If you want to have a fun, comfortable trip, you have to start with being honest with yourself about what it is you want from your travels and then plan accordingly; after all, it’s all part of making the trip your own.
Your unique goals for the trip, the activities you like best and the manner in which you like to travel can combine for something truly exceptional. Have enough sense of self to make sure your experience is one for the books by following these tips.
1. Search for the Right Destination
Looking to find a worthwhile local hiking spot? Then start by searching for the right destination. Ideally, you will want to choose a trail or location that’s fairly close to home, as it would be a shame to spend hours driving to only hike a few miles. While not every destination will be as memorable as others, part of the beauty in planning a hike is the unexpected things you find and experience while outdoors.
2. Know Your Limits
Because not every hiking trail is created equally, you’ll want to think about your physical limitations before venturing in the great outdoors. If you want to capture a few vistas for your Instagram account, that’s okay — just plan for that. Pick trails that are short and offer an easy elevation.
Additionally, don’t expect to take a long hike that’s beyond your level of fitness or patience, which will prevent you from enjoying it. A good practice is to pay attention to the length of the hike, as well as its elevation and level of difficulty and technicality. Be sure to look for ample opportunities for water breaks as well. If you’re new to hiking, it would be a good idea to pick a trail that’s popular and well-known.
3. Plan to Enjoy Yourself
You’ll want to plan ahead as well, as you wouldn’t want to wear hiking boots that you haven’t broken in yet. The same premise applies to the rest of your gear. There’s no need to over pack, but you should think ahead. To that end, make sure you can access the items in your pack without dumping everything out.
Additionally, take the time to prepare for whatever your trip may bring too. Most seasoned hikers bring Ziploc bags to keep belongings dry if it rains, extra snacks in case you get hungry or lost, plenty of water to keep hydrated and navigation gear to navigate the open road, as well as extra socks, toilet paper and a first-aid kit to keep safe and prepared.
4. Bring Something Warm
Summer may be around the corner, but atop a mountain or on a lake, things could get chilly. With that in mind, bring along some type of hiking jacket to keep warm. And if it’s water-resistant and brightly colored, even better. In the course of your hike, you might encounter rain, wind and other people. The right clothing will help you be visible and keep you comfortable no matter the conditions.
5. Get Ready to Go
Finally, be brave and get ready to go. Figure out your logistics and make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for whatever your trip requires. Additionally, make it a point to interact with the people you meet along the way instead of just passing through. Each one of them may know about a vista or swimming hole that’s off the beaten path. Ultimately, you never know what doors could open for you by talking to others.
Make Your Own (Outdoor) Adventure
When you take the time to prepare for a trip instead of winging it, you set yourself up to have a truly memorable experience. Choosing the right destination is a good start, but knowing your limitations and having a plan to enjoy yourself really takes the cake. Finally, bring along something warm and an open mind to make this trip your own.