Hiking is a popular activity that has been practiced for centuries. It's also a great way to get acquainted with nature and wildlife. Let's explore 20 interesting and proven facts about hiking and the adventures it may lead you to.
Hiking is an activity that people do for a variety of reasons. People like to enjoy nature, get in shape, and even discover new places. Hiking can be done on your own or with others, and there are many hiking trails worldwide.
These 20 facts about hiking will help you understand what it entails and maybe even convince you to try it out!
1. Did You Know? There's a reason why hikers wear bright colors like orange and green:
They want other people who might see them from afar to know they're not bears (who typically wear dark colors). It's better to be safe than sorry!
2. Bears and More. Did you know that bears are much more likely to attack humans when they're hungry?
Bears may eat berries, nuts, bugs, fish, and even deer, but they only want food. This can be especially dangerous for hikers who aren't carrying bear spray or don't make it a habit to take other bear deterrents with them. And, if you're thinking of bringing a dog with you on your hike, think again! Dogs can trigger bears' protective instincts and put both you and them in danger.
3. Watch Out for Snakes
When hiking in unfamiliar terrain, it's best to know what might crawl or slither out from under leaves or rocks. In the United States, you'll want to be especially wary of rattlesnakes in hot months and copperheads in cold months. And when you do spot a slithering creature, it's important not to panic—they sense fear, after all! Instead, slowly back away from the animal, so they have time to leave on their own.
4. Poison Oak and Ivy
You know that itchy, blistery rash you get after petting a cuddly kitten? Well, now imagine getting one of those rashes all over your body because you decided to hike through poison ivy. Yikes! Luckily, there are ways to avoid coming into contact with these plants and their irritating oil: Don't hike through vines and bushes that have berries, and keep an eye out for leaves that look like oak leaves (three lobes) or ivy (heart-shaped).
5. Steep Precipices
If you're hiking along a cliff's edge and it gets too steep to climb, don't get discouraged or try to cut through the rocks. You could end up with a sprained ankle or worse if you slip! If it looks like there's no safe way around the cliff—and you're not afraid of heights—you can always turn around and find another trail.
6. Beware of Lightning
With any type of outdoor activity—even hiking!—it's essential to take precautions against the elements like lightning. If you see dark clouds rolling in, head back down the trail and seek shelter in your car or another structure until the storm clears up. And make sure you don't touch anything metal while you're there!
In some parts of the world, hiking isn't an everyday activity in the wintertime because there's so much snow on the ground! If you plan a hike in a snowy area, it's essential to be prepared for an icy trail and possible avalanches.
8. Know Your Limits
Hiking is a great way to stay fit, but it's easy to push yourself into an injury if you're not used to hiking over long distances. Make sure you know your fitness level before attempting that 12-mile hike!
9. Getting Lost
You may have thought all of the complex parts of hiking were over once you made it to the top, but getting lost can be just as dangerous! This is especially true if you're in an unfamiliar area and there are bears around. The best way to avoid this situation? Stay aware of your surroundings (especially landmarks) and always tell someone where you're going before setting out. So, you've made it to the top of a mountain, and there's no bathroom in sight. What do you do? It might sound gross, but going to nature's toilets—ahem, outhouses—is pretty common amongst hikers! If an outhouse isn't nearby or if the weather makes it too cold to wait that long, it's best to carry a portable toilet with you.
10. The Smell of Sunshine
On a clear day, the sun's rays can provide hikers with vitamin D—an essential nutrient that boosts your immune system and helps keep you from getting sick! So, next time you're stuck inside during a rainy day, head to the closest park and soak up the sun.
11. Hike Your Hike
When you find a new hiking trail, it's very tempting to keep following everyone in front of you. But before you know it, you could get stuck on a more challenging route! Instead, always hike your hike—and if you decide you need help getting down a particularly steep trail, ask for it!
12. Place Your Pack Correctly
If your backpack isn't placed right when hiking, that weight on your shoulders could cause severe pain and discomfort (like an uncomfortable knot in between your shoulder blades). Make sure the straps are snug and secure before you head out!
13. Snack Time
There's nothing wrong with a little snacking when you're on the trail, but make sure you pack healthy snacks to avoid an upset stomach or a sugar crash later. Nuts, fruits, and veggies are excellent choices for hikers who want to eat light and stay energized!
Even if you're not an experienced hiker, your phone can help you stay safe on the trail—if you use it properly! Whether it's getting lost or dealing with injuries, distractions are never suitable for hikers. If possible, leave your cell phone at home and go hiking with accurate maps to avoid phone-related emergencies!
15. Take a Break
If you can feel yourself getting too exhausted during your hike, it's essential to take a break and reenergize your body before pushing forward. If possible, plan to take your hike at a slow pace from start to finish—and don't forget those water breaks!
16. No Dogs Allowed
Dogs might look like a good hiking companion, but as cute as they can, they can also cause problems for hikers who aren't prepared to deal with them! If you're going out on the trail with your pup, be careful not to let him off-leash and make sure he doesn't chase other animals.
17. Leave No Trace
When you hike, you might think it's best to leave no trace of your visit behind—but not everyone feels the same way! Some hikers believe that leaving the environment as they found it is crucial; others prefer to help make improvements with things like removing invasive species or picking up trash.
18. Don't Bring Your Hammock
Hiking isn't the time to practice your hanging hammock skills! Not only is it hard on tree bark, but it can also damage roots and cause some severe issues for future hikers (like people falling out of trees!). Even if you're just taking a quick hike around the neighborhood, it's best to leave your hammock at home.
19. Know This Sign
As long as the weather is correct and you're prepared, there's no time like the present for a relaxing hike in the woods! Keep these 20 hiking facts in mind when you head out and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
Apart from the above 20 hiking facts, below are some hiking tips to guide you better.
1) From the moment that boots are laced, someone counts down to when they can take them off. Hikers know that there's no quicker way to tell how far you've gone or where you are about where you're supposed to be than checking out your boots. The amount of mud on them is like an instant measuring stick. If you've ever wondered whether or not your hiking boots are waterproof, put them to the test by submerging them in a river. Suppose they're dry after 10 minutes; congratulations! They do keep water out.
2) We often hear of people getting lost while hiking but did you know that it's mostly men who get lost? That's because most women can read maps better or have a better sense of direction. Keep this in mind when hiking with your girlfriend, wife, or any other female companion.
3) Hikers are not always hikers! Did you know that many people who go on day hikes might be very inactive at home? It's true; people who are obese or very sedentary can surprisingly do some fantastic walks. They might be out of breath quickly, but if they want to lose weight, nothing beats hiking!
4) Hikers often overestimate themselves. When you're new to the sport, it's only natural that you'll think you're better than what you are. Instead, take advice from more experienced hikers. They will know the trails better and are also more likely to spot landmarks and water sources.
5) It's not easy getting to the same level as dedicated hikers when you've only been hiking for a few months now. You might scoff at their gear or find yourself asking why they're going at such a slow pace, but the truth is that it takes years for your body to build up endurance and strength. Give it time before you judge too harshly.
6) Just keep in mind that when you're hiking with a group of people, there's no shame in taking breaks. If someone else gets ahead of you or slows down to wait, let them. It's not worth risking your safety.
7) You'll always want to hike with the appropriate gear, including boots that are suitable for hiking. They might cost more than regular shoes, but it's worth it! Hiking without proper shoes can lead to blisters and wounds that only get worse over time. Boots help protect your feet from such dangers.
8) Hikers don't always stick to the trails! Many hikers prefer to get off and explore new areas via bushwhacking (which involves going straight through bushes instead of around them). The deeper they go, the more distance they cover and the less likely they encounter other hikers. It's the closest thing to getting away from it all.
9) The best time for hiking is in the early morning before the sun gets too hot. Not only will you avoid accidentally stepping on snakes and scorpions, but you'll also be able to make better time because of the cooler temperatures. Hiking in the afternoon may seem more convenient, but it'll take twice as long to reach your destination.
10) You may have heard people complaining that their legs are sore after hiking but did you know why this happens? Because muscles are being used for the first time in a while, they will bleed more quickly than usual, which causes pain. Adjusting to regular hikes can help minimize this effect.
11) It's important to pack plenty of water when you're hiking in an area that's far from civilization. If your route takes longer than expected, you might run out of water before you get back, which can be pretty dangerous if it happens during the summer months.
12) Hikers are told to avoid drinking from the streams and rivers to avoid getting sick. That's because animals may have used them as a toilet, and water that's contaminated by feces can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other health problems.
13) Hikers often suffer from injuries such as sprains or twisted ankles, especially if their boots don't fit properly. It might be tempting to wear them even if they hurt your feet but don't do it! The more you wear boots that are too tight or loose, the higher the chance you'll have of spraining an ankle.
