Hiking Tips and Tricks | Beginner Edition
With the full swing of Summer fast approaching the Southern Hemisphere, you may fancy yourself the outdoor type, or maybe want to get out of the city and go for some amazing hikes around Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Well, we thought for those adventurous readers of ours, we’d include some tips about how to make your hike as comfortable as possible. From bringing those extra little essentials that first-time hikers can often miss, to some tips for the more advanced trekkers out there.
You can never have enough socks
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the few hikes I’ve been on, socks are the most important piece of clothing you can bring. If you’re spending most of your day on your feet, then it stands true that you want your feet to be as comfortable as possible. There are two main reasons I suggest extra socks. The first is that walking in wet socks is the quickest way to come back from your hike sick. No hike is complete with someone slipping into a puddle or a stream, and if you’re clumsy like me, you’ll do this early in the day, and spend the rest of the day trekking in damp wet socks. The second reason is blisters. Blisters can both make the whole trek uncomfortable, and in a worst-case scenario, pop and become infected. Make sure you apply bandaids to any area you feel rubbing or unusually warm because that’s the first place a blister will appear. Whilst not the main reason, the third reason I suggest bringing more socks are putting on dirty socks is the kind of small hell nobody deserves.
Invest in some good boots, you’ll be in them, a lot
Good hiking boots are a luxury. Most pairs will run you over $200, so they can be on the more expensive side. But if there is any luxury you plan to splurge on for a multi-day hike then make sure it’s good boots. The big reason for investing in hiking boots over your everyday sneakers is ankle support. Hiking trails are not known for their paved asphalt on flat ground. With many rocks, roots and hidden nooks and crannies, the ankle support will stop this multi-day hike from lasting a few minutes. Not to mention the waterproofing, padded souls and rain coating on some boots around the ankles will help keep your mind on the hike afoot, rather than the strange pain emanating from below your knees. If there’s one thing you’re going to splurge on for your hiking trip, make it good boots.
Plan your route
Do you know what’s worse than getting lost on a hiking trek? I’m not too sure honestly, because I find myself hard-pressed to imagine getting lost in the bush on a multi-day hike. Make sure you check in with the local park rangers and park websites to both inform them you’ll be taking selected routes, so they know where to send help if you end up needing it. We’d recommend planning your route as well. Most national parks have a multitude of different routes, so make sure you have a compass and a map of the park since the internet and wifi are not exactly what the outdoors are known for. Make sure you stay safe by knowing what you’re doing beforehand.
Don't forget your first aid
This serves to be a tip for more of our advanced hikers and trekkers who are planning on a long trip away from the city. Some basic first aid can be a lifesaver on a big hike. We’re not saying you’ll need CPR or the ability to perform surgery on the spot, but knowing how to bandage a sprained ankle to secure it for the next day, or even carrying some crucial antibiotics and wound cleaning equipment if a cut were to appear can be a big help. If something more serious happens, then we recommend getting in touch with the medical services. But if a minor injury were to occur, it's good to know how to best treat it so the hike can continue.