Many people hike to relax, enjoy nature, and escape the stresses of daily life. But numerous things can go wrong when hiking, from getting lost to developing painful blisters to losing your keys. Having a few hiking hacks up your sleeve can help prepare you for the unexpected and make your hike more enjoyable in the face of adversity.
Being well prepared is essential when heading out into the wilderness. We’ve put together a list of 25 of the best hiking hacks to help you feel ready for whatever nature throws at you on your next hike. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or are new to hiking, you’ll find some helpful tips here. From stopping ticks with duct tape to starting a fire with corn chips, we’ve got you covered with helpful tips you’ll wish you knew about sooner.
We selected each of these hiking hacks because of their ability to solve some common hiking dilemmas. The hacks on our list fit into one or more of the following categories:
- Saving space and weight – On the trail, every ounce makes a difference. Saving space and reducing weight in your backpack is a skill all hikers must learn. Some of the hacks on our list reduce the amount you need to pack or offer creative ways to store your items.
- Improving emergency preparedness – Whenever you head outdoors, it’s essential to come prepared with supplies to deal with an emergency