I know a lot of you are probably thinking about going on a hike this weekend. It's a great way to spend the Memorial Day holiday with friends — heck, even hiking alone can be a good time! My favorite rewards for going on a hike are the breathtaking views, and since there are often challenging climbs, it makes for a great workout — an hour of hiking can burn 355 calories! After filling your pack with essentials, review these hiking dos and don'ts before heading out onto the trail.
- Do your best to hike with friends. It's much safer than hiking alone, and more fun too!
- Research the trail and area before heading out so you know what to expect.
- Make sure to pack snacks, water, a cell phone, and a map or GPS device. Also bring along rain gear, extra layers, and your ID.
- Tell people where you'll be. If anything happens to you, you want people to know where to look.
- Always stick to the trail. It keeps you and the natural habitat safe.
- If you need to go "number one," do so far away from the trail and any natural water sources. If you need to go "number two," dig a hole first and cover it when you are done. Carry toilet paper with you, or use a leaf to wipe — just make sure it's not poisonous!
- Don't wear new hiking boots on an epic hike. You will end up with painful blisters.
- Don't disturb animals or their homes. Be a quiet observer and take a few pics if you want.
- Don't pick flowers or other plants.
- Don't blare loud music or talk too loudly. Fellow hikers come to enjoy the quietness of nature so be respectful. (Unless of course you encounter a bear — then make as much noise as you can!)
- Don't litter. Pack a small garbage bag so you can keep track of your trash and pick up after other messy hikers.
- Don't stay on a trail that is too difficult for you. It's more than OK to turn around.