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10 Things To Know Before Hiking – Tips from the Gurus

10 Things To Know Before Hiking – Tips from the Gurus

If you are planning a hiking trip, you want to enjoy the whole experience. You want to have fun while keeping fit, enjoying the outdoors and creating great memories. You do not want to go out there and start dealing with issues that you would have taken care of in advance. So, here are ten things to know before hiking.

Hiking has many benefits

Hiking is a perfect way to get away from the real world which has many challenges of bills, internet, work, chores, mortgages, debts, name it. When hiking you get to interact with nature directly and get to have a peace of mind. You get to view different combinations of vegetations, flora, and fauna. It is a great way to learn about your beautiful world. You get to visit new places and explore mountains, hills, valleys, waterfalls, national parks among others.

Besides that, hiking has many health benefits. It refreshes your mind while exercising your body. In hiking, you will encounter narrow paths and steep climbs, which is a great way to exercise your body, feet, and legs. You get to exercise different muscle groups, burn calories thereby improving your blood flow system. Please start hiking by picking a hiking activity that is a good challenge but not too strenuous.

Hiking is a very affordable activity and a perfect way to bond with friends and family. Doing a simple neighborhood hike does not require much investment. You do not need to buy any sporting equipment or hire a trainer. In addition, it is a great way to get make new friends both online and from your local community. What’s more, it is a great dating idea.

Hiking is versatile

There is so much adventure and exploration in hiking. Hiking is an activity that fits people of all ages. The hiking activity you choose depends on how much time you have on hand, your budget, your health, and your tastes and preferences.

You can go hiking in your local area, or you can do it in a far away destination. Hiking trails are diverse and can fit people of all ages, income brackets and fitness levels.

You can do camping while trekking, you can visit different countries or continents and explore their destination. You can plan to climb the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest. It all depends on you. Because hiking is a versatile activity, you get to abseil, mountain climb, camp, walk among others activities.

You need hiking gear

It is important to be comfortable on your hiking trip. You need to have all essential hiking gear if your trekking is to be successful. The first thing you need to check is whether some of the items you already have like water bottles, backpacks, socks, sports shoes can be converted into hiking gear. So that you only get to budget for what you need but don’t have.

Navigation gear

Plan to invest in a good navigation device. You need maps, compasses, and a GPS unit. Physical maps are important as they act as a back-up to your phone or GPS unit. A GPS unit is very essential because it has all the features of a map, and a compass but when going on short hiking trips, your Smartphone GPS system will do.

Hiking Clothes

Avoid cotton materials. For tops, shirts or t-shirts, choose wool or a combination of wool and polyester because they hide odors, they are light, they breathe well and keep moisture away from your skin. Get yourself enough pants and shorts for hiking. But the choice of whether to wear pants or shorts largely depends on the weather. Pants are ideal for protecting your legs if your hiking route is likely to have overgrown vegetation.

You need a nice pair of shoes that can withstand the pressures of steep climbs. The shoes need to be comfortable, light in weight and well fitting. Check if your current sports shoes have a good grip and use them for hiking. Avoid wearing new shoes on a hike because most times they cause blisters.

Remember you need a jacket that is waterproof to protect you from the rain, strong enough to shield you from the wind and light enough to be carried. You can use a windbreaker before you buy a hiking jacket. Other essential hiking gears are a back-up, sunglasses a hat or cap, a tent, a lighter, a flashlight among others.

Emergency Kit

You need a first aid kit. Some of the items needed are your own personal medication, sunscreen, antihistamines in case of bug bites, bandages, antibiotic ointment, a snake bite kit and insect repellants. Remember to write down a card with all your personal information and put it in the emergency kit.

The Importance of joining a hiking community

A hiking club will expose you to a community of people sharing the same passion. Some will be seasoned hikers, and some will be beginners. You will get an opportunity to learn from the veterans, get mentored and it is an excellent opportunity to share your experiences and make new friends.

Planning a hike is not complicated

You don’t need to get intimidated by the whole idea of hiking. You can start hiking in a simple and manageable way. Hiking is simply exploring your world using your two feet. It can be a simple walk in the park, you can explore the hills in your neighborhood, you can go camping with your family or friends among other ideas.

Hiking is about adventuring and doing something you have never done before outdoors. If you have never camped, why not plan your first camping trip?

What is important in planning your hike is selecting a trail, then picking a hiking date. Then when the day of hiking nears, prepare to get everything you need for your hike. You need to pack enough water, food, and snacks. If you are hiking with young children or your dog, then plan to pack enough food, drinks, and snacks for them too.

Since you will be carrying your backpack everywhere with you, it needs to be as light as possible. But don’t compromise on the essential things you need on your trip. Ensure you have everything that will be required for the trip and have extra food, medicine, and water.

Plan to Start small

Even though You plan is to become a good hiker, remember that practice makes perfect. It will take you many months of being outdoors to become an expert. Start small, browse the internet for hiking trails for beginners in your area and start with those trails. After mastering those trails is when you can try harder routes.

Do your research well

Never head out unprepared. Check out everything you need to know about the hiking trail that you have chosen. Know the distance, flora and, fauna in the area, do they allow dogs, water resources, picnic sites, campsites, waterfalls, whether the place has internet, the weather to guide you on how to dress among other things.

Share your hiking plans

Have an accountability partner to check on you on your day of hiking. Tell them where you will be going and what time you are expected back. Ask them to get alarmed in case you fail to get back by that time.

Observe Universal Hiking Etiquette

The universal hiking etiquette is about respecting other hikers and protecting your environment. Print out the etiquette and understand it. Remember that the most important hiking rule is to ensure that you leave no trace.

Review your hike, share photos with others and plan the next hike

Check how much you liked the trek and plan to improve your next one. If the distance you did was too long, maybe next time plan on reducing it. If you carried too many snacks, you could cut down a little on that. Remember better to have extra supplies than to run short. If you got injured or blistered, remember there is always a next time. Tomorrow is another day for hiking. Enjoy trekking.

10 things you need to know before your first thru-hike Adventure

How to Use Hiking Sticks – Educative Tips for You

How to Use Hiking Sticks - Educative Tips for You

Hiking sticks are a standard hiking gear for seasoned hikers. They can give you more stability enabling you to be safer, faster and cover longer distances. Hiking sticks are also associated with faster burning of calories in the body.

Some hiking trails are generally dangerous. Some are very unsafe during winter. Exploring such trails can result in a fall and interrupt your hiking plans. Hiking sticks make exploring such trails possible.

How to Use Hiking Sticks

How to use hiking sticks effectively

Hiking sticks have to be used appropriately to get the most out of their features. Modern hiking sticks are adjustable. Hiking sticks will not be effective if they are too short or too long on a standard trek. Trekking with the right height of a hiking stick is important.

As a general rule, the length of the stick should reach your belt line. However, uphills may require a shorter length while a descent may require a longer length than that. Very challenging trails may need one hiking stick to be shorter than the other.

Another effective way of benefiting from hiking sticks is to use wrist straps to your advantage. Wrist straps are designed to support your weight and to work as a grip on your hands. They save the energy of having to grip the handle.

