Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature.
However, there are some things hikers should avoid while they are out on the trail.
In this blog post, we will discuss the things you should avoid while hiking, so you can have a safe and enjoyable experience!
Top 25 Things Hikers Should Avoid While Hiking
Below are the top 25 things hikers should avoid while hiking:
1. Don’t Go Off Trail
One of the most important things hikers should avoid is going off-trail.
There are many dangers associated with leaving the safety of the established path.
You could get lost, hurt yourself, or even put yourself in danger of being attacked by wildlife.
Stick to the trail and you’ll be sure to have a safer hike!
2. Avoid Playing Loud Music
Hiking is a great opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature.
However, blaring music from your headphones is not only disrespectful to other hikers but can also attract unwanted attention from wildlife.
Keep the volume down on your music player and enjoy the sounds of nature around you!
3. Avoid Buying Boots That Are Too Small
One of the most common mistakes hikers make is buying boots that are too small.
Not only will this be uncomfortable, but it can also lead to blisters, which can ruin your hike.
Your feet will actually swell up more if your hiking for a while.
Make sure you try on hiking boots before you buy them to ensure they fit properly.
4. Avoid Stepping Carelessly
Another mistake hikers make is not paying attention to where they are stepping.
This can be especially dangerous if you are hiking in an area with loose rocks or steep drop-offs.
Always look ahead and take your time when crossing any difficult terrain.
5. Not Packing Enough Food and Water
One of the worst things you can do while hiking is not packing enough food and water.
You will need to bring more than you think you will need, as your body will burn more calories when you are exerting yourself.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Make sure you pack enough snacks and drinks for your hike!
6. Insects which Bite
Insects that bite can ruin your hike if you’re not careful.
They can cause painful welts, and in some cases, transmit diseases.
To avoid being bitten, wear long pants and sleeves, and use insect repellent.
If you do get bitten, treat the wound with an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
7. Predatory animals & snakes
Another danger to avoid while hiking is predatory animals.
There are many different animals that could attack you, including bears, mountain lions, and snakes.
To avoid being attacked, make noise while you hike so you don’t startle them.
Also, be sure to keep your food tightly sealed so they can’t smell it.
8. Don’t Wear Headphones While Walking Alone
Wearing headphones while hiking alone is a recipe for disaster.
You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you in order to stay safe.
If you must listen to music, only do so with one earbud in so you can still hear your surroundings.
It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and not get too lost in your music.
9. Don’t Drink Alcohol While Hiking
It might seem like a good idea to have a beer while you’re hiking, but alcohol and hiking don’t mix.
Alcohol will dehydrate you, which is the last thing you want when you’re out in the hot sun.
It will also impair your judgment, making it more likely that you’ll make poor decisions or take unnecessary risks.
10. Don’t Eat Wild Berries
While wild berries might look tempting, you should never eat them while hiking.
You don’t know if they are poisonous, and eating them could make you very sick.
If you’re really hungry, stick to the snacks you packed with you.
It’s not worth taking the risk of eating something that could be harmful!
11. Don’t Litter
Littering is not only disrespectful to the environment, but it can also be dangerous.
Animals could mistake your trash for food and become sick or even die.
Plus, littering makes it harder for other hikers to enjoy the trail.
Be sure to pack out all of your trash, and if you see litter on the trail, pick it up and dispose of it properly.
12. Never Pee/Poop Or Clean Utensils Near Streams
No matter how tempting it may be, you should never relieve yourself or clean your utensils near a stream.
This can contaminate the water and make it unsafe to drink.
If you must do either of these things, be sure to do it at least 200 feet away from any water source.
Their might be people who live locally and use that water stream so be mindful of that.
13. Don’t Ignore Any Medical Conditions
If you have any medical conditions, be sure to take them into account before you go hiking.
Bring along any medication you might need, and make sure you are physically able to hike the trail you’ve chosen.
Also don’t ignore any signs of injury that you might have gotten while on the hike.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
14. Don’t Hike At Night
Hiking at night is not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal in some places.
You could trip and fall, get lost, or run into wifelife.
It’s best to hike during the daytime when you can see where you’re going and stay safe.
15. Don’t Take Photos While Walking
It might seem like a good idea to take photos while you’re walking, but it’s actually very dangerous.
You could trip and fall, or walk into something without even realizing it.
Plus, it’s hard to truly enjoy the scenery when you’re trying to take a photo of it.
Wait until you’ve stopped hiking before you start taking photos.
16. Don’t Start Off Too Fast
Hiking is a physical activity, and like all physical activities, it’s important to warm up before you start.
Don’t start off your hike by going too fast.
Take the first few minutes to slowly get your heart rate up and loosen your muscles.
This will help you avoid injury and make your hike more enjoyable.
17. Avoid hiking alone if you can
It’s always best to hike with a partner, especially if you’re hiking in an unfamiliar area.
If you must hike alone, be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
This way, if something happens to you, someone will know where to look for you.
18. Don’t Overpack
One of the worst things you can do while hiking is to overpack.
You’ll be carrying everything on your back, so you don’t want to bring more than you need.
Pack light, and only bring the essentials.
You’ll thank yourself later when you’re not lugging around a heavy backpack!
19. Don’t Skip Buying Quality Hiking Shoes & Socks
One of the most important things you can do to have a good hike is to buy quality hiking shoes and socks.
Don’t skimp on these items just to save a few dollars.
Invest in a good pair of shoes that will support your feet and keep them comfortable.
The same goes for socks!
Make sure they are made of a breathable material that will wick away sweat.
I personally alternate between this and this as my hiking shoes. And for socks I use these.
20. Not Setting a Turnback Time
This is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe while hiking.
Before you start your hike, be sure to set a turnback time.
This is the time at which you will turn around and head back, no matter how far you’ve gone.
This ensures that you’ll have enough time to get back before it gets dark.
It’s also a good idea to set a turnback time in case you run into any unforeseen obstacles on the trail.
21. Neglecting to Check The Weather
Checking the weather before you go hiking is crucial.
You don’t want to be caught in a storm while you’re on the trail.
Be sure to check the forecast for both the day you plan to hike and the days leading up to it.
This way, you can be prepared for any changes in the weather.
22. Getting Separated from Your Group
If you’re hiking with a group, be sure to stay together.
It’s easy to get separated, especially if someone goes ahead or falls behind.
But it’s important to stick together for safety reasons.
If you do get separated, be sure to stop and wait for the rest of the group.
23. Not Using Sunscreen
It’s important to use sunscreen, even if it’s not sunny out.
The sun’s UV rays can be harmful, even on cloudy days.
Be sure to apply sunscreen before you start hiking, and reapply it every few hours.
I like to use this sunscreen because it’s meant for sensitive skin.
24. Hiking in Wet Socks
This is a surefire way to get blisters.
If your socks get wet, be sure to change them as soon as possible.
Wet socks can also lead to foot infections, so it’s best to avoid hiking in them if you can.
If you do have to hike in wet socks , be sure to change them as soon as you can and dry them out when you get home.
25. Try Not To Pick any flowers or other foliage. Minimize environmental impact.
Not only is it against the law in some places to pick wildflowers, but it also harms the environment.
Picking flowers can damage the plant, and taking them home removes them from their natural habitat.
If you want to enjoy the flowers on the trail, take a picture instead of picking them.
And be sure to stay on the trail to minimize your impact on the environment.
Hiking can be a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
But it’s important to be safe while you’re hiking. Avoid these 25 things, and you’ll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable hike!
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Hey, I am the founder of Outside Origin! I love hiking in my spare time and have gone to various different hikes. You can check out our about us section to learn more about what our team and I do over at Outside Origin.