Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 1

By Diana Wills

After you’ve been on a hike once, you will keep coming back to it. This is because hiking is such a unique activity that combines all the best that nature has to offer. On one hand, you can do it alone, or with a group of friends, you can pick different terrains that you want to go through and you can go at your own pace, so it’s something that is accessible to almost everyone. However, there are some things that you need to be aware of before you set off. We’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to. Here are the more common Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

 

Not knowing where you’re going

Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 2

 

It might seem a romantic fairytale, or an exciting adventure: setting off into the mountains, with no clear direction or path, seeing where the wind will take you. However, this can also be dangerous, as some directions could not have a clear path or be inhabited by dangerous animals. Unless you are a professional or going in a large group, you should stick to pre-set hiking tracks – I promise it will still feel like an adventure. Additionally, if you’re going to be hiking for a long time, you will need to be on a path with fresh water and shelter if you need to sleep. On a lighter note, but still important, an unknown track could take you across private land, making you turn back, or lead you through a scenery less beautiful than the one surrounding the tracks. Always research your route beforehand and have a map and compass with you when you set off.

 

Setting unrealistic goals

 

Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them point 2: As mentioned, hiking is an activity that you can tailor to your level of stamina and strength, by taking it as slow or as fast as you’d like. This means that the same track could be great for several different people, but some will take longer to complete it than others. However, you still need to set realistic goals. If you have low stamina, you don’t want to give yourself the goal of reaching the top of a mountain, because you’ll be disappointed when you don’t make it up there. Most tracks are marked with how difficult they are, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to choose one you think best matches your stamina level.

 

Not being properly dressed

 

Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them point 3: You cannot start a hike in short shorts and flip flops, no matter how hot it is outside. When hiking, the rule is to be comfortable, practical and layer your clothing. You want to protect your head with a cap and put sunscreen on your face. On top, you want to have a comfortable T-shirt and a light, waterproof jacket. Looking at bottoms, something long and light like cargo pants or compression leggings are the perfect thing. You want it to be long enough to protect you from any plants or bugs that might want to cut you or bite you. And then, the most important one: a comfortable pair of shoes. I’ve made the mistake too many times of going on a hike – no matter how short – in shoes that aren’t comfortable, broken in or waterproof, each time ending in going back after only going up half of the trail.

 

Not having the proper gear

Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them point 4: When you go hiking, you want to make sure you have enough food and water to last you throughout the hike. If it’s a long hike, then a refillable water container with water purifying tablets and dehydrated food need to be in your bag. If it’s a long hike in an area that doesn’t have a lot of hikers, then you want to have a satellite phone, flare and tell people the exact route you’re going to take. In any way, you should have a fire starter and first aid kits in case of any unpredicted circumstances. If you’re going to be camping, then a tent and sleeping bags are a must, and if you’re able to carry more, a light, roll-up mattress will make a world of a difference and help you get the much-needed rest for the hike the next day.

 

 

If it is your first time going on a hike, or if hiking is something that you are just considering, you shouldn’t be afraid! Find a group or a friend who likes doing it and start slow, with an easy hike so that you can get used to the pace. The first time you go alone, go on a familiar track to make sure you can find your way without help.

 

Guest Author at

Diana is a Fitness and Nutrition enthusiast. She does so much reading about it that and started writing posts about it for blogs.  You can find her as one of the contributors over at ripped.me.

She loves to write Guest Posts for the blogs she likes to read. Diana is a runner and yoga lover so loves to write about those activities, but is always interested in doing research about other topics too.  She’s always happy to represent happy, healthy and active women of Australia.

If you'd like to read her other posts featuring on other blogs, you can find these in her online portfolio https://dianaawills.contently.com/

 

31 thoughts on “Hiking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • October 12, 2018 at 5:12 am
    Permalink

    This is a lovely guide for the first timers. A lot of them don’t know what to expect and are always looking for something like this. I like your tip about setting realistic expectations. It definitely sets off any disappointment. At the same time, it does give you a goal.

    Reply
  • October 12, 2018 at 2:31 am
    Permalink

    When my back becomes better, I would like to interest my kids in hiking, even just low plains nearby. I don’t think we can go mountain climbing or anything of that sort. But it would be nice to get them started on outdoor adventures like these.

    Reply
  • October 11, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Permalink

    The first longer hike I did was a 16 miler in Norway. It’s a pretty popular hike so we didn’t bother to get a map, figuring we can just follow the crowds. Well, it turned out to be a classic case of the blind leading the blind, as we veered off course and added an additional 6 miles to our already pretty long hike. Luckily there were no wild animals up there so no danger there, but the danger for us was not finishing by sunset because we hadn’t planned to camp overnight and only had some snacks and water on us. We rushed through the hike and were able to finish by sunset but our bodies were completely wrecked. That definitely taught me my lesson about knowing where I’m going before starting hikes in the future!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2018 at 4:18 am
    Permalink

    The last time I check, we did hiking back in grade school and we didn’t do it again.
    Thanks for sharing these don’ts, we better need to be careful always and ready.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2018 at 6:46 pm
    Permalink

