Do you ever feel the need to get outdoors and have an adventure, but don't know how to start? Here are some ways to keep your adventure fun and safe!

A cartoon person walks along a trail, followed by a dog.

Plan Your Route

Guidebooks, websites and apps all have great suggestions for routes near you. You can also ask friends or local hiking organizations about their favorite trails.

Things you should consider when you plan your route...

  • How much time do you have?

  • How far do you want to go?

  • Is the trail a loop (circle) or will you hike out and back?

  • How fit are you?

  • How much elevation gain is there?

  • What will the weather be?

  • How will you get to and from the start of the trail?

A woman looks at a map at a crossroads on a trail

Quiz

James hasn't worked out for several years, and he only feels comfortable walking for about an hour. James should...

Give up the idea of hiking

Ask his fit friends where to go

Find a hike suitable for his ability

Find A Buddy

If you have an outdoorsy friend, ask them to take you hiking. If you don't know anyone who hikes, you can join a group.

Look for hikes organized by...

  • Local hiking groups

  • Outdoor gear stores

  • Social sites like Meetup or Facebook

A man helps another man on a hike

If you decide to hike alone, start on a popular and well-marked trail that is within your ability.

Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to be back!

Pack Your Gear

Even if you are hiking with experienced hikers, you should be prepared with your own supplies.

At minimum, you should bring...

  • A day pack

  • Layers appropriate for the weather

  • Comfortable shoes

  • Plenty of water (at least 1 liter)

  • Plenty of food

  • GPS or map & compass

  • Pocket knife or multi-tool

  • First aid supplies

A cartoon dog wears a big camping backpack and falls over from the weight.

Quiz

Tom will be hiking about 7 miles in warm weather on a moderate trail. Which shoes should he wear?

Comfortable running shoes

Sandals

Steel-toed work boots

Brand new, never-worn, hiking boots

Be A Good Citizen On The Trail

By being respectful on the trail, everyone can enjoy the area for years to come. When out on the trails, remember...

  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife.

  • Downhill hikers should (usually) yield to uphill hikers.

  • Stay on the trail — cutting across or making new trails damages the soil.

  • Other trail users get outside to be away from noise — shouting and playing music is considered rude when there are others around.

  • Don't litter. This includes toilet paper, apple cores/banana peels, and gum.

Text reads

Quiz

Jaime loves to hike with their dog. What should they do with the poo?

Nothing

Bury it, or throw in a trashcan

Bag it, leave it on the trail

Take Action

Boromir from Lord of the Rings saying,

You're ready to hike! Make sure to...

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This Byte has been authored by

DP

D'Jeane Peters

Creative, Cross Cultural ID and HPT Practitioner