Using them correctly can prevent strained wrists and sore hands. Adjust the length of the wrist strap to get a fitting size. When tightly fitting, the wrist strap can support the weight of your hand well.

Also read: California Hiking Trails That Are A Must See For Every Outdoor Lover

Various uses of hiking sticks

Hiking sticks have multiple uses on the hiking trail if used effectively. They can make your hiking experience more enjoyable by offering many benefits to you. Hiking sticks can be used for various reasons including providing stability, for safety and they can be used for trekking difficult trails that has many challenges.

Stability

Hiking sticks offer stability in a variety of ways during a trek. You need stability to be able to handle some challenging trails. Slippery trails, slippery rocks, uneven trails, snowy and icy conditions, mud and wet conditions are very challenging to trek and require a lot of energy.

Staying balanced and upright in such situations is not easy. Hiking sticks offer support and therefore helps you stay balanced on such trails. Ensure that your hands are strapped with a wrist strap when using them on tough trails.

Uphill hiking can be quite difficult for your lungs and legs. Hiking sticks are excellent for managing steep slopes when going up. Using poles can help support the upper body muscles thereby relieving stress on your legs.

Steep descent is very demanding on knees. Hiking sticks offer balance when going down a steep hill by providing you with added power. Hiking sticks help by letting the upper body and arms absorb the shock of the steep hill, therefore helping you to tackle the descent more comfortably and faster with little weariness.

Also if you have a heavy backpack, hiking poles can help in stabilizing you during the hike, especially on a steep trail.

Overcoming hiking obstacles

Hiking sticks can enhance your hiking trip by helping you overcome some challenging trails. First and foremost, they are great at testing the depth of a stream or checking how muddy a trail is. In addition, they can help you cross streams effectively.

What’s more, hiking sticks can be used to overcome winter hiking challenges. They can be used to check the ice on a frozen stream and also offer balance on a snowy and slippery trail.

Besides that, they can be used to mark a trail temporarily. Also when you are in a situation requiring a an emergency shelter, hiking sticks can be a great help in supporting a light shelter.

For safety

Some hiking trails have overgrown bushes. Some of the bushes have critters, poisonous plants, thorns or plants that stick on clothes. Hiking sticks can be used to gently push plants such as nettles, poison ivy away from the trekking trail to the side. Hiking sticks are also useful for checking critters and other crawling creatures on a bushy hiking trail.

Most importantly hiking sticks can be used as a defense device. You can use them to defend yourself in an actual attack with bears, lions or other animals that you may encounter on a dangerous hiking trail.

Important features in a hiking stick

You need hiking sticks light in weight. On a hiking trip, you do not want to add any avoidable extra weight. Check for hiking sticks made from carbon or aluminum or a mixture of both materials.

Besides that, you also need hiking sticks that will last a long time. If you frequent rough terrains, then look out for hiking sticks that are made from aluminum material because they are more sturdy.

Another important feature to have on a hiking stick is a good grip. Plastic handles don’t offer a comfortable and good grip, therefore avoid them. Opt for hiking sticks with cork grips or foam grips. Look also for hiking sticks that are adjustable.

The height of a hiking stick should allow your elbow to be at around 90 degrees. Other features to look for are shock absorbers and a good locking mechanism.

Whether to use hiking sticks or not

If hiking sticks are used effectively they can enable you do extraordinary things on a hiking trail. They can help you cover more miles, cross streams, climb steep mountains and go down steep hills. In addition, they are associated with fewer backaches and less knees problems during hikes.

On the other hand, hiking poles can be a bit inconveniencing. They are a nuisance when you want to use your hands to do other stuff like using your GPS, viewing a map, taking a photo, taking water or drinks.

Innovation has seen hiking sticks get invented with many features.

We have adjustable hiking sticks poles that are easy to carry around because they only need to be strapped to the backpack. Hiking sticks are so light and shouldn’t be a weight concern on your hiking trip.

If you are not yet convinced about using hiking sticks to do a whole trek, you can get a pair for use in situations that call for a hiking stick. But first, why don’t you try using them a couple of times on a hiking trail to test their effectiveness?

How to Use Trekking Poles

Conclusion

Hiking sticks should be used to your advantage to make doing a trek more efficient and effortless. They are safety devices too, helping you avoid falls and injury during treks. They can help you handle very challenging trails and explore places you would never have managed without a hiking stick.

Have fun hiking.

How to Use a Handheld GPS for Hiking – Important Tips

How to Use a Handheld GPS for Hiking – Important Tips

As a hiker, you may wonder how to use a handheld GPS for hiking to enhance your trekking trip. A handheld GPS is a small device that provides locational information via satellite. A GPS ( Global Positioning System) helps you get around a place you don’t know well. It guides you on what directions you need to take. It also gives you accurate information about where you are.

You will reap many benefits from using a GPS on your hiking trip. If you have never hiked before, you need to be aware that your safety comes first and without a GPS you can get lost. A GPS acts as a safety gadget by helping you not to go off track and therefore not get lost.

It is your way-finding device. It guides you on where to go, and it can take you back to where you have come from. You can use the GPS feature on your phone, but a handheld GPS is handier.

A modern GPS incorporates the features of a traditional GPS, the features of a smartphone plus the benefits of a compass. Modern GPS systems have made hike planning easier. GPSs have pre-loaded maps and trail-plotting features to help hikers mark waypoints and check topographical hurdles in advance. It gives hikers the opportunity to plan their trip and replay the experiences. Also, if you are a group of hikers, it is much easier to share route information.

How to Use a Handheld GPS for Hiking

Wayfinding during hiking

A GPS is useful before and after a hike. A GPS device can help you when out, and you venture off the trail, and you are unable to locate landmarks. It will give you the altitude, direction, whether you are heading east, west north or south, it will provide you with coordinates, latitudes, and longitudes and you can also use it to communicate.

The information provided by the GPS will help you get a working solution if you are lost. You can call for help and give specific details of your location. You can locate alternative routes or go backward and try to retrace your steps. The data is also critical during an emergency situation such as an injury. Rescue operations will be done accurately because of the real-time information.

A GPS also makes it easier for a hiker to go back to a past hiking spot easily whether it is a campsite, waterfall, lake or river. A hiker can track various things during a hike including average speed, miles covered during a trek and elevation change. It becomes easier to re-visit a route.

Important features in a GPS

A handheld GPS is valuable during an outdoor trip. The size of the GPS unit really matters. When hiking, you are heavy-laden because you have a back-pack. Consider buying a GPS unit that can fit in your hands and of light-weight to avoid operator fatigue.

Besides that, consider a unit that uses a button menu and not a touchscreen GPS because you may need to use your GPS while wearing gloves. You also need a GPS with many other features including wireless transmission, a barometer, and an electronic compass.

A GPS with a barometer or altimeter gives you more features by providing weather trends and barometric data. An electronic compass, on the other hand, will provide you with details of the direction you are facing when you are stationary.

A GPS without an electronic compass only gives directions when you are moving. On the other hand, a wireless data transfer feature gives you an opportunity to share information including waypoints, tracks, and routes with other people.

All GPS have simple maps. Try as much as possible to get a GPS unit that is preloaded with trail and topographic maps. Also, you should be able to connect your GPS to a computer and load essential maps on it. You can find such maps online. Alternatively, you should be able to use a CD or microSD card with maps on your GPS.

