Getting out for a walk in nature can be so beneficial. It eases the mind and body of stress and can be a great way to spend quality time on your own or with family and friends. Plus, you get to observe wildlife and explore wild spaces along the journey. Below are some tips and tricks for hiking, as well as links to hiking trail locations in Kawartha Lakes, Muskoka and Haliburton Highlands.
WHAT TO PACK – Packing for a short hike does not require too much, here are a few essential items if you plan on hiking all day:
Navigation Tools: Make sure to bring a map, compass or GPS for your hiking trip.
Adequate Water: Hydrate before the hiking trip and sip water throughout the day.
Adequate Food: Bring along extra snacks so you and your hiking companions can enjoy the whole hike.
Clothing and Rain Protection: Pack a lightweight rain jacket or dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes easily.
Safety Items: If you are hiking an easy, well-maintained trail that sees a lot of foot traffic, you may not be worried about safety. No matter what you anticipate, you will want to include a firestarter, a flashlight and a whistle, so you are prepared for any situation.
First-Aid Kit: Build a first-aid kit, which might include blister treatment, bandages, tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads and any medications that you or your companions may need.
Multi-Purpose Tool or Knife
Sun Protection: Bring along sunscreen and sunglasses. If possible, aim to hike on shaded trails between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun shines strong, and use mornings for open-area hikes. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more if you’re sweating a lot.
Backpack: Choose a pack that feels comfortable for you and that won’t put excess strain on your back and shoulders.
Trash Bag: Pack a trash bag to keep the trails you trek beautiful, clean and free of garbage. A zippered plastic bag is perfect for containing wrappers and other trash until you get back. Be sure to help younger hikers dispose of their trash properly.
Bug Spray: Ticks, bees, spiders and mosquitoes are some of the insects. In buggy areas, you can use DEET insect repellent. Be sure to reapply frequently.
Toiletries: If you plan to hike far away from public restrooms, prepare for bathroom breaks by bringing toilet paper, hand sanitizer, waste bags and any other necessities.
HIKING CLOTHING TIPS
Dress in layers (tuck shirt into pants to avoid ticks or other bugs getting onto skin)
Bring a hat
Wear tall socks for extra protection (tuck pant legs into socks)
Avoid cotton because it holds moisture
Opt for light-colored clothing, which helps you see ticks and other bugs more easily