Thursday, April 23, 2015

Backpacking basics: Essential skills for the hike

Hiking is basically walking on a more challenging terrain. A physically fit person can easily get used to the strains of the hike but to ensure safety and your physical well being while you're on trail, it's important to have the following skills:

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Hiking rhythm

It's important to keep a steady pace when you're on the trail. It's never a good idea to push yourself too hard or forget to take rest stops. By developing the perfect hiking rhythm you can enjoy your hike better and avoid stressful overexertion.

Crossing water

If your trail involves rivers or running water, you have three choices: dry crossing, wet crossing or no crossing. Make sure to ask about how the water is usually crossed from the agency that manages the trail and take care in crossing. If there is a bridge, whether man-made or just a log traversing the water, it can be used for dry crossing. If there isn't any bridge, you have no choice but to get wet. Consider first the height of the water and the strength of the current before deciding to cross; if it's too dangerous, it's best to find an alternate route instead.

How Trekking Poles Can Make Your Hike Easier, Faster And Safer
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Building a fire

The first thing you need to know about starting fires is that it's not always allowed. Evaluate your surroundings and think about whether it's safe to light fire or not. You can usually be sure if there is an existing fire pit in the camp. If you don't know how to start a fire normally, you can also bring emergency fire starters.

Navigating the trail

Knowing how to read a map and a compass is very important for outdoor activities like hiking. You never know when the path ahead becomes unclear and your navigation skills put to the test. Pay attention to your surroundings to avoid getting lost.

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