Living in Upstate NY we deal with a long, cold, snowy winter. With the sun peaking through more and more everyday my hiking boots have been screaming to be used. There are many trails that open for Spring hiking in early April-May. Before setting out for your next adventure here are some tips to remember for Spring Hiking.
- Weather Unpredictability– Although it may seem like a beautiful day and the temperature at your house is in the 60’s, it could be completely different at the top of a mountain. Always make sure to check the weather conditions for the place that you are hiking in. You might be dealing with snow, ice and plenty of mud. I use the App All Trails, before I go on any hike. It not only provides you details about the hike, it also has reviews from other hikers about the current conditions of the trail.
- Clothing – Again, do not base your clothing choice on the weather at your house. Always bring extra socks, long sleeves, hats and even gloves. If you get warm you can always take layers off, but if you get cold, and have nothing to put on, it will make for an uncomfortable hike.
- Hydrate! – Even though you might not be sweating, you are still using energy. You do not want to become dehydrated on your hike. Always bring a canister filled with water, you may not be able to find water along the trail to fill up. I always bring my LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, even on short hikes. It is light weight and you can carry it around your neck. It is fairly cheap, $20, and provides 4,000 liters of clean, filtered water.
- Ticks! – As the snow melts, Spring’s creatures are awakening. Ticks are one of the major bugs to look out for when deep in the woods. Ticks are known for carrying Lyme disease and sometimes can be undetectable until it is too late. Wearing clothing over your arms and legs can prevent them from sticking to your skin. You can also use tick repellents, and wear light-colored clothing. As soon as you get home make sure to check your entire body.
- Sunlight – You might not be laying out on a beach, but that doesn’t mean the sun can not burn you. Wearing sunscreen or a hat will prevent sunburns that can creep up on you. Also be aware of when the sun sets. You do not want to be caught on a trail as the sun is going down, especially without a flashlight.
- Day Pack – Speaking of flashlights, that is one essential you should always bring with you. Many of us use the same bag year after year. Check your bag before you prepare for 2019 Hiking and stock up on the essentials you may have gotten rid of last year. Some items to keep in your bag: socks, lightweight jacket, gloves & hat, trail snacks, first aid kit, lighter/matches, sunscreen, toilet paper, knife, portable cell phone charger.
Now that you are prepared for your first hike of the season you just need to choose your destination!