The Things You Should Know When Hiking Along Forested Trails…

The forest is a place full of the unknown, both in terms of animal life and terrain. But that’s also the reason why a hike through the forest is one interesting activity that no backpacking enthusiast should miss. And having a guide is your safest and best bet!

So are you wondering where you can find this elusive guide?? Any search on the net would reveal a host of info and guides for rainforests. But not all forests are rainforests! So here’s a guide for everything you need to know!

Some Facts to Know

  • Forest hikes can be prolonged for a few days, or can even be concluded in a day!
  • You need to be well aware of directions and not get lost!
  • Don’t expect it to be well lit at all times, so be prepared with lights and torches…
  • You will be exposed to the elements, so protection is a primary concern.
  • Never go hiking without a basic first-aid kit, and this applies even to forest trails!
  • Just because you are in the forest does not mean you will get food! So be prepared with food.
  • Same holds true for water. You do not want to get dehydrated.
  • Another important thing is shelter. If it is not a day hike carry supplies to set up camp.

 And now for an essentials packing list

You will be carrying all your supplies, so make sure you stick to the basics and no unnecessary stuff!

  • A map is essential.
  • Also a compass
  • Carry batteries and flashlight.
  • Clothing that will adequately cover your body. This is essential to avoid damage because of the sun.
  • Adequate food.
  • A lightweight stove for cooking
  • A pocket knife
  • First aid kit
  • Water proof boots
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Insect repellant
  • Lip balm
  • Hat and gloves for more cover
  • Bottles of water
  • Tent and other equipment for setting up tent and camp
  • A whistle for communication
  • Matches or any other fire-starter
  • Tarps or reflective blankets
  • At least 2 pairs of socks

All these things will ensure that you have an enjoyable and safe hike!

And finally, Safety First!

It goes without saying that you must do your homework first – find out as much as you can about the region and the intended campsite.  And this includes staying up to date about the weather conditions.
Depending on the weather conditions, you may need to pack some extra gear.

Other than that, here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • When setting up camp, pick places where people have already camped earlier.
  • Also make sure there are no leaning trees near your camp. They may fall and catch you unawares.
  • You do not want to fall sick, so never use any surface water before treating it.
  • Always make sure you sign in the trail registries. This ensures that you are accounted for, and will get help if you need it.
  • Follow all the rules and regulations.
  • Do not get too near any wild animals.
  • Don’t touch any young animals, even if they seem to look abandoned.
  • Make sure you stay warm, keep covered and avoid strong winds. Hypothermia is a serious risk when back packing in cold climates, especially in forests. Also avoid getting wet and make sure you eat and stay hydrated. And of course, look out for the typical signs of hypothermia to arrest it before it gets out of hand. Here’s a guide to the symptoms from the United States Department of Agriculture:

“uncontrollable shivering; vague, slurred speech; memory lapses; incoherence, or irrational behavior; fumbling hands; frequent stumbling; drowsiness or exhaustion; hallucinations; blueness of skin; dilation of pupils; weak or irregular pulse; unconsciousness”
  • In case of any problems or illness, take immediate action, and call the forest authorities for help.

All this information is bound to make your forest hike an enjoyable and safe experience. So keep it in mind and prepare to have fun!

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