Who doesn’t love a good nature hike? Whether you’re meandering through a local State Park or visiting your favorite National Park, or visiting some of the immense trails here in Hells Canyon, hiking is a great way to connect with the outdoors. But if you’ve never gone hiking before, are new to it, or it’s just been a while, you might not know some of the tips and tricks that the pros use to ensure they make the most of every hike.
As Idaho’s #1 adventure company, Killgore Adventures has explored nearly every inch of the Hells Canyon region. In that time we’ve developed a lot of blisters, worn out plenty of hiking boots, and returned home countless times with grins plastered to our faces. To make sure you get to have the same experiences that we do, we put together this quick list of five easy hiking hints.
#1: KEEP A DIFFERENT PAIR OF SHOES IN THE CAR
For those days where you’re crushing 20 or more miles in a single afternoon, or you’re just breaking in a new pair of hiking boots, having an extra pair of shoes to change into at the end of a long day of hiking is always a great idea. As you hike, your feet begin to swell from use and from blood flowing into them. That’s why we always carry a pair of loose shoes like sandals or flip-flops in our car. Changing out of dirty hiking shoes and sweaty socks slipping into a pair of flip-flops is akin to giving your feet a little hug at the end of a hard day. Not only that, getting your feet out of sweaty shoes is a great way to let them air out and not get foot fungi like athlete’s foot.
#2: LET SOMEONE KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Just like you build an itinerary for when you travel overseas or out-of-state, you should build an itinerary for your hiking days. The information that you should include should be:
- The name of the trail
- Where is located
- How many miles it is
- Your expected start and finish times
You should also include a “worry time” on that list. Make a copy for yourself and for a friend or family member who is staying behind. This information is useful so people know where you are as you’re traveling. Should you get lost or injured and not be able to get home, your friends will know exactly where you are and will be able to send you the help that you need. If nothing else, you can save all these trip notes and put them in your scrapbook to have a living record of all the hikes you completed.
#3: TAKE IT EASY
Unless you’re hiking something like the Pacific Crest Trail that runs more than 2,000 miles, there’s really no reason to hurry on your hike. Move at a pace that is comfortable for you and anyone else hiking with you. Typically, it’s best to have the person who’s moving the slowest lead the group, as they can set a comfortable pace for them. This ensures that no one’s left behind. Additionally, it keeps people from getting worn out early on in the hike which could lead to problems later. Plus, by moving at a comfortable and deliberate pace, you’ll have more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the friendship of those around you.
#4: BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Even if you’re in the best of shape, hiking can take a toll on your body. That’s why it’s important to be kind to yourself as much as you can to prevent aches and pains later on down the road. You can start by ensuring that your hiking boots fit properly and are well broken-in. Before you begin hiking, take a minute to do some light stretching. This will limber you up for your outing. You can also use other tools like hiking poles that help relieve some of the strain on your knees. If you’re worried about muscle pain or joint pain as you travel, include some blueberries and tart cherries in your trail mix. These are natural anti-inflammatories. That said, you can also take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen halfway through your hike to make sure you make it back to the car in comfort.
#5: BRING A RAIN JACKET
If you’re hiking in the high desert then you’re free to ignore this tip. However, If you’re hiking in the Hells Canyon area, it’s always a good idea to have a rain jacket on hand. In most regions, rain can occur at any moment even if the weather forecast doesn’t call for it. This is especially true the higher you go in elevation. Plus, a rain jacket is a great windbreaker as well. For windy or cold days, your rain jacket layer can also be used to help you stay warm. It’s a versatile layer that you’ll find many uses for even when it’s not raining.
EXPLORE HELLS CANYON TODAY
Ready to explore the ridges and mountains that make up the Hells Canyon region? It’s time to take advantage of Killgore Adventures jet boat services. We offer jet up and get back services for hikers who want to explore remote parts of the canyon. We can drop you off in the morning and pick you up in the evening. Book your jet boat tour and jet up service today.