You need a GPS unit with a good memory to be able to save all your hiking data including maps, waypoints, and important hiking notes. Alternatively, you can use a microSD card or CD. In addition, a GPS unit with geocaching functions will have an advantage because you will be able to do paperless geocaching.

Other notable features to desire in a GPS system include a digital camera, which can geotag photos and a two-way radio communication.

Also read: California Hiking Trails That Are A Must See For Every Outdoor Lover

Learning to use your GPS

After reading the GPS user manual, now it is time to understand how it operates. First, understand how a GPS operates before learning how to run it. What are Waypoints? They are marker or points to indicate important locations.

If for example, you have coordinates of where you are going, you can plan your hiking trip while at home using those waypoints. You choose the starting point and mark the entire route until your hiking destination. You upload the information in your GPS, and you will be guided from waypoint to waypoint until you reach your final hike spot.

How does a GPS determine location? Do you remember studying some topics in social studies that didn’t make sense? If you didn’t grasp longitudes and latitudes or you have forgotten what you were taught, then it is time to refresh your brain.

Reading coordinates requires an understanding of longitudes and latitudes. A GPS takes coordinates (longitudes and latitudes) and places them on a grid, and that is how a location is identified, whether it is in the East, West, North or South.

Now it is time to operate the GPS. The first step you need to take is to practice using your GPS. While at home, enter coordinates of a neighborhood mall, park or local store. Use your GPS to guide you to the place. Check the distance features carefully.

The distance to a waypoint decreases as you near the area. If you are heading in the wrong direction, the distance may increase, showing you that you are getting lost. Choose a location free of dense coverage, in an open space where signals interruption is unlikely. Always refer to your user manual for directions.

Another of our content: How To Clean a Hiking Backpack – Everything you need to know

Hiking with your handheld GPS

GPS systems have improved wayfinding for trekkers. GPS units are constructed with a software program that enables you to plan routes, analyze trips, check distances and manage maps.

A GPS will show you how far you have trekked. But you still need to observe the fundamentals of hiking to be a successful trekker. If you are a beginner hiker, it is important to be accompanied on your first trips until you get a bit seasoned in hiking. Also, stay on established trails. Take short hiking trips initially. It is also important to plan trips that are manageable, taking into consideration trip duration, weather, and other factors.

Ensure that you have a power back-up for your GPS. Put your GPS on satellite lock so that it does not lose information. Your GPS and smartphone can fail. If the trip is manageable, you will be safe, and you will eventually find your way back.

How to use GPS devices safely

Conclusion

You don’t want to get lost when you are out enjoying yourself. Therefore take as many safety precautions as possible. Understand the trekking route as much as possible. And please remember that a physical printed map and a compass are quite essential in case your phone or GPS fails you. Happy trekking.

How to Plan a Hiking Trip – Every Little Detail You Need To Consider

How to Plan a Hiking Trip – Every Little Detail You Need To Consider

Hiking is an activity with many benefits. When you go hiking, you get an opportunity to be outdoors. Your mind gets refreshed, and your body gets exposed to low-impact exercises.

Best of all, it is a quite pocket-friendly activity depending on the itinerary. It is also an opportunity to learn new things as you explore new places. What’s more, it can be a social activity where you get joined by family and friends or other hikers.

Planning a hiking trip

How to plan a hiking trip largely depends on what is on your itinerary. The hiking route is what will determine how long it will take you to plan your hiking trip and how much it will cost you. Another important factor that will determine how to plan your hiking trip is whether the hike is a day trip, or you will need to stay overnight. What’s more, a hiking trip that will only take a couple of hours and where you will only take snacks, with no major meal is the simplest hike to plan.

However, if you are being joined by other hikers, then the logistics become a bit complicated. You have to agree on the itinerary first and foremost, before planning the rest of the details.

Here are factors to consider when planning a hiking trip

Hiking Gear

The first thing you need as a hiker are various hiking items. You need to have comfortable hiking shoes that won’t cause blisters, water bottles, a back-pack, a first aid kit, a hiking jacket (an insulated jacket), hiking pants and shorts, rain jacket, hiking socks, a bandana, cap or hat, a GPS with preloaded maps and an electronic compass, water purifiers, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Besides that, you also need a tent, a flashlight, a lighter, waterproof bags, lunchboxes, about four kitchen knives, toilet paper, your contacts should be in the first aid kit, a whistle, sleeping bags, enough warm clothes ideal for hiking, and for dressing in layers. For hiking, snacks stock up on dried fruits, nuts, and bars.

Also read: How to Pack a Hiking Backpack – Things No One Told You Before

Navigation tools

On a hiking trip, you need navigation tools to guide you to know where you are going, to be able to guide you back home and to always give you accurate data of where you are. In that case, you need maps, a compass, and a GPS.

After investing in a GPS, learn to use a GPS and also discover how to read topographical maps before you go for your hiking trip.

Your health comes first

You need to protect yourself from getting sick and from UV rays. Make sure you apply sunscreen, and please wear a pair of sunglasses. You also need to be able to treat yourself or those on your trip in case of minor ailments.

Ensure that everyone carries their personal medicine. The first aid kit should contain remedies for snake bites, bug bites and bee stings. It should also have bandages and other emergency medical aid items and drugs.

Planning a day hike

A day hike involves picking a hiking trail that is not a long distance from your home. Find a park with hiking trails near your area. Get the park’s guidebook and maps. Do your research well. Get to know the distance to the hiking trail. Get to know all the hiking trails in the park and choose a trail for a beginner hiker. Try to limit your hike to not more than 8 miles as a first timer. If you plan to take your children or dogs with you, then plan for them. For dogs, check if the park allows dogs.

Invite a friend or family member to join you. One day or two days before your hiking trip, buy your snacks and food for the hiking trip. Inform a member of your family who will not be joining you on the hiking trail about your hiking plans. Share with them your hiking plans and ask them to check on you to ensure that you will return back home safely.

Request them to call for help if you will not have returned home by a certain time. On the day of the hike, take your back-up which should have enough water, a first aid kit, food, drinks and lunch and go for your hike. Make sure you have enough dried fruits, nuts, and bars. Let your GPS unit guide you to the starting point. Also, equip yourself with a physical map of the park.

Planning an overnight stay

Your first step to planning an overnight stay trip is to select a hiking destination. Remember that as soon as you have an itinerary, you need to take days off from work. But such trips are better planned during vacation time or the weekend.

Because you will be hiking, choose a hiking trail depending on what you and your group are capable of completing. If you did a hike recently, it could guide you. As a general rule, try not to exceed 12 miles of hiking per day.

Then plan accommodation logistics. If you will be camping, then book a camping site. Ensure that you have paid camping or accommodation fees in advance and you have a booking slip to avoid any kind of inconvenience. Have yourself and your group prepare for the hiking trip by purchasing all the supplies you will need for your overnight stay. Ensure you pack everything you need for an overnight trip and pack your food supplies appropriately.

