I remember when I was preparing for my first long hike. The thrill and the adrenaline dominated me completely.It was a long weekend where I decided to go with some friends for a long hike.Just be able to turn off my phones and the direct contact with nature give me a complete peace of mind and it’s actually the only thing I do that relaxes me.
However, you need to be careful when planning a long hike. You need to choose your gear carefully, or the hike may give you more headaches that relax you.So, here’s the safe hiking checklist and six gear mistakes you need to avoid when you’re planning a long hike.
Plan Properly for a Long Hike: Safe Hiking Checklist
1. Protect Your Feet
You have a long hike ahead of you. And the worst thing it can happen is that you can’t properly walk.During a long hike, your feet won’t look the same; they will swell and if your shoes aren’t comfortable enough, you’ll feel a lot of pain.
What some people do is that they just go to the store and get several pairs on sale. This actually isn’t a good idea. I did the same, and it didn’t turn out to be a good idea.Make sure the shoes you choose have a thick sole, ankle support, and good traction.
2. Go Lighter
This is one of the most common mistakes among first-time hikers. They just take so many stuff they won’t even use, and it can really set them back.
When I took my first long hike, I can’t say I haven’t done the same. I didn’t forget the obvious like a first-aid kit. However, I did bring a lot more stuff than I needed in the first place. Instead of a simple camera, I took two, for example.I even took a book I was reading at the time. I really don’t know what I was thinking.The whole point of a long hike is to be with your friends and enjoying the contact with nature. So, you need to be very selective on the things you’ll carry with you.
After all, besides the effort of the long hike, you’ll be carrying your backpack as well. So, the lighter it is, the better you’ll be. Checkout our reviews of ultralight backpacks here.
3. Choose Ultralight Tent
When choosing your shelter or tent, you need to consider the lighter and most durable tents.When you usually go for the cheapest one, they aren’t either light – especially if it rains when you’re taking your long hike, or durable.
When backpacking, you know you need to be extremely light and that a backpacking tent or shelter is something you need to include. Plus, it’s important to realize that you’ll need to protect yourself during the night. Especially if your long hike is to the mountains, nights can be quite cold.
4. Pack Your Food
With all the excitement with your long hiking planning, you need to remember about your diet. One of the challenges, when you’re taking a long hike, is that you need nutritious food. You need to be able to deal with the long hike and the backpack weight.
What some of the first-time hikers do is that they just see dry oatmeal packets and just combine them with a few other things. One thing is for sure: you get tired of eating the same thing over and over again.You’ll end up hating oatmeal just like I do now. You should also make sure to include some snacks, especially high energy snacks.You don’t know if you’re going to get lost and this way, at least you’ll have something to eat.
5. Don't Just Look at The Pricier Items
When you’re going for a long hike, and just like pretty much all in life, there are items where paying more for an item pays off.However, this isn’t the norm. Just to give you a simple example. When I went for my first long hike, I went ahead and bought the best clothing available (best meaning expensive).
I had no clue on what I was doing so I just fell on what others would say that you need to have top-quality on everything. Well, the clothing I bought didn’t last long. They weren’t durable and for the price of one shirt, I could have bought four different ones, and the result would have been the same.You need to make sure you define a budget and that you use common sense.
6. Don't Buy On Impulse
When you’re planning your long hike, evaluate all things carefully. There are times when you’ll be able to save a few bucks if you just wait a couple of days for a sale, or if you get a similar item to the one you’re looking for that is half the price.
The main goal of taking a long hike is to have fun and enjoy the nature. Don’t get all the planning affect your goal. I can guarantee it will all pay off when you’re out there. Please let me know your thoughts about planning a long hike. Also, make sure you share the article if you like it!