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8 Things To Know Before You Go Hiking

8 Things To Know Before You Go Hiking

Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities. It can be extremely enjoyable if it is well planned in advance. Whether you prefer going for an epic journey or just a walk in the woods, planning is an essential element that will make the hike a real success.

Below are a few smart tips you can use to make your hiking trip fun and safe.

1. Share your plans

According to several hiking experts, sharing your trail plans with those closest to you is very important — especially if you’ll be hiking alone. You need to inform them when you will start as well as the time you’ll return.

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This keeps them in the know so that they can send help in the case that you’re not back on time. You will be more comfortable while hiking because you know that your close friends and family members know where you are.

2. Ditch the cotton

It is advisable to wear a quick-dryịng, performance-fabric base layer that won’t chafe, then top it with a merino long-sleeve shirt that is not only breathable but also warm, even when it’s wet.

This means you will be okay if it rains while you’re out hiking. In short, do not choose cotton simply because you like it, but go for something that increases your comfort during harsh weather conditions.

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3. Test your gear

Before going for a hike, it is very important to be sure that your gear is in good condition. Take your time to do a trial run on everything in order to be sure that all is well. What would it be like if you go hiking only to realize that some of the stuff in your pack is not in good condition? Pretty disappointing in the best scenario. That’s why testing your gear before going for a hike is very important. Make sure your backpack does not get heavy and you have at least one extra pair of good-quality hiking boots (for long-distance hikes) to keep yourself on the safe side. Carrying the optimum gear is essential.

4. Stock up on food and water

A good thumb rule here is one pint of water for every four miles or two hours, and 1.5 pounds of food per day. This ensures that you do not run short of the essentials while you’re out having fun. If you’ll be hiking for more than a day, then make sure you pack enough protein bars, nuts, jerky, and extra H2O. Alternatively, you can consider taking water purifier tablets of your choice, just in case you run short on water.

5. Carry a repair kit

You should also carry a repair kit containing anything necessary to repair trail gear, including duct tape, a Swiss army knife or multi-tool, shoelaces, scissors, needle and thread, rope, wire, etc. This helps ensure that your hiking gear stays in good condition, which helps ensure an amazing experience.

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6. First aid supplies

Before you go out hiking, make sure you have a first aid kit with essential items. Although everyone has different medical needs, a basic kit should at least have:

  • Bandages and gauze
  • Small roll of medical tape
  • Alcohol wipes/providone iodine
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Antihistamines (for bee stings or bug bites)
  • Eye drops
  • A card with personal and contact information for each hiker
  • An epipen (in case anyone has a serịous allergy)
  • Snake bite kit (if you’re hiking ịn an area with poịsonous snakes)
  • Bear spray (if you’re hikịng in an area with bears)
  • Any personal medications

7. Stay safe

While on the trail, you ought to respect the environment and remain vigilant to potential dangers. One of the basic safety rules is not to touch, pick up, or eat any fruits, plants, or flowers along the way.

Get to know safety precautions if you’re hiking in an area with poisonous snakes, mountain lions, bears, or other potentịally dangerous wildlife. Protect against insects and bugs by keeping your skin covered with long sleeves, hats, and long pants tucked into socks. Alternatively, you can use bug spray while avoiding strongly-scented skịn and hair products.

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8. Mind your trail manners

Although the trail can turn out to be a rough-and-tumble place, it has its own code of etịquette as well as unspoken or unwritten rules. In the case that you encounter other hịkers on a narrow trail, the one going downhill should stop and allow the one going uphill to pass.

Also, do not leave trash along the way. You should carry all trash with you and dispose of it at designated spots. You should also stick to the trails in order to maintain the integrity of the path, as well as stay out of animal habitats. Lastly, do not interfere with trail signs and markers, and make sure your cell phone is silent to be respectful of other hikers.

Featured photo credit: Jake Melara via images.unsplash.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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