Do your research of the hiking destination. First and foremost check attraction spots in the park including waterfalls, hills, mountains, rivers, lakes, scenic sites, flora, and fauna, etc. Also check temperatures, the weather, internet connectivity, where you can buy fuel, water sources, also check the nearest shopping center from the park among other details. 

On the day of the trip, ensure you have spare batteries for your smartphone and your GPS. Make sure you have a physical map of where you will be hiking.

Get a family member who will not be on the trip and let them keep checking on you until the day you return home. Start out on your hiking journey by using your GPS to take you to the hiking starting point. Have fun and remember to take a lot of videos and still photos.

You may love to read: The magnificent Florida hiking trails: Discover 10 hidden treasures

Conclusion

Ensure that you have a good camera with enough memory to take as many photos as possible. Share your hiking experience with your friends and family and remember to geotag photos to indicate where you took them. Have fun during hiking.

How to Pack a Hiking Backpack – Things No One Told You Before

How to Pack a Hiking Backpack – Things No One Told You Before

Hiking is an activity that gives you an opportunity to get in contact with nature. Most hiking routes are located in National Parks and are off-track and inaccessible by vehicles, motorbikes, and bikes. They are only accessible by foot.

Therefore you have to carry your backpack yourself. As much as hiking is an adventurous activity because you get away from the hustles of bustles of the real world, however, the main challenge is that so many items are essential and have to be carried to have a successful hike.

How to Pack a Hiking Backpack

Hiking Checklist

The first step towards having a successful hike is to have a checklist of all the items that you will be carrying. How to pack a hiking backpack will largely depend on whether you are doing a day hike or an overstay hike.

Hiking necessities ensure you are comfortable and safe. Navigation gears comprise a GPS, a map, and a compass. Please note that a state of the art GPS will have a compass although a physical compass is very handy.

You also need to pack sunscreen, sunglasses and lip balm to shield you from the sun. You have to pack enough clothes that are comfortable and will protect you from strong winds and light rains. You also need toiletries and hygiene items like toilet paper, hand sanitizers, and wet wipes. The medical kit, emergency kit or first aid kit should have bug spray, bandages, anti-snakebite, anti-bee stings, insect repellant among other items.

Other necessities are a flashlight or headlamp, a firestarter, a water purifier, a knife, food, snacks, right amount of water, other drinks, shelter gear and cooking items if you are self-catering. You also need to carry a good camera.

Other items commonly used on a hiking trek depending on the intensity of the trek include tent poles, sleeping pad, chairs or camping stool, climbing ropes, trekking poles, crampons and ice axe.

Don’t forget to write your contacts on a piece of paper and put it in the emergency kit.

Please remember that if you are accompanied by children and dogs on your hike, they will require their personal items.

Also read: How To Clean a Hiking Backpack – Everything you need to know

Gathering hiking items

In a trek, you must have all the essential supplies to survive yet the lighter your backpack is, the easier the journey. Therefore you cannot compromise on what has to be packed.

In that case, you need to pack the backpack so that everything fits in the bag. To be able to pack all the essential gear for your trip, please find out how strenuous your hike will be because food requirements and fluids vary, get to know the weather and how many nights you will be away.

If you are doing an overnight hiking trek, call the service providers and find out what items they will provide. Check what is included in the camping package so that you know whether you need to carry things like camping stools or not. Then gather all your hiking gear.

Select an ideal backpack

You need a sturdy yet light bag. Opt for backpacks that are designed specifically for hiking. Look for bags that have both external frames and internal frames for supporting the weight of the hiking gear.

When choosing a backpack, get one depending on what items will be carried. Get a backpack with fasteners, tool loops, and other storage solutions. You can use different strategies to fasten some hiking gears on the backpack including using lash patches, compression straps or daisy chains.

An overnight stay where few items are provided at the campsite will require a special backpack that can carry camping stools and tent poles. Other things that may be needed on your hiking trip and need to be planned for in your backpack include trekking poles, tent poles, climbing ropes, ice axe, sleeping pad, and crampons. But try to minimize carrying such items.

Choose a backpack that suits your hiking trip. A day hike will require a smaller bag than an overnight stay. An overnight hike will require sleeping gear and extra food, drinks, and clothes and therefore you need a much bigger backpack. Colder seasons require more items than warm seasons. During winter, you need more food, heavier clothing, and heavier beddings.

Backpacks differ in what they offer regarding pockets and capacity. They can have front, side, and lid pockets. Some pockets have even smaller pockets inside. All these features are to help you organize your items. Backpacks also have different capacities.

The length of your trip will determine what size of bag you need. Backpack capacities are measured in liters. If you are doing a day hike, choose a pack with a capacity of 25 to 40 liters. A 65 to 90 liters backpack will be ideal for a five days hiking trip.

Packing the Backpack

Packing efficiently will see you packing so much into your bag. You should consider various factors when packing your bag. You need to consider the accessibility of the items, how compact each piece is, the weight balance of the backpack and backpack hoisting.

You need to pack well so that you can maintain your balance. Weight should be balanced on each side. A well-packed bag won't sway during hiking. In addition, you need to pack well so that items that are needed along the journey, before reaching the final hiking spot or picnic spot are easily accessible.

You can line the inside of your backpack before packing. The lining is to help to keep everything dry. On the other hand, you can also invest in a pack cover especially if the hiking area is wet.

Divide your hiking gear into three. First are items that will not be required until the end of the journey. The next are items that may be needed during the hike. The last group comprises items that are essential during the trip.

Pack the heaviest items close to your back to avoid back pains. Cooking items, sleeping items, uncooked food, fuel, camp shoes will not be needed until the end of the journey. Divide the items into two. Have soft gear items like your sleeping bag, tent, sleeping clothes at the very bottom of the backpack followed by the other items like the cooking stove and uncooked food items.

Items such as trekking poles, water filter, rain jacket, headlamp, the emergency kit and insulating layers may be needed during the hike. Pack them at the top of the backpack and if they don’t fit, pack some in an external pocket.

Snacks, drinks, sun protection items, navigation tools, toiletries and other items should be very accessible. Pack such items in the external pockets of the backpack, in your pants pocket, making sure that each item is accessible. Your personal items such as phone, cash, ATM cards, car keys should also be accessible.

Another important factor to consider when packing a hiking backpack is how compact each item is. Compact items cannot be squeezed in between other items and should be planned for when packing, for example, water bottles and cooking pots. But you can squeeze a pair of socks or clothes in a cooking pot or in between food items.

You may love to read: California Hiking Trails That Are A Must See For Every Outdoor Lover

Conclusion

Ensure that you get a backpack that fits your hiking needs. Then pack well so that all your items get squeezed in the bag. The backpack needs to be well –balanced and should not sway when being carried. In addition, it is important that the bag can be hoisted well. Practice hoisting your bag at home so that hoisting at every resting spot will be convenient.

Packing your backpack efficiently will make your hiking trip comfortable. While hiking, please observe the universal hiking etiquette; please print it out from the internet. Remember to leave no trace. Happy hiking!

How To Clean a Hiking Backpack – Everything you need to know

How To Clean a Hiking Backpack - Everything you need to know


Backpacks carry all manner of items. In addition, the straps get exposed to your body’s sweat. They also get exposed to rain if they are not protected. They, therefore, get dirty and smelly due to moisture, dust, food, and sweat. Keeping your backpacks clean will make the planning and organizing of your hiking trips easy.

