Table of Contents

Planning Your Hiking Trip Before You Hit The Trail

Planning Your Hiking Trip: No doubt you’ll be excited about your hiking and adventures and desperate to get out there on the trail. You might want to grab a water bottle, jump in the car and drive to a hiking trail, but you must plan. Planning your hiking trip is critical; this is especially true for those new to hiking or planning your first solo adventure. Experienced hikers often do everything in this guide on autopilot.

Tell Friends And Family Where You Are Going

Let people know where you’re hiking and when you’ll be back. Do this regardless of if it’s a day hike, a multi-day hike, or a multi-day hike. On a backpacking trek, plan where you’ll be camping each night or at least have two options written down. Also, mark the section of trail you’ll be hiking each day. Just in case you need locating for emergency evacuation. Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone back home who expects you back or expects you to check-in at a specific time.

Study Your Hiking Trail Map

Plan which route you’ll be taking and also check beforehand that the route section is not closed. Look for possible emergency exit points and a place to stock up on food and water. Identify multiple water spots because dry spells can happen.

Planning Your Hiking Trip

Estimate Your Time Based On A Realistic Pace

Predetermine where you should or want to be at specific points of the day using your map. Factor in your walking speed based on your fitness level and any weather changes.

If you are hiking as a group, base it on the slowest member. Remember that for every 1000 feet of elevation you gain, add about an extra hour of hiking time. Remember you’re are only as fast as the slowest person in the group. Encourage each other and help other hikers if they need it.

Make Notes & Mark The Trail Route Map

Highlight the route you will be taking and mark any crucial locations. These can include communities, towns, campsites where you can sleep and rest water sources, and major road intersections.

Weather Forecasts & Pack Accordingly

Keep in mind that the weather can be very different at the top of a mountain compared to the bottom. You could start the day in a T-Shirt and Shorts, yet end it in a waterproof jacket and pants. Will you need the snow gaiters, waterproof jackets, trekking poles or a insulated jacket. Follow our guide when planning your hiking trip and your outdoor adventure will be even more enjoyable.