Quick Hiking Tips

By Brianna Cunningham

Hello! My name is Brianna (she/her) and I absolutely love the outdoors. I’ve been hiking and camping since grade school but only recently started calling myself a “hiker”. Each year I challenge myself to hike as many new trails as I can; some of my favorite California hikes are Big Pine Lakes, Bridge to Nowhere, and Muir Woods. Before any new adventure, I do my research on both trail conditions and road conditions leading to the trailhead. Over the years I’ve researched as much as I can to educate myself on the outdoor world. I’ve read online outdoor blogs, Instagram posts, AllTrails reviews, watched YouTube videos, and chatted with other explorers both online and in person. Not only is my adventure bucket list never-ending, but I also feel like I learn a new outdoor tip each week and I absolutely love it. 

For any new hikers out there, below is a list of quick tips for your next day adventure:

  1. Navigation: AllTrails is my main go-to for navigating a new trail. This app tracks you during your hike and will notify you if you are off-trail/lost
  2. First aid: Amazon as first aid kits filled with everything needed, these packs are small enough to fit in your daypack (and car). I would suggest adding a knife, a headlamp, sunscreen, and bug repellent.
  3. Extra food: So many snacks in every pocket of my day back. I tend to pack very random snacks from apples to sour patches, to pickles. I never know what I’m going to want so I like to keep my pack FULL with everything for me and my friends.
  4. Extra water: No matter how short the hike may be, a minimum of 2 liters of water is a must for me. If I end up hiking more than planned or need to share water with someone else I know I have enough without panicking. 
  5. Extra clothes: Extra socks are extremely important for water crossing hikes to prevent blisters. An extra shirt/pants are nice for those bush-covered trails that may rip/tear clothes. 
  6. Communication: If you’re a solo hiker, please let someone know what trail you’ll be on, along with your start time and approximate end time. When on the trail, I suggest talking to others about trail conditions to make sure you don’t run into any unsafe areas or surprises.

Overall, know your body and research trails before you go out and explore.