How To Clean a Hiking Backpack

Standard maintenance

Your backpack needs to be cleaned after every hiking trip before it is safely stored. It needs to be cleaned from foods, drinks or other stains that have spilled onto it. Use warm water, a mild non-detergent soap, a soft brush and a soft cleaning cloth. Doing this after every trip will prevent dirt and stains from building up. It will also protect the bag from being destroyed by bugs and ants which get attracted by food articles. Cleaning zippers prevent them from failing.

Start by emptying the contents of the bag. Check every pocket for any items. Then face the bag upside down and shake it to remove food particles, dust, and dirt and other particles.

Target to clean stain spots by using a dilute detergent solution, a soft brush, and warm water. You can use a stain remover if you have one. Let it stay for a few minutes and then gently remove it with a cleaning cloth. Ensure you rinse the area well using only water and a cleaning cloth. Don’t submerge the bag in water.

Use a damp cleaning cloth to clean the interior of the bag. You don’t need to use any soap. Hang the bag to dry, especially if it got wet during the trip. Then return all the essential items in the bag ready for the next hike. Wet bags attract the growth of molds.

Thorough cleaning a backpack

How to clean a hiking backpack depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some bags can be machine washed while others have to be hand-washed. If you are very particular about machine cleaning your backpack, then during purchase look for one with your specifications.

You may love to read: How to Pack a Hiking Backpack – Things No One Told You Before

Hand Washing your backpack

Thorough cleaning of your backpack should be done once in a while like once a year. First and foremost, check the backpacks care label and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for cleaning and drying your bag. Detergents and certain cleaning and drying practices can damage the bag’s water resistance features.

To clean your bag effectively, you need a non-detergent soap, a washcloth or sponge and a soft brush or a used toothbrush. A small brush is recommended because it gets in hard to clean spots. However, if the backpack is made from a delicate fabric, you may want to avoid a brush.

Detergent soap has chemicals that can destroy the waterproofing layers of a backpack. This can make the bag tear and wear out.

Start by emptying your backpack and safely keeping those items in a plastic bag. If you forget and wash your backpack with those items, they may get damaged. Then unzip the backpack. Next, remove all the detachable parts.

Now turn the bag inside out and gently vacuum the bag to remove dirt, bread crumbs, sand and other particles. Vacuum the zip gently. Zippers get exposed to dust and other particles. Avoid scrubbing zippers because many are designed with water-resistant coatings. Brush all the zippers and buckles. Use silicone spray to lubricate zippers after a clean up to prevent rusting.

After that, clean stain spots before embarking on cleaning the rest of the backpack. Avoid using bleaches. Use a dilute detergent solution to clean the spots. Gently scrub with an old toothbrush or small brush and let it stay for about half an hour.

Now it is time to clean the backpack thoroughly. Use a bathtub, large sink or a laundry basin. Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water, add the cleaning solution. Submerge the backpack in the water plus all the washable detachable parts. Hot water can cause the colors to run. Clean the interior with a sponge and the exterior with a toothbrush or small brush. Then rinse the backpack twice to ensure that all the soap is rinsed off. You can rinse it in the bathtub, or you can use a garden hose to spray the bag. If your care label discourages submerging, then you may need to sponge the bag with a damp piece of clothing.

Let the bag dry in a cool, well-ventilated and dark area. Avoid direct sunlight. Hang it upside down. Give the bag about three days to dry. You can use a fan if you need the bag to dry faster. Make sure your bag is thoroughly dry to prevent mold growth.

Machine Washing

Unless a backpack is designed specifically for machine washing, the bag may get ruined by the process. Only machine wash your backpack if the manufacturer recommends it. Check the backpack label to see what products can be used to clean the bag and drying instructions. Start by removing all the items in the bag, and storing them away safely.

Unzip the pockets and ensure that your bag is empty. Then turn the backpack inside out and gently vacuum the inside. Remove all detachable parts like pockets and the frame. Then deal with stain spots by pre-treating them before machine washing the bag but don’t bleach the backpack.

Use a diluted detergent solution, water, and a small brush to scrub the stain away.

Put cleaning agents recommended by the manufacturer of the backpack in the machine wash. If you are not sure, then opt to utilize gentle cleansers.

Wash detachable parts separately. Turn the bag inside out and place in the washer. The bag is turned inside out to avoid the zippers and straps from getting caught in the machine. Use the washers gentle cycle to clean the backpack with lukewarm water.

Dry the bag as recommended by the manufacturer. But the general rule is that it should be dried facing upside down in a well-ventilated and cool place. Make sure it is completely dry to prevent mold growth.

Also read: How To Clean a Hiking Backpack – Everything you need to know

Conclusion

Some backpacks are guaranteed to be durable with some brands having up to a 10-year warranty. If you are not confident about cleaning your backpack, you can have it professionally washed. Maintaining your backpack well will extend its lifespan.

The Hiking Water Calculator: Making Sure Your Aren’t Running on Empty

The Hiking Water Calculator: Making Sure Your Aren’t Running on Empty

An adult human body is composed of about 60% water. When out hiking, you need to know how much water to drink and how to stay hydrated. If your body is not well hydrated, the water in the body gets depleted leaving you dehydrated.

How much water to drink while hiking

How much water you need to drink depends on many factors. It depends on your age, your body type, your sweat rate, the activity you are doing, intensity level and the duration of the hike. It takes planning to know how much water and fluids one needs to carry or how often you need to refill your water container.

It is recommended to take about a half a liter of water per hour if you are engaging in medium level hiking activities and if the temperatures are moderate. If the hiking activity is intense and the temperatures are high, then you will need to take about a liter of water every hour.

You may read this post too: Beginner’s guide to hiking - Everything you need to know

How much water to bring on a hike

When planning your trek, you need to know the estimated amount of time you will take hiking the trail. On the other hand, if you know your approximate hiking speed, then it is easy to determine how long you will take to complete the hike. Check the distance of your hiking trip versus how long you take to do a mile. Calculate how much water to carry by how long you will take on the hike.

If for example, your speed is 4 miles per hour, if you are doing a 16 miles distance, then it means you will take 4 hours to complete the hike. That means that you will need to have about 2 liters of water if the temperatures are moderate. More water will be required if the weather is hot.

Dehydration

Dehydration happens when the amount of water taken in is less than what the body is losing through sweating. A main symptom of dehydration is feeling thirsty. Other signs of dehydration are a dry mouth, dark urine, decreased energy levels, headaches among others.

Determining if you are dehydrated

As mentioned above, the main symptom of dehydration is feeling thirsty. Another way to determine if you are not drinking enough water is to check your weight before a hiking activity and immediately after. You should weigh the same. But if your weight has dropped, the cause may be dehydration. Drink enough water to compensate for the fluids lost in your body. Remember to add energy and sports drinks to the fluids you are taking. They help restore electrolytes and carbohydrates.

How to stay hydrated

To keep taking water, the water needs to be within easy reach. When out hiking opt to use a hydration reservoir, not unless you prefer to use a water bottle. Make sure you pack your water bottle within easy reach.

