Whether you’re an avid hiker or are preparing for your first trek through the woods, it never hurts to brush up on the latest tips and tricks to make your journey easier and more enjoyable.
Some of these hacks are obvious, but others are downright genius, and you’ll be grateful to be armed with this useful knowledge.
Always carry a change of clothes.
It doesn’t matter if you’re hiking in the desert or along a body of water, a change of clothes is essential—especially a change of socks. Weather can be unpredictable, and if it rains, the last thing you’ll want to do is walk around in wet clothing for hours. Roll your clothes and place in a plastic bag to conserve space and keep them dry.
DIY these live-saving kits.
This can be especially important for longer hikes, but it’s wise to pack miniature versions of a fire-starting kit, first-aid kit, and cooking supplies in case a few hours become an overnight stay. Keep a few medical supplies inside an old pill bottle, a few cotton balls dipped in Vaseline for your fire-starter base, and an empty can for a makeshift stove.
Just like you don’t want to be stuck walking around in wet clothes, you don’t want your other tools and supplies to be waterlogged, either. Keep particularly important items like your phone, maps, and flashlights in airtight plastic bags.
Hydrate yourself throughout.
You can’t expect to down a bottle of water before your hike and be fine for the rest of the day. Hiking burns a significant amount of energy, and you’ll lose a good bit of water through sweat. Mark a water bottle with hours of the day to ensure you’ve finished a certain amount of water by a specific time.
Keep snacks lightweight.
There’s no need to pack the entire kitchen for your hike. Think about snacks that are filling, nutritious, and also lightweight, like nuts and seeds, jerky, honey or peanut butter packets, etc. This allows you to pack more without taking up too much space in your pack.