Preparing for a Hike- My Top Tips
Looking for a fun way to spend a sunny winter day? Have you considered going for a day hike? With the current Corona Virus pandemic still well and truly rearing its head, we’ve had to be a little more creative in finding fun things to do in our own backyard.
We are very lucky in South Australia to have many places to explore and spend the day hiking. Within close vicinity to the city there’s Belair National Park, Black Hill Conservation Park, Morialta Conservation Park and Waite conservation Reserve, all with some great walking and hiking trails within them. If you would like to venture a little further there’s Mount Remarkable National Park, Rawnsley Park Station, Dutchman’s Stern Conservation Park and Mount Brown Conservation Park, again, all with some excellent hikes and providing an awesome time in the great outdoors!
As with all things however, prepare to fail if you fail to prepare. Here are my top tips on how to prepare yourself for a day of hiking!
Know Your Route
Before embarking on any hike, get yourself a map and know where you are walking for the day. Most national parks will have maps available online that you can save to your phone and use offline, as well as having information available at the park. Always stick to the marked tracks to avoid getting lost and to avoid damaging any native flora or fauna.
Leave Plenty of Time
This goes hand in hand with knowing your route. If you know where you’re walking, you can look up the predicted time the national park recommends to complete the route. Knowing when the sun is setting and making sure you’ve allowed plenty of time to be back well and truly before then will help you to avoid getting stuck in any hairy situations. Always tell someone before you leave where you are going and what time you plan on being back as well.
Wear a Proper Pair of Hiking Shoes/Boots
Many times I’ve been hiking and seen people trying to traverse rocky, uneven, steep terrain in flimsy fashion sneakers. You’re either not going to be able to complete the track or you’re going to hurt yourself, neither of which are the intended outcome. A sturdy, worn-in pair of reliable hikers are going to help you grip, give your feet the support they need, keep your feet warm and dry, and will make your experience much more enjoyable. For more information on buying hiking shoes, see my blog here:
Get the Right Gear
Investing in some decent hiking clothing and a good backpack will make your hike so much easier. Look for lightweight clothing with moisture wicking properties that you can layer up to ensure adequate warmth, but can easily adjust as you warm up and cool down throughout the hike. As for backpacks, you want something that has an inbuilt back support, has wide cushioned straps, has a chest and stomach strap, has enough room to comfortably hold everything you want to take, and is waterproof (or has a waterproof hood).
Water and Food
Make sure you’ve got plenty of water with you, the last thing you need is to run out half way through your hike. Take some high energy snacks with you in case you need a boost throughout the hike; protein bars, muesli bars or fruit tend to be a good option.
Be Sun Smart
As Australians, we all know about the importance of being sun safe. Even in Winter the UV rating can still be high. Make sure you’ve got a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with you and ensure you reapply your sunscreen as directed on the label.
Hiking is a great way to challenge yourself and see some of the amazing Australian Outback! Take a camera with you to capture the moment.
Following these few simple tips will ensure you’re prepared and can enjoy an awesome day hiking!
If you need any further information about how to prepare for a hike, or are having any foot or leg problems, just send us a message or call us & I'll be more than happy to explain how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry