There are a number of tips for hiking and climbing and general advice for the field that people who enjoy these activities should be sure to heed. The most important information to know before setting off on a hiking or climbing outing is about nutrition and health. It is also good to know what the best gear is for the hiking or climbing you plan to do, which can be discovered by testing it. The following are some tips for undertaking strenuous hiking and climbing activities outdoors.
- Bring plenty of water. Everyone has heard this over and over, but avoiding dehydration is key when hiking or climbing, and keeping yourself well-hydrated should come before anything else.
- Bring snacks. Crackers, cookies, peanuts and sports drinks are great, as they replenish the body's sodium levels, which can be diminished by profuse sweating and water intake while hiking. Failure to replenish sodium levels (by sweating too much or drinking too much water without eating small, salty or sugary snacks) can result in hyponatremia, a potentially deadly condition.
- Know your abilities. Never undertake a climbing challenge that you consider serious without other people around. Do not hike the longest, steepest trail or climb the most strenuous climb on your own, as exhaustion can lead to disaster.
- Test all of your gear before setting out. Walk around in any new boots, wear a backpack weighted with supplies and test all climbing gear before putting these items to the ultimate test in the field. Getting out there and finding something uncomfortable, dysfunctional or broken can ruin any outdoor outing and possibly lead to injury.
- Be sure to bring the basic items for outdoor hiking or climbing. Sunblock, insect repellant, sunglasses and a hat should be strongly considered.
- If you are planning on camping overnight, be sure to bring everything you will need. Leaving a tent or its rain flap or your rain jacket at home are sure ways to tempt the rain. Make sure to bring food and cooking supplies as well when you go on long hiking or climbing trips.
Though basic, none of the above hiking and rock climbing tips should be overlooked. Although having an exciting trip is key, staying healthy and safe should always come first.