    Even as a newbie hiker, I would never venture on a hike in shorts and flip flops! I appreciate the tip on now knowing where you’re going, because nothing scares me more than the thought of getting lost somewhere way off path on a hike. I’d also start by setting mini goals; that way I’d feel I’d accomplished more!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    Permalink

    I can totally agree with your writing and advice. Having proper clothes is the most important I think, we also need to have gear, but that can be skipped if the trail is well marked and not too long. Nowadays with mobile apps all is easier.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2018 at 2:40 pm
    Permalink

    I remember my first hike and it was not really a nice experience. We did not have a clear path/ plan and we actually ended getting lost. Good thing we bumped into another group taking a different trail but we were so tired and hungry.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2018 at 6:09 am
    Permalink

    Lots of good information and pragmatic tips here. I don’t really camp much but now I know where to come to when I’m looking for tips. I like how you spelt them out, even if they sound obvious – these are often the first ones we forget.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 4:47 pm
    Permalink

    These are pragmatic tips. I completely agree with you on full pants and t-shirt. Not just bugs there are thorns and bushes in the hills here and you might end up with multiple bruises if you are not properly dressed

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 9:17 am
    Permalink

    My biggest problem is setting unrealistic goals. So I often get disappointed. I will have to set myself more realistic goals and go gradually.

    Reply
  • October 9, 2018 at 7:34 am
    Permalink

    Setting realistic goals is really important. I absolutely agree that you need to work your way up to some of the hikes and not try the really hard ones and just get discouraged. It was a lovely read. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  • October 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm
    Permalink

    It drives me crazy when I see people hiking in jeans or wearing Converse shoes. Honestly, I don`t get it. I understand maybe they don`t want to invest in outdoor trousers and footwear, but safety it is so important. Plus, there are so many thrift or second-hand stores.

    Reply
  • October 8, 2018 at 9:49 am
    Permalink

    This is a really helpful post indeed. Hiking is definitely not as easy as it can look so having something like this to hand is really a great asset to have with you.

    Reply
  • October 8, 2018 at 9:33 am
    Permalink

    These are really obvious, but helpful tips for those who like to hike. Thank you!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 11:22 pm
    Permalink

    This is very helpful as we like to go hiking as a family. I am normally the only one who isn’t fully prepared as each hiking location is different. Thanks so much for this post.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Permalink

    What great advice! We dont really do hiking in the UK in the same way, although many do as a hobby or part of a club. But I really want to do it properly across the world one day!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    Permalink

    Unrealistic goals is a big thing. You do need to work your way up to some of the hikes and not try the really hard ones and just get discouraged. Build up to the big ones.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Nicole

    What a nice post. Even I am thinking to write the same kind of article in my blog. Please don’t mind. Happy to follow.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 10:01 am
    Permalink

    I remember once going on hiking wearing flipflops and it was raining too. I completed the hike with my hubby’s support whenever I was slipping. I should have worn proper shoes that day, and would have enjoyed more. Proper dressing and taking appropriate hiking route are so important. You have done a great job highlighting all the points.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 8:10 am
    Permalink

    OMG, ‘not going where you’re going” – I’ve done that a few times with my kids, and they were always so frustrating! Thank you for this post, it’s not always easy to know how to dress in British weather, so we always play it safe!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 3:34 am
    Permalink

    The mistake I make is setting unrealistic goals for myself. I am a little harsh with myself and try to overdo my fitness. Thats when I get injuries and very tired. The fun is lost, I realise now.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 2:07 am
    Permalink

    Great list! Some of the best trips happened when we did not plan for it until the last moment. However, having the right gear and knowledge of the place is essential to make the hiking trip a memorable one. Also, you must not set unrealistic goals for it as it can get your drained and ruin the hiking trip quickly.

    Reply
  • October 7, 2018 at 12:24 am
    Permalink

    Great post! We always make sure we have a plan on where and how we’re going to hike as well as starting small in the beginning of the season. I’m a fan of starting slow then move to more difficult hikes as the season goes on.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2018 at 10:34 pm
    Permalink

    Oh how I miss hiking and actually could use a good hike right now. Great tips!

    Reply
  • October 6, 2018 at 11:23 am
    Permalink

    We love the trips to the mountains very much. We go hiking and enjoy the nature and its beauty. It is so beautiful everywhere. Just loved reading your informative post

    Reply
  • October 6, 2018 at 7:38 am
    Permalink

    Such a nice article to read that provides information that will stand you in good stead for future hiking plans.

    Reply
  • October 6, 2018 at 1:28 am
    Permalink

    Being properly dressed is always my issue. If I overdress to prevent bug bites and scratches, I end up sweating to death!

    Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 11:18 pm
    Permalink

    Having a good understanding of the terrain is really important as well as checking weather. One time my daughter and I were an a three day backpack trip that we had to cut short because of unexpected terrain and heavy snow that hit late in the spring. Great info in this post.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 8:26 pm
    Permalink

    Wow! This article provides so much good information! I’ll make sure to get the proper gear before I go on a long hike!

    Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 8:04 pm
    Permalink

    I have always wanted to get into hiking, but I have some physical difficulties that make it impossible. This is very good information though.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm
    Permalink

    we have a trip to the mountains in Nov so this is great to know! THank you!

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Neha Rai Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: