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Mistakes First Time Hikers Often Make

Hiking is easy, it is fun, and it can be very cheap. Just tie your laces and off you go. Hence it is one of the activities where you will find the most newbies and newbies make mistakes. Often not with any ill intent, nor because they didn’t read the hiking rulebook, but naturally, because some skills get taught during the trail. Here are some of those mistakes.

Too Much Cotton is Not a Good Thing

The old saying was that cotton kills. That is slightly overdramatic, but wearing too much cotton is not a good thing. Cloth doesn’t dry as quickly as many other fabrics, and it stays cold for as long as that it is wet. It is providing you with perfect protection during a sunny day, but once the nights get chilly, cotton won’t keep you as warm as many other synthetic fabrics will. In short, cotton is an inefficient fabric, and it is risky only to wear cotton garments.

Letting Another Hiker Pass

During hiking, it is considered as polite to make way for those coming uphill if you are going downhill. Often trails aren’t wide enough for more than one person, and then the generally accepted norm in hiking is to step out of the way of the person coming uphill. Coming uphill creates much more exertion, and you didn’t want someone else to break your momentum while that person is coming uphill, was you. The same rule applies if a hiker who is going faster than you, are stuck behind you. Step out of the way and let the person pass. When you are unaware of the fact that someone is coming up behind you, they will probably shout: On your left! On your right! Depending on which side they are planning to go past you. This isn’t rude from them to do; it is merely an indication that they are following the unwritten rules of the trail.

Too Little Water

Don’t just assume that you will be able to stock up on water during your hike. Not all trails have flowing, drinkable water nearby and taps aren’t available either. During hiking, you might sweat more than what you would expect, which means you will be consuming more water than what you might have brought with you. Hence work on a general rule of thumb of one litre of water per every two hours which you will be hiking. Take note that this can be more or less depending on various influencing factors. Instead, be prepared for more. Dehydration on a mountain top is never fun and can be dangerous.

Don’t Build Cairns without a Purpose.

It might seem like a great idea to stack a pile of stones and leave your mark in the great outdoors, but these do cause a problem in hiking trails, and they do go in fact against the rule of leaving no traces that you were there. The ideal is always to minimize the impact of humans on the environment, and these little cairns are mostly entirely unnecessary.