Ten Hiking Tips for this Spring

March 25, 2019

Ten Hiking Tips for this Spring

With the spring weather here in Prescott, Arizona it is the perfect time to hit the beautiful trails in our mountains. But it is important that you know before you go and have a plan for your personal safety. Here are ten hiking tips for this spring!

Pick the right trail for you: every trail is rated for its difficulty so it is important that you don’t pick a trail that might be too hard for your current physical abilities. Start out with an easy trail to test your skills and work your way up. Also be mindful of the change in elevation and how that could impact your lungs.

Research the trail first: there are plenty of places you can access a map of the trails in Prescott, either in handout from the Yavapai Forest Service office or a variety of online resources. Familiarize yourself with the trail and the surrounding area before you head out. Pay attention to the details to avoid getting lost or making a wrong turn.

Check the weather: the spring weather is fairly mild in Prescott; however, we do have heavy rain and thunderstorms during the monsoon season and those storms can come out of nowhere in a hurry. In additional to rain, you should also consider the sun. Even through the trees, the sun is stronger in the mountains with the higher elevation. Sunburns can happen fast! A good sunblock is a must, and it’s also a good idea to wear a hat and light clothes.

Let someone know where you will be: it’s important to let someone know what trail you are planning to take, when you plan to return and when it’s time to start a search and rescue operation. There is a difference between the time you plan to return and when it is time to worry that something may have happened to you. And remember to charge your cell phone!

The ten essentials you need: in the event you must stay overnight on a trail, or some other emergency comes up, there are ten essentials you should have one hand.

  • A map and compass
  • Sun protection
  • Extra clothing
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • First-aid supplies
  • Waterproof matches, or a lighter
  • Extra socks
  • Plenty of snacks
  • Extra water
  • Emergency shelter kit

The right shoes and socks are a must: your feet are a key element in not only staying safe on the trail but keeping you comfortable and enjoying your hike. If you plan to hike often, then you will want to invest in a decent pair of hiking shoes. Stay away from cotton materials, and instead opt for the synthetic socks.

Don’t over pack: while the ten essentials listed above are important, it doesn’t mean you need full-sized bottle of sunblock for example. Keep it light meaning that you only pack what you need.

Pace yourself: a good hike isn’t a race! If you don’t pace yourself, you may find that you are unable to finish the trail because you are worn out early. Find a groove in your pace that makes sense for you and uses your energy efficiently.

Pack it in, pack it out: our pines are beautiful, but it takes an effort from all residents and visitors to keep them that way. If you pack it in, please pack it out.

Ready to hit the trails this weekend? Click here to find the trails in Prescott, Arizona!

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