Planning a Hiking Trip on a Whim: Why You Shouldn’t Do It

hiking

We are all deprived of scenic views and can’t wait to spice up our lives with a bit of outdoor adventure, and when you put both these ingredients together, it’s no surprise why more and more people are warming up to the idea of a hiking trip or a multi-day trek on the mountains. In fact, anyone would agree that they’d trade away a week spent just lounging on the couch and waiting for the next Netflix show for something more spontaneous and active, like reaching the summit during a beautiful sunset view.

However, everyone must stop their hiking trip plans if they have zero ideas or experience of what they’re getting into. Know that there’s a lot of preparation needed than just motivation and a couple of friends. And before you call us out for being a party pooper, it’s time we bust out the facts on what you need before you could even consider going on a hiking trip in the first place.

Hiking Trips Are More Physically Exhausting than They Look

Firstly, while it may seem like hiking is just extended walking, these treks are more physically exhausting than they appear on the videos or montages you find scrolling on YouTube or your Twitter feed. Sure, it might not be as demanding as professional team sports for basketball and football, but don’t let the beautiful pictures fool you into thinking that just anyone can go on a hike without consequences.

  • Brisk Walking and Heavy Loads: if you’re dead-set on going on a hiking trip, then we strongly recommend that you start training your body through brisk walking and getting used to heavy loads. You see, elevation and the not-so-flat terrain you’ll be hiking through are very difficult to mimic in a workout, and balance will also play a factor that is why you might want to work on your hanging leg raises to prepare your core.
  • Shortness of Breath and Fatigue Ruins the Fun: Apart from the objective reasons for preparing your body physically, shortness of breath and finding yourself winded after the first few feet ruins the fun for you and the rest of the group. And instead of having fun and taking pictures, you’ll be knocked out cold every time you set up camp for a break with no chance to do anything exciting.

Planning Your Route Will Determine The Whens And Hows

In addition to the physically exhausting nature of hiking trips, planning your route for the trek delves in a lot more intricacies with the whens and hows of your itinerary than a simple calendar notification could ever provide. Whether it be expected precipitation levels, the likelihood of thunderstorms, or the risk of dangerous animals, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of your route before setting foot at the starting point.

  • Bad Weather Can Catch You in a Bind: If we were to look back at the heat waves during September 2020, then it’s pretty clear just how dangerous a sudden switch up in weather can be for anyone, especially if you’re out on a hiking trip. Fatigue and exposure to extreme heat are a terrible combination that compromises your health, so you’ll want to know the state of the climate before heading out.
  • Natural Hazards Are Always a Risk: Besides the weather and sudden thunderstorms, natural hazards are always a risk when you’re out in the wilderness for a hiking trip. For example, specific routes might be more prone to landslides or falling rocks, so you’ll want to practice extra caution if you and your buddies are still newbies to multi-day treks.

hiker crossing a bridge

You Can’t Prepare for Multi-day Trek Like a Morning Run

Last but not least, don’t expect the same workout attire for a morning run to do justice for a hiking trip because the stakes are higher, and the risks are more apparent. Sure, you’ll still need to bring extra bottles of water, but everything else will need a complete makeover because just wearing breathable clothing won’t do you any good once you reach a higher elevation.

  • Dressing in Extra Layers: Layers are your best friend when going on a hike, and while it may seem like you’re overestimating what the great outdoors can throw at you, it’s always much better to be safe than sorry. For example, you’ll want a base layer to keep you dry, a middle layer to keep you warm, and an outer layer meant to protect you. So, feel free to start shopping for thermal clothing and a new jacket for unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Camping Essentials for Rest Stops: Other than your clothing, you’ll also want to prepare camping essentials for your rest stops, such as a sleeping bag, a pillow, your tent, and food preparation like a stove and kitchen supplies. We suggest splitting the baggage amongst your group because it’s better to move lightweight, so you don’t expense too much energy. Plus, if you know you’ll be out for a couple of days, don’t forget to call for 24/7 home care services if you need someone else to look after the house and your loved ones.

Hiking Is Fun, but Don’t Underestimate It

Overall, no matter how fun hiking trips can be, it’s not something you should underestimate because it’s harder than it looks. So, be sure to make the necessary preparations beforehand to stop anything from preventing you from having fun.

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