Know the route
Many of the popular trails have clearly defined pathways (some even maps at the start and throughout the course), but when it comes to unfamiliar terrains, best you do some research beforehand. Losing your way can ruin your experience.
People get lost and unfortunately, accidents do happen. Put your safety first and let a relative or friend who isn’t joining you know your whereabouts and itinerary.
First aid kit
Again, prepare for the worst.
Thigh chafing and blisters are no fun. Neither is getting too cold or getting too hot. Find out the weather forecast and wear your most versatile clothes. Shoes are also VERY important – make sure you have the correct pair.
Protect your skin
We can’t stress the importance of applying sunscreen regularly. Cloudy or not, use a moisturising variant at all times. Not only does it protect you from harsh and damaging rays, but it also helps to keep you cooler.
Before sunrise, preferably. Morning hikes RULE!
Leave your GHD, make-up bag and other pointless goodies at home. The less you have with you, the less strain you will take lugging it up hills.
Maintain a steady pace.
Don’t go all-out in the beginning and tire yourself out before you’ve even hit a quarter of the distance. Instead, adopt a comfortable speed with interspersed bouts of rest.
Energy-rich foods such as nuts, raisins, sweets, simple sarmies are ideal.
This is probably the most crucial point. Your water intake is so vital while hiking that we’ll go as far as saying that your supply of it should, in fact, make up the bulk of your luggage.