On the day you are hiking, start your day well-hydrated by pre-hydrating. Try to drink a liter of sports drink or water as soon as you get out of bed. Drink water and sports drink until you have about two hours before you start your hike. Drink water often by taking small sips every few minutes. When hiking, the standard recommendation is to take a sip of water every 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t take large amounts of water after a long time. You don't even need a hiking water calculator to know this - do you?

When you sweat you lose body fluids, not just water. Body fluids contain electrolytes. Too much loss of electrolytes affects performance. Your body needs electrolytes and carbohydrates. Ensure that about half of what you are drinking has carbohydrates. If you are hiking for longer than an hour, buy an electrolyte replacement sports drink, powders or tablets. Follow the mixing and consumption directions provided on the packaging.

Drinking Water tips while hiking

When planning your hiking adventure, check if the hiking destination you have chosen has sources of water. If there is water available, then plan to take along a water filter, a little water, and water bottles.

When choosing a hiking trail, opt for routes that have water. That way you will only need to carry a little water and a water filter. If the hike is not so long, then plan to have some water in your vehicle.

Never drink river or stream water to avoid water-borne diseases until it is treated using a water filter. It is important to drink water and fluids, whether the weather is hot or cold. If the weather is too cold, plan to take hot drinks.

Rehydrate after a hiking adventure to compensate for the water and fluids lost in your body. After your hiking trip, check how much weight you lost, which mainly represents a loss of body fluids. Drink enough water with electrolytes to return your body to normal.

Also read: How to Use Hiking Sticks - Educative Tips for You

When you cannot get access to water

Sometimes it is not possible to gain access to water while on a hiking trip, and it is also impossible to carry a lot of water because of weight. It, therefore, means that you have to do with the water that you brought from home or hotel.

In that case, then it is important for you to take a minimum of 3 liters of water per day. The worst-case scenario should see you taking 2 liters of water the whole day, but that is if the temperatures stay moderate. Anything less than that will be too much for your body to endure.

Overhydration

Other than watching out for dehydration only, you also need to avoid overhydration. Though it is a rare condition not associated with hikers. Overhydration occurs when sodium levels in the body become diluted causing cell malfunctions. The symptoms of overhydration are similar to dehydration: fatigue, nausea, and headache.

To prevent overhydration, monitor how much water you are taking, how much water you are likely losing and also how much electrolytes you are losing in your body. Don’t overdrink water and ensure that your electrolyte levels in the body are the recommended ones. You can take a salty snack to increase electrolytes in your body and also take salt tablets.

Conclusion

One of your goals of going on a hike is to exercise your body. The impact of the hike on your life should be an improvement in your health. Ensure you stay hydrated to reap maximum health benefits from the hike. Enjoy your hiking trip.

Beginner’s guide to hiking – Everything you need to know

Beginner’s guide to hiking - Everything you need to know

Hiking is an outdoor activity that makes you workout while enjoying the outdoors. If you are set on undertaking hiking as an activity, use the following tips to enhance your hiking trip. Note that the tips are a beginner’s guide to hiking. Using the tips will help you stay safe, enjoy the hike and therefore you will want to enjoy hiking again and again.

Beginner’s guide to hiking

Acquire hiking gear

The first step in getting ready for your first hiking trip is to ensure that you have everything to guarantee you a successful hiking trip. Check your wardrobe, for hiking gear. If you don’t have any, then plan to acquire them.

Ensure that all the clothes that will touch your skin are made from wool or polyester but not cotton. Avoid cotton because it gets damp. Wool or polyester are lightweight, comfortable because they retain fewer odors and sweat. This includes the socks you will wear. Convertible pants should be preferred because if it gets too hot, you can zip off the lower portion.

Choose light shoes that are sturdy. Avoid shoes that can hurt your feet. Hurt feet will cut short your hiking trip. You need to have blister dressings on hand. Protect your head, body, and eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing a bandana, cap or hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. A rain jacket may help protect you from chills or the wind. Wear layers of clothes that you can remove and keep in your back-pack if it gets too hot.

Emergency items you need to have for your hiking expeditions include a map and compass, a flashlight, extra clothing, extra food, enough water, a tent as an emergency shelter, a first aid kit, and a lighter.

Other essential items you will need for your hiking trip include a GPS, a camera(if your phone won’t do) water bottles, a cute, sturdy backpack, a pocket knife, hand sanitizers, insect repellent, and water purifier(in case you run out of drinking water).

Decide if you will be hiking alone or with other hikers

To reap the maximum benefits of hiking will require you to try out different adventures. You can decide to vary your treks. Some treks you can go solo whereas some treks you can link up with other hikers.

A solo hike gives you an awesome opportunity to get lost in your world while enjoying the outdoors. However it is dangerous for a first timer, it can get lonely, and it is also intimidating. Until you have mastered hiking, hook up with other hikers or get a friend or your family members to accompany you. In case you get injured during hiking, you can assist each other. Check if your local area has a hiking club. Such clubs have planned hiking activities. Also check online for hiking groups in your area.

If you happen to join a hiking club, then you will take the first few months of being in the club to learn hiking from other experienced trekkers. The experience will enable you to gain confidence. Then you can go hiking alone with no fear.
In the unlikely event that you are not able to join a hiking club, then you may have to do hiking alone or with your inexperienced friends. If that is the case, then you will need to start with very short trips to very popular hiking spots.

Also read: 10 Things To Know Before Hiking – Tips from the Gurus

Picking a hiking location

Start by browsing online for hiking spots in your local area. Check where your nearest national parks are located. Check the closest mountains in your region.
If your locality has several hiking spots, then you need to select your first hiking destination. Find out how much time you want to trek.

Do you have a full day or just a couple of hours? The other important thing to consider when hiking is your fitness level. Choose hiking trails that suit your fitness level.

Choose the distance depending on what you are carrying, is it heavy or light and the hiking terrain. In addition, check the weather forecast to know which trails are accessible which time of the year.

Safety measures

Get a friend or family member who is not hiking with you to check on you on the day you are hiking. Share your detailed itinerary with them. Set a “worry time” with them. Delays are expected due to bad weather, miscalculations of trekking time, injuries, but it should not go beyond the "worry time." If it does, it means you need help.

Hiking with Kids and Dogs

Kids of any age can join you on a hiking trip. If you are out with children, then choose a short hike. If you want your dog to accompany you on a hiking trip, first find out if dogs are allowed where you will be hiking. If they allow dogs, then pack enough food and snacks for your dog in a dog pack.

Packing for your hiking trip

What you will carry and wear will depend on the weather conditions and the length of the hike. Make sure that your phone is fully charged and if possible have a charging back-up like a power-bank or spare batteries. Pack all your packing gear in your back-pack.

If you are hiking the whole day, then you need to pack enough drinks, snacks, and lunch. But if you are out hiking for a couple of hours, then you need a few bites for energizing you. Remember that your body needs a lot of water to stay hydrated since you will be sweating a lot. Carry enough water.

You may read this: Top 10 Florida hiking trails

Enjoy your hiking experience

Dress appropriately depending on the weather. Remember to as much as possible plan your lunch and snack spots. Look for interesting spots with a good view, lake, river or waterfall.

