’s out of a false sense of familiarity—I have hiked this trail so many times before, what could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, everything can go wrong. Hiking in the woods can present many challenges and problems we don’t anticipate. Always make sure someone knows where you’re going and how long you expect to be gone. It’s better to be safe than sorry when planning a hike.

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