Hiking is a relatively simple activity to prepare for and enjoy. But it only takes one small oversight or misjudgment to discover the pitfalls of hiking.
Take note of these common mistakes made by hikers so you can help be safer, comfortable, and ready for anything when you're out there.
Eagerness is a wonderful thing. But taking on a 19-kilometre (12-mile) trek when you’re not ready for it may leave you discouraged, or even hurting. Be realistic about your fitness level. Haven’t hiked in a while? Stick to short and simple. You can build up the difficulty and distance over time.
The wrong distribution of weight in your backpack can do a number on your back. If you have an internal-frame pack (the current hiking standard), pack the lightest stuff at the bottom, the heaviest right against your back, and medium-weight material on the outer and top sections.
If you embark on a long trek a few hours later than planned, you’re going to be rushed. But there’s a limit to the pace you can cover ground—especially if there’s rough terrain or elevation changes. Stick to a reasonable schedule so you can finish before night falls. And bring a flashlight just in case.