How to Prepare for Your Next Hike

Last updated: July 8, 2018, at 11:29 p.m. PT

Originally published: November 18, 2016, at 11:26 a.m. PT

Following these essential steps will start you off on the right ‘trail’ for a successful and fun hike.Hiking can be a rewarding experience for anyone. However, preparation is key to a successful and enjoyable hike.

Appropriate attire

Make sure your clothing is appropriate for the upcoming hike. You’ll definitely need a hat, shirt, a pair of shorts or pants, a great pair of socks, and comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. It also goes without saying that all of your supporting items underneath should be comfortable.

Eat Breakfast

In this case breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. What you put in your body in the morning inevitably becomes your fuel for the hike. Choosing something healthy is essential, but also try and eat something that will energize you. The key is finding the right combination of foods that gives you the right amount of fuel and energy, but doesn’t leave you feeling bloated and sick an hour or two later.

Time of Day

The time you start your hike is really up to you. If you have the time, morning hikes can offer less of a crowd. Afternoon hikes give the weather a chance to warm up and hiking in the sun is a very enjoyable experience. In the end it’s up to you when you want to go. Our one recommendation is to plan your hike in accordance with the sunset. Walking in the sun not only provides you with a boost of Vitamin D, but the light will keep you on the safer part of trails.

Let Someone Know

Letting someone know in advance exactly what trail you’ll be hiking, the time frame you’ll be gone for and when you’ll arrive safely home is definitely a step you’ll want to take. The person you tell will be alert for any discrepancies in the Safety Plan. For example, if you didn’t come from your hike around the time you said they’d alert the local authorities to your absence. The Safety Plan can help keep you safe from any accidents.     

Cell Phone

Taking your cell Phone with you is essential for your well-being and safety. Make sure to charge it overnight so it has a full battery that will last for the duration of your hike. Also, prepare by saving emergency numbers into your phone prior to your hike.


Bringing and showing your kid(s) what nature has to offer can be a wonderful experience. Studies show hiking can have a lasting impact on children. Outdoor recreation helps them grow to be physically active and healthy. Hiking strengthens the legs, the heart and the lungs and provides a fun form of fitness for the whole family to enjoy.

Don’t Forget these Important Necessities too!

  • Fill up the water bottles - Don’t forget to bring a water bottle or two. Hiking is still considered cardio and you’ll need to stay hydrated, especially if you’re hiking in the sun.

  • Pack Snacks - You’ll also want to bring a few snacks with you, such as granola bars. Snacks can easily be carried, will provide you with energy and is light enough not to upset your stomach while you continue to hike.

  • Bring a First Aid Kit - All manner of things could happen like a scraped knee from tripping or a couple of scratches from brush. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

As a prepared hiker you’ll have a much better time than your unprepared counterparts. You won’t be worrying about why your shirt isn’t fitting right or why those three doughnuts you ate this morning are starting to hurt. You’ll fully be able to appreciate the challenge, the fun and the beauty of nature.

Get a free 7-day guest pass and use it at any of our 13 locations, download your free pass.

If you’re interested in hiking or joining a walk this summer join the  click here to register.