15) Hikers love taking pictures, but those who go off trails usually need to make a few changes to their camera's settings. For one, you can adjust your ISO to make your camera less sensitive to the low-light conditions of hiking at night. You should also tweak your white balance settings if you're taking photos near a fire or campfire.
16) When planning an upcoming hike, always bring along a map and compass, even if it's just a basic one that doesn't contain much information. It's best to know your surroundings before you get on the trail instead of spending too much time looking for landmarks or water sources.
17) Those who aren't used to hiking might find themselves struggling with steep mountains but never give up! If you need to, take it slow-it'll still count as a hike if you stop now and then. Also, if you have time, try to train for it. The more muscle your legs have, the easier the hike will be.
18) It's worth getting a local guide or asking someone who knows about the area to take you on a practice hike before you leave. Learning how long it'll take to get from one place to another during the different seasons will help you plan for your trip.
19) It can be challenging to bring a dog with you when hiking because they're not usually allowed on trails and don't handle heat well. If you want to take them, make sure that you keep an eye on their paws. Running around too much can leave them with cuts that are filled with dirt and other debris.
20) Hikers are expected to know specific survival skills if their route takes longer than expected or something terrible happens during the expedition. It's recommended that you bring things like a fire starter, pocket knife, and extra food on your trip, even if it's just a day hike. Hikers tend to experience leg soreness because the muscles are getting used for the first time, and they bleed faster than usual, which causes pain. Adjusting to regular hikes can help minimize this effect. It's also important to pack plenty of water when you're hiking in an area that's far from civilization.
If your route takes longer than expected, you might run out of water before you get back, which can be pretty dangerous if it happens during the summer months. Hikers are told to avoid drinking from the streams and rivers to avoid getting sick.
- Hiking is a great way to stay fit, but it can also be dangerous
- The essential thing you need when hiking is the right shoes
- There are many benefits of hiking, including increased mental health and physical activity, as well as improved coping skills for stress
- This article will cover 20 facts about hiking that will help you have more fun on your next hike!
- Bring lots of water with you when hiking! It's easy to get dehydrated in warmer weather or if there's not much shade available on the trail
- Always bring food with you so that you don't go hungry during your hike; this includes snacks like nuts, dried fruit, crackers, and beef jerky
- Use your best judgment when picking a trail that is right for you; if you are new to hiking, it's wise to find an easy trail until you are used to being outside for extended periods
- Always pair up with someone when going hiking; this way, you have a buddy to help you in case anything goes wrong, as well as someone to watch your stuff if you need to use the restroom
- Don't hike alone at night, even if the trail is well lit and easy to navigate; it can be dangerous to be alone on a secluded trail
- Wear bright-colored clothing so that you are easy to spot if anything does go wrong
- Even though hiking can be exciting, it is still important to stay mindful of your surroundings
- It's important to always pack a map and compass when hiking so that you can always find your way back if you get lost
- When hiking in the summer, it's essential to wear light-colored clothing, as well as long sleeves and pants, to protect your skin from getting sunburned
- Hiking gives you a natural high, which can be very beneficial for people who struggle with anxiety or depression
- The best time to hike in the early morning when the weather is more relaxed, and it's easier to spot wildlife and fellow hikers
- The average number of daily steps a person takes in their lifetime is approximated at 100,000; this is why it's important to get outdoors and go hiking as often as possible!
- When hiking, be aware of the wildlife around you; while some animals may seem cute, they can still attack you if they feel threatened or cornered.
- To prevent an animal from attacking you, it's essential to make yourself appear as large as possible and scare them off with loud noises or your camera.
- If you do happen to encounter an animal that becomes aggressive toward you, it's best to play dead rather than try and fight back; this will hopefully cause the animal to leave and not attack you further
- While hiking, it's important to always listen for thunderous booms or cracks of lightning; if you hear these sounds, head back to your car or other shelters immediately!
- It is best to go hiking with a friend because they can help you out if an accident occurs.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities to do for leisure and exercise. It can be a great way to meet new people if you go with friends or family members who are good at socializing. Hikers have been known to find love on their treks as well! If hiking isn't your thing, but you still want some outdoor activity in your life, there are plenty of other ways that don't involve getting dirty or risking injury. For example, mountain biking has become increasingly popular over the last decade due to how safe it is compared with traditional bike riding. Mountain bikers also get an added boost from going downhill, making them feel like they're flying down the trail!
Furthermore, those who don't want to risk their lives on a mountain bike can go for the more laidback road biking with plenty of rest stops and scenic views. Who says you can't work out while enjoying nature?