Is it really necessary to plan out all your hikes? The short answer is yes, but let me explain. Most hike planning lacks structure so it will take you way longer than needed.
The steps for hike planning :
- Hiking goals.
- General destination.
- Packing for a hike.
- Last minute adaptions.
Don’t forget in the long run you will get better and faster, so make it a routine and it won’t be a long process at all.
1. Set a Goal.
You should start by analyzing what your main hiking goal is, it makes your hike planning a lot easier. For example: Are you training for longer hikes? Or maybe discovering a new terrain? Or is it just for a nice Sunday walk? Each of these walks has a different timeframe and thus another way to plan. Having a global distance for yourself will also help a lot.
One thing you should keep in mind when making “the plan” is how many members are going with you. And are they all equally strong hikers? As the saying goes: You are as strong as the weakest (slowest) link. It is not a competition, make it a fun & nice experience for everybody.
Next step is picking the Destination.
When you have picked the general destination you can start planning, a short description:
- Use a map or an App.
- Plan your hiking route. (we use
- Check if the terrain is viable for the hike you want.
- How is
the wildlife? (do you need protection, bear spray)
- Do you need a permit?
- Is there any fire regulation? (when you want a warm meal in your breaks)
All these things can be easily found by doing a quick Google search
Quick tip: If you are hiking in a new location, you should inform somebody where you are going. Tbh it’s generally a good idea to tell someone, even in places you have been before. Better to be safe than sorry.
3. Pack your Backpack.
After all the general points it’s time to pack
For most day hikes a small 25/35l backpack should be enough.
We will release a day-pack checklist soon (February 2019), we will send all our subscribers a copy as soon as we release it.
Weather: Cold / Warm / Wet.
Look at the weather report for the day you are hiking and adjust your clothing, and bring warm layers for the coldest moments of the day.
General rule: always pack for the worst. When it comes to clothing the weather report will dictate most of it.
Nutrition: Always Hungry.
Food prep is really important because: walking makes you hungry :). When you hike you will burn a lot more calories than normal. So it is understandable that you are more hungry than normal. That’s why it’s smart to bring dense high-calorie food with you. Something that doesn’t weigh much but does pack a punch (chocolate /nuts). Food prepping beforehand is a perfect solution, make sure you include it in your next hike
General rule: A couple of examples: 72kg-430/440 calories per hour. 90kg – 550 calories per hour
On longer hikes, a water purifier is not a bad idea. Just to prevent you from being a mule carrying all that water.
The general rule is:
Adults: 1L for every hour / Children: 0.5-1L every hour
A couple of Tips:
- Bring a whistle. (in case of emergencies)
- Go double and bring a map and phone. (just in case)
- Download the map on your phone so no cell service will not make a difference.
- Bring extra batteries for your phone (external battery).
4. Last minute adaptions.
Just before you leave check the weather report for the last time, it won’t be the first time that there are changes in the forecast. It’s best to be as prepared as you can be. It will always be an adventure but it is better to be prepared for it.
Hike Planning will change everytime you start over, because the weather & location dictates what to do and what to wear. Just be prepared for the worst and you will never be surprised.
And I want to leave you with this quote:
An hour of Hike Planning can save you 10 hours of doing!
Read On: Hiking Blogs
Let us know if this helped you in any way or if you have additional tips.
Veteran turned Entrepreneur| Love what I do and found a way to make work fun again.
Working on converting my 14.5years of military experience Into making an impact in the Hiking&backpacking community. Still a long road ahead, but willing to