One of the best things about the Cleveland Hiking Club is the variety of ages and skill levels in the group. No matter what your experience level is, there’s always someone nearby to lend a helping hand. If you’re just starting out on the trails, though, it can be helpful to check out some tips beforehand. Here, then, are some of the most important considerations for any hikeit’s by no means complete, and you should always check with someone you trust if you have any questions.
- Always start out more slowly and build up speed. Just as in a cross-country race, you should try to never slow down on a hike. Start at a speed you can easily handle and increase it, so that as it gets later in the day you are covering more distance.
- If you are planning a true “day hike” where you’ll be out for a good portion of the day, make sure to start early. Even if this means starting in the dark, it’s better than having to finish in it.
- Let your slowest member set your group’s pace. While faster members may want to go on ahead, don’t let the group get separated too much. It’s better to take the time to enjoy the scenery than to have someone left behind.
- Develop an emergency plan. While no one wants to consider the worst-case scenarios, you should still makes sure everybody knows what to do in the case of an emergency. Take along a first aid kit, hand out whistles in case someone becomes lost, and discuss contingency plans with your group.
- Take a five to ten minute break every hour. Even if you don’t think you need it, this will keep everybody happy and ready to continue on. It also makes a great opportunity to bust out any snackstrail mix, granola, fruit, etc.that you’ve brought along.