Knowing How To Prevent and/or Prepare For Challenges Can Make All The Difference
As you know, you can’t always prevent the challenges that come your way and you certainly can’t control the temperature, snow, rain, wind, etc. However, what you can do is prepare for those potential challenges.
For starters, you can check the weather that is forecasted for the location where you will be hiking. Knowing that information in advance can help you choose which clothing to wear at the start of your hike and which articles of clothing and equipment you will need for later.
If the weather forecast for the area of your planned hike shows rain and/or cold temperatures, you have options. You can choose to reschedule the hike or you can choose to go on the hike as planned.
If you can't or don’t want to reschedule, you can prepare for the cold temperatures or rain by using the tips below.
Preparing For Cold Temps and/or Rain
- If there is a chance of rain, pack a waterproof jacket.
- Should you start to sweat, you can remove any extra layers of clothing.
- When you stop for a rest break, if you feel the temperature is dropping, put on extra layers of clothing.
- To keep rain from hitting your face, wear a hat with a brim.
- Use plastic bags to protect your GPS, cell phone, car keys and other gear from getting wet.
Not A Fan Of Crowds?
With the change of seasons comes the change in the weather and the number of people on the trails.
If you prefer to hike in solitude, crowds can be an issue for you.
June, July and August are the most popular months to go hiking. January and February are the least popular months to go hiking.
Avoid Crowded Trails
- In the spring, fall and winter, hiking during the middle of the week is the best time to hike to avoid the crowds.
- Rather than entering trailheads located near main roads and parking lots, look for trailheads that are located farther away.
- Start hiking at what is traditionally considered the end of the trail and work your way toward the traditional trailhead.
- One of the best ways to find out which trails have the least amount of traffic is to ask the park rangers.
Avoiding Bug Laden Areas
Swarms of black flies and mosquitoes are the most unwelcome sight on any hike.
Black flies and mosquitoes are bugs that bite. Backcountry areas that hikers prefer are the same areas these biting bugs like to hang out at, especially if there is water nearby.
These bugs are dependent on water for their survival. Mosquitoes need to lay their eggs in warm, stagnant bodies of water, i.e., ponds. On the other hand, black flies need to lay their eggs in cold, running water.
Using a DEET based bug repellent is the best protection against being bitten by these bugs.
When Possible, Plan To Hike When Bugs Are Least Active
- While the peak times of the year can vary by species and region, it is most common for the bug population to peak from late May to June.
- Morning is when black flies are at their most active. Conversely, dusk is when mosquitoes are at their most active.
- For the most part, bugs try to avoid direct sunlight. They generally prefer to stay in shaded areas.
- Most flying bugs cannot control their flight when the winds go over 5 mph.
- Fragrances attract mosquitoes. To reduce your chances of attracting and getting bit by mosquitoes, use hair and deodorant products that are unscented.
- You will notice that when the temperature drops below 60 degree Fahrenheit, mosquitoes almost seem to disappear.
- Looking over the lists above will help you choose the best time of year and best time of day to hike.
- The more specific you are when writing down your goals for your next hike, including where and when you want to go, the more motivated you will be to turn your goals into your reality.
- Contacting the local experts for the areas you are considering for your next hike and checking out the maps and guide books for those areas are all valuable resources. They will help you pinpoint the exact location you need to go to in order to achieve the goals you wrote down.
- No season of the year has to be off limits for hiking. Each season has places where you can hike to start fulfilling your goals.
- Preparation is the key. Be prepared for the weather conditions by bringing the proper clothing and equipment. Avoid crowded trails and swarms of biting bugs by choosing to take your hiking trips at the right times of the day and the year.
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