Some people are really good at planning when they go hiking, and others just jump into the car and go. While I do love to be spontaneous, I have learned over time that proper planning will result in a much more enjoyable hike. Whether you go hiking for a day, or on a multi-day trek, proper planning is one of the most important aspects of your adventure!
Plan your route
Choosing the area you hike in is always the first step, because it will determine what you bring with you, how long you go for, etc… When you are picking your hiking trails, be sure to choose ones that match your skill level, as well as the skill level of those who will be hiking with you. You don’t want to ruin somebody else’s love of the activity by taking them on a trail beyond the difficulty that they can handle.
Research, research, research
Hiking is all about adventure and exploration, so tackling new trails in unfamiliar areas is highly encouraged in our sport. Because you will be exploring new areas however, it is crucial to do a proper amount of research before you go. Start by going to the website of the national/regional park or the preserve you will be hiking in. These sites usually give detailed information about the hiking area, the length and difficulty of the trails, and extremely important information about potential risks such as bear warnings, eroded trails, or avalanche watches.