How to prepare for a hike

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Hikers.

I once went for a hike on Mt. Longonot. It was a club trip for school, a club I didn’t belong to if I might add. The rangers at the gate offered to sell us sticks that would help us climb. We gave him the evil eye and left. I am not one of the fittest people so I remained behind when we were walking. To say that was the toughest leisure activity of all time would be an understatement. It took me 2 extra hours after everyone was at the top of the crater for me to finally get there. I took the time to jot down what would have made this a less painful experience.

Hikers. Image from http://www.care2.com/causes/why-are-african-americans-setting-out-on-healing-hikes.html
Hikers. Image from http://www.care2.com/causes/why-are-african-americans-setting-out-on-healing-hikes.html

1. Exercise

Climbing hills or mountains is not something that is in our normal daily activity schedule. This means that your muscles will strain from all the walking done. If you walk a lot or hit the gym regularly for at least three months your muscles will be better suited for the hike. Those who participated in various sports were running up the trail and were also burdened with helping the slow ones. I have never been a gym ever. I panted and held onto imaginary bushes, sat in the middle of the trail and many other embarrassing things.

2. Pray to the rain gods

Kneel down and pray that it does not rain on that day. Better yet choose a month that doesn’t rain. It gets very slippery and there is barely anything to shelter you. You can’t shelter yourself next to a sign that reads “Beware of buffaloes”. Also don’t choose a very hot day and if you think it might be hot be at the gate at 6am so that when noon hits you are already coming back down.

3. Carry cold water

You need to rehydrate as frequently as possible but make sure you do not take too much so as to avoid cramps. You can wash your face if you feel too hot, this seemed to help.

4. Pack Light

You may want to look like the tourists with back packs twice their size on their backs but that is a bad idea. You will be carrying yourself up the mountain and you do not need unnecessary baggage. Just carry your water, something sugary to munch on and a packet of wet tissues. Everything else can wait.

5. Wear comfortable shoes

Rubber shoes or sneakers are the best options. Avoid open shoes, plastic shoes and black rubber shoes. Black material tends to keep heat and you will feel like you are walking on hot charcoal which is not comfortable at all. Make sure your shoes have enough space in them such that they are not squeezing your feet too much. Also they should not be two sizes bigger as your feet will be rubbing into the shoes causing blisters.

6. Have some protective gear

I am talking about a hat, sunglasses and also sunscreen. If you fancy your hair white or brown by all means don’t carry a hat. The sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun which can make your visibility a little strenuous.
Follow the above rules and your hike will be more pleasant than mine was.

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Rachael is a writer, book reader, TV series fanatic, cat person and a sarcastic friend. She writes because she likes to tell stories and give her views on most things. She also runs her own blog at http://girlsansdoubts.com