March 18, 2015

Spring Hiking Basics

spring trail.JPG
The official start of spring is almost here and hikers everywhere are anxious to break out their gear. Before you put on your hiking boots though, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when planning a spring hike.

  • Look for dry trails. Spring is a muddy season so you’ll want to avoid tearing up sloppy trails with the hard rubber soles of your boots. Trails at a lower elevation with southern exposure will be drier.
  • Waterproof your boots a few days before heading out on your hike. Usually the waterproofing product you choose will be oil-based for leather boots, and silicone-based for fabric based boots. Follow the product’s instructions for best results.
  • Clean your boots regularly during a hiking trip. At the end of the day, clean the debris from your boots by tipping them over and tapping them to remove loose dirt. A pocket knife can be used on the soles to gently pry away stuck mud.
  • Wear gaiters to keep water, dirt and pebbles out of your boots while hiking.
  • Use care when approaching a stream crossing, as melting snow causes higher than usual water levels.
  • Just like when hiking in the fall, you’ll want to dress in layers for a spring hike too. Weather conditions can change quickly during this time of year.
  • Bring a map and compass. There could be snow on the trail that could obscure landmarks.
  • Bring a small first aid kit.
  • Bugs start to return in the spring so don’t forget a good repellant.

When hiking during any season, it’s important to remember to keep hydrated and well-fed. Always bring enough water and a good supply of lightweight, high-calorie foods that are easy to prepare.

Also see:

How to Choose a Backpack

Winter Camping Tips

Backpacking Foods: What to Put in Your Pack




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