Here are some tips, tricks and hacks that I have learned along the way through my many years of hiking. These easy and simple steps can have a tremendously positive impact on your hiking experience if you incorporate them into your routine, so what are you waiting for?
1. Even if you’re going on a short hike, bring the essentials.
REI / Via pinterest.com
You never know when something unexpected is going to occur that might take you a different path with more difficult terrain, or unexpected weather, etc… There is nothing to lose by being prepared!
2. Line your backpack with a garbage bag for extra rain protection.
If it doesn’t rain, you’ll have an extra bag for trash! If it does, hey! Your supplies will be protected!
3. If you’re prone to blisters in your hiking boots, coat those areas with petroleum jelly before putting on your socks and boots.
Hikers swear by this trick to prevent abrasive rubbing in certain areas, which can lead to bad blisters. Something as simple as having a small dose of this in your gear can make a world of difference on your hiking experience.
Get more on info on foot blisters here.
4. Keep your phone in a plastic bag inside your backpack just in case.
You want to be prepared in case it starts to downpour out of nowhere or you fall into a river (hey, it happens)—keep your phone in a sealed baggie and all will be fine. And hold on to those takeout utensil bags—they are the perfect fit for an iPhone, and you can use them at beaches and music festivals.
5. Even if you’re going for a short hike, BRING DUCT TAPE.
Hardcore hikers swear by duct tape, which you can use to waterproof ventilated boots, fix a cracked water bottle, and protect painful blisters. Or wrap a few feet of tape around a lighter. That way you can bring 2 essential tools without wasting any space in your backpack.
Learn more about how duct tape can save your life here.
6. Pack bandaids, antiseptic towlettes, a gauze roll, and a few aspirin in a prescription bottle.
The bottle will keep everything dry and in one place—and it’s mini size is perfect for packing light.
Get a list of hiker-approved First Aid materials here.
7. Bring binder clips so you can hang wet clothes off of your backpack.
If you don’t have a clip, you can also wrap small pieces of clothing around handles and straps, but the binder clips help ensure they won’t fall off or get blown away.