Choose a comfortable pace that you can maintain your entire trekking trip. Have fun. Take pictures and videos. Enjoy your snacks and lunch. Enjoy the fresh air. If you are accompanied, have a great time together during rests and meal breaks. Practice sustainable hiking. Remember not to litter.

Conclusion

Hiking is a very affordable outdoor activity. You don’t want to be disappointed on your first hiking trip because of not being prepared with the right gear, bad weather or choosing a difficult trail. Plan your trip well to have success. Remember to leave no traces on your hiking trip but carry good memories with you. Enjoy your hiking.

The magnificent Florida hiking trails: Discover 10 hidden treasures

The magnificent Florida hiking trails: Discover 10 hidden treasures

Florida is a Spanish word meaning land of flowers. The Gulf of Mexico is on one side of the State and the Atlantic on the other side. Also, the famous Walt Disney World is in Orlando of Florida. In addition, the city of Miami renown for many things including the city’s nightlife and Latin-American culture is also in this state. The state of Florida has a long Coastline that is approximately 1,350 miles long. The climate varies from subtropical to tropical.

There is so much a hiker can do in the state of Florida including fishing, diving and viewing both land and marine wildlife. The state of Florida has many attractions including beach hikes, geologic areas, swamp walks, museums, historical walks among other places.

Also, you will find plenty of spots designated as family-friendly hikes, day-hikes, and dog-friendly hikes. 

10 Fantastic Florida hiking trails places to explore in Florida.

1. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park Hiking Trails

Everglades National Park

Even though Florida Everglades can be wet and swampy, however, there are great hiking spots to explore. As a matter of fact, most of the hiking is on boardwalks and make excellent day hikes for a family. The best time to hike in Southern Florida is in winter when the temperatures drop to around 70 at daytime. This is during the months of December to April.

The Everglades is endowed with pine flat woods, sawgrass marshes, and coastal mangroves. Quite some species inhabit this park including the Florida panther, leatherback turtle, manatee, the American crocodile, deer and many species of birds and other animals. 

Shark Valley Loop is a part of the Everglades National Park. Expect to see birds, turtles, and alligators in this hike but no sharks. The animals are not easy to spot, because they are hidden by the water and vegetation. Doing the entire trek can take you a whole day. Other trails to explore while on Shark Valley are Otter Hammock Trail and Bobcat Boardwalk.

Big Cypress National Preserve Hiking Trails

Big Cypress National Preserve

2. Big Cypress National Preserve

Some of the best Florida Hiking Trails are in this Preserve. It is located about 72 kilometers west of Miami. The Preserve has many trails to offer every hiker an experience of a lifetime. Some of the trails have wildlife. Therefore, it is important to be on the lookout while hiking and exploring this preserve. You will also get to view diverse plantations in different habitats. What's more, the trail has many spots for snacking and resting.

Disney Wilderness Preserve Hiking Trails

Disney Wilderness Preserve

Also read: California hiking trails that are a must see for every outdoor lover

3. Disney Wilderness Preserve

This preserve is in Central Florida. The preserve is wet just like most of Central Florida. The preserve has many trails that can offer a hiker an exciting experience. Use the viewing platform to get the best views of birds. Check out for a trail called red-blazed Wilderness trail for better views of the Preserve. Also look out for Lake Russell a cypress-lined lake. Please note that there is always a breeze at the lakeshore. Have fun while hiking in this park. The preserve has awesome spots for picnic lunches.

New Smyrna Beach Hiking Trails

New Smyrna Beach

4. New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach is on the Atlantic Ocean. It has many hiking trails. Some of the trails include Eldora Hammock Trail, Castle Windy, and Canaveral National Seashore. Get an opportunity to enjoy the seashore and its unique vegetation.

Wekiwa Loop Hiking Trails

Wekiwa Loop

5. Wekiwa Loop

Wekiwa has many hiking trails to explore. Visit the River Preserve at Lower Wekiwa. You can also hike the 8.8 miles lower loop. Other interesting trails are the Sabal Point Sanctuary. Get an opportunity to experience the Wekiwa Wet to Dry Trail and see how the habitat changes as you move from a wet to a dry trail.

Florida Trail, Little Big Econ State Forest Hiking Trails

Florida Trail, Little Big Econ State Forest

6. Florida Trail, Little Big Econ State Forest

This is a long walk through flatwoods. It is about 10 miles long. The walk starts off at the Lockwood Blvd where you can park your vehicle or bike. The Forest has a trail that traverses a diverse habitat ranging from swampy to dry. Most of the trails in the forest will lead to rivers, forests, a pretty waterfall, beaches and mountain trails. The trails are shaded by oaks, pines, and sweetgum. 

You get to view magnolias, blueberry bushes, wild coffee and cinnamon fern as you hike this State Forest. The trail has a challenging phase perfect for seasoned hikers. The place is ideal for doing an extended stay because it has campsites.

Seminole State Forest Hiking Trails

Seminole State Forest

7. Seminole State Forest

This trail is near Orlando. The trail is 7.8 miles long. The Forest boasts of swamp forests, hills, with an abundance of animals. It is a perfect hike for either a day hiker or for an overnight stay at one of the fantastic campsites.

A trail of this forest will give you an opportunity to explore Boggy Creek Lake, Blackwater Creek, and you can view bears and other creatures and a diversity of plants. Seminole State Forest is a habitat for more than 100 species of birds.

The Florida Trail

The Florida Trail

8. The Florida Trail

The Florida Trail is over 1,400 miles long, from Big Cypress National Reserve to Fort Pickens. It is among the eight National Scenic Trails in the USA. Ocala National Forest is part of the Florida Trail. Ocala National Forest offers a fantastic long hiking spot. The forest has many hiking trails.

Eglin Airforce Base Hiking Trails

Eglin Airforce Base

9. Eglin Airforce Base

While Eglin Airforce Base provides an excellent hiking trail. The place has awesome campsites equipped with benches. The campsites are located near water sources. The site has various attractions to view including pines and old oak trees.

Florida Caverns State Hiking Trails

Florida Caverns State

10. Florida Caverns State

Florida Caverns State is another great hiking spot. The Park has seven trails. The hiking trail in the park goes through a cave. There are other attractions apart from the cave including rocky landmarks, rivers, and steep cliffs.

Other Interesting places in Florida

Pine Log State Forest is a beautiful hiking spot in Florida with sandhills, wiregrass, pine plantations and hardwood forests. Other hiking trails in the state of Florida are Long Key State Park, Tate’s Hell State Forest, Lake Talquin State Forest, Little Talbot Island and Blackwater River State Forest.

As you plan to visit Florida, you will want to visit Miami and Orlando cities. You can plan to visit Walt Disney World, Florida Keys, and Clearwater. Another interesting place to visit in Florida is the Naval Aviation Museum, a historic place with the largest Naval Aviation museum in the world.

Conclusion

The state of Florida is a tourist destination with so much to do and view. Florida Hiking Trails are hundreds in number offering trekkers of all levels an excellent opportunity to experience the outdoors. In addition, it has historical places, museums and other interesting places ideal for a family tour. Enjoy your tour of these fantastic places.

California Hiking Trails That Are A Must See For Every Outdoor Lover

California hiking trails that are a must see for every outdoor lover

California is the third largest state in the United States by area. California has many cities. The state is endowed with many landscapes which include coastlines, mountains, deserts, redwood forest, and farmlands. California is famous because of Los Angeles which hosts Hollywood. 

Also, one of its cities San Francisco is renowned for its Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz Island is a National Historic Landmark while the Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. 

California is also associated with Wine Country, which is in Northern California. It is a wine-growing region boasting of over 400 wineries.

Notwithstanding, California has many hiking spots. California hiking trails are diverse and range from easy to moderate to strenuous hikes. 

There are hikes for every skill level from beginner hikers to veterans. Trails range from short hiking trails to long hiking trails, and from day hikes to overnight stay hikes. 

The trails are versatile ranging from desert to mountain to beaches to creeks. What’s more, there are walking trails, running trails, bike trails and dog walking trails.

California is a big state. If you intend to tour the whole state, then it is easier to divide the state into two circuits, namely Southern and Northern. Then plan a tour for each area separately.

Southern California hiking trails

One of the things you will love about living or visiting Southern California is its sunny weather and the Pacific coastline. San Diego, which is in Southern California, has incredible surfing spots, famous zoos, and museums in addition to the famous Balboa Park. Then Los Angeles is in Southern California. More importantly, Southern California has excellent hiking spots.

Mt Baldy hiking trails

Mt Baldy

Mt Baldy

A challenging and interesting day hike that will make you sweat while offering you cool air and mountain breezes. It is an 8 miles round trip to the Summit of Mt Baldy

There is a ski lift that operates only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays that can take you up or down the summit. Other great summits in Southern California include Cucamonga Peak.

Malibu Creek hiking trails

Malibu Creek

Malibu Creek

Malibu Creek is a cool hike because of plenty of water sources. The creek has many hiking opportunities to choose from. They range from a few hour trails to day-long treks.

Also read: 10 Florida hiking trails - The magnificent hiking trails

The Bridge to Nowhere hiking trails

The Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere hike will take you through rivers to a bridge that seems to be in the middle of nowhere. The trek to the bridge is about 5 miles. Bring towels to enjoy swimming in the waters in this hiking spot; you can also choose to do bungee jumping.

Mt. Wilson Summit Trail hiking trails

Mt. Wilson Summit Trail

Mt. Wilson Summit Trail

Doing this hike up to the Sturtevant Falls is an experience of a lifetime. There are lots of little cabins along the way and streams. And the waterfall is one unusual sight.

Icehouse Canyon hiking trails

Icehouse Canyon

Icehouse Canyon

Icehouse Canyon offers an excellent opportunity to get away from the city. This trail is at a high altitude of 5000 feet. Also, it is forested, and there is a creek running through the canyon. 

What’s more, you can extend your hike and visit Telegraph Peak, Thunder Mountain, Cucamonga Peak, Timber Mountain, Ontario Peak and Bighorn Peak.

Southern California has other exciting hiking spots. You will love visiting the Hollywood sign which is a historic landmark in California and get to view Los Angeles. 

The Cave of Munits is in Tarzana town, a hike to the cave will give you impressive views of the city below and an enjoyable hike. Switzer Falls is a short and interesting hike in Los Angeles County. 

It is excellent for families. It offers great barbeque spots, shaded areas, and a swimming opportunity in the waterfalls.

Northern California hiking trails

Northern California is beautified by rivers, lakes, majestic mountains and redwood forests. A hiker has so much to choose from. Some of the interesting trails include Redwood National and State Parks, Yosemite National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Lassen Volcanic National Park hiking trails

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak may be strenuous for beginner hikers. The trek is rocky and steep, so better equip yourself with the right hiking shoes. You have an opportunity to see volcanic activity on this trail. 

The hike to the summit is 2.5 miles long. The hiking trail to the summit all the way to the top of the summit has stunning views. Plan to take about 5 hours to hike the Lassen Peak trail.

Redwood National and State Parks hiking trails

Redwood National and State Parks

Redwood National and State Parks

Hike in one of the oldest forests on earth. Jedediah Smith parks, Del Norte Coast and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, are part of Redwood National and State Park.

Redwood National and State Parks offers many hiking options to suit every hiker. The park has over 20 hiking trails to be explored all offering unique attractions and breathtaking views.

You get an opportunity to explore rivers, ancient trees, ferns, hardwood trees, shrubs and view other flora and fauna including insects, fish, and amphibians.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park hiking trails

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Though Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is a part of Redwood National and State Park, the trees here are smaller. You will have an opportunity to see Roosevelt Elk; you can camp at the beach, you can do 74 hiking miles or view the Fern Canyon. 

Fern Canyon has a 50-foot-tall wall, draped with ferns. This is the setting that was used in the famous film Jurassic Park. 

It is a very accessible park because it is right off the US Highway 101. Accessing the park requires you to pay National Park fees.

Yosemite National Park hiking trails

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

This national park has the best trekking trails, impressive views, and famous landmarks. Among the things you will want to view are various famous landmarks including Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Tuolumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake. 

The park offers spectacular views to hikers. There are many hiking trails in the park including John Muir Trail, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, The Mist Trail, and Glacier Point. You can get to view Mt Whitney when trekking the John Muir Trail.

Get an opportunity to hike Yosemite Falls. It is the tallest waterfall in California and one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. The best time to hike the Falls is in the spring when the waterfalls drop abundantly due to high water levels.

You may love to read: 10 Things To Know Before Hiking – Tips from the Gurus

Mount Shasta hiking trails

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta is a snowcapped mountain that has so much to offer hikers of all levels. It has wildflowers, waterfalls, its main challenge being to climb Mt. Shasta’s summit. 

Gray Butte Trail is a popular trek on this mountain. You can also take the Haystack Trail and get panoramic views of Mount Shasta, Shasta Valley, and the Klamath Mountains.

Other hiking trails in Northern California

Other interesting hikes to take in Northern California include the Sierra Butte Fire Lookout. It is a 5.5 miles round-trip trail. 

Hiking the trail will give you excellent views of the Sierra Buttes, Tahoe National Forest and Upper and Lower Sardine Lakes. Visit an Abandoned Train Tunnel at Donner Summit and view artistic graffiti and spectacular views, carry a flashlight. The Devil’s Slide Trail, a 1.3 mile is another hiking spot to consider.

You can also hike Desolation Wilderness which has many hiking trails and gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe and the mountains. Siskiyou Wilderness is another spot with varied hiking trails ranging from half day to weeklong hikes. 

The area has six rivers, valleys, three National Forests, mountains, and grasslands.

Point Reyes also offers 150 miles of hiking. The attractions include sandy beaches, open grasslands, the Point Reyes Lighthouse among others. The area has so many species of plants and animals.

Conclusion

California is famous not only because of Hollywood but because of the sunny beaches and other famous landmarks. Both Northern and Southern California has great hiking spots to suit hikers of all levels.

Mountain Whitney which is in California has the highest summit in the United States; Redwood National Park has the tallest trees in the world while Yosemite National Park, has the tallest waterfall in North America. Enjoy viewing these fantastic places and more as you hike in California.