Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting prepared for your Spring Hikes

1. Make sure your ready for it : If you haven't done any winter hiking or stayed in shape at the gym this winter you might want to make your first couple of spring hikes shorter ones. No need to over do it on your first hike or to hurt your self , pull a muscle or something even worse .

2. Check your gear :  Again sometimes if you don't winter hike things get misplaced or kids get     into your pack to borrow things or just pull things out ( you know kids ! ) Make sure your restocked and everything is in your pack that you will need for your hikes

3. Inspect your Hiking shoes/boots : I know this goes along with checking your gear but so many will neglect the most important thing that gets you where your going. Always make sure laces are in great shape . That their are no holes or rips in your sole . Also check that their are no spiders or bugs that have made your hiking boots their home. Also check for mold ( if your last hike was a rainy one this can happen )

4. Battery Check : Check your batteries in your GPS , Headlamp , Camera and flashlight ( especially if you don't do any winter hiking )

5. Your pack has all your gear : Rain gear , Emergency gear , First Aid kit , Food , extra set of clothes in case of down pour or climate change .

6. Leave an Itinerary : Always let someone know where your going and  what time you should be back down the mountain . Especially if your hiking alone like i often do . Also set a time that if no one has heard from you that they call the authorities or park rangers .

7. Plan out your Hike : I usually do this the night before to double check the mileage and the route i have to take driving there . Also check the terrain and the elevation changes especially  if it is a new hike .

8. Check the Weather : Always be aware of the weather conditions when your hiking . They can change in just 5 minutes in the mountains especially in the spring and the fall . I have started a hike at the bottom where the temperature was 56 and got to the top and it was snowing and 29 . So always be prepared .

9. Be Aware on the Trail : In the spring you can have many different conditions on the trails . You can have muddy conditions from spring rains then at higher elevations you can run into black ice on rocks during creek crossings or river crossings . Always be alert always be cautious conditions can and will change on you . Wear hiking boots with good tread for better traction during the spring . It is always better to be safe than sorry .

10. Leave No Trace : Always pack out your trash . Leave the beauty of the wilderness the exact way you found it . You wouldn't want a bunch of strangers coming into your back yard to dump their trash so don't dump your trash in someone else's back yard . Show some respect to others who will use the same trails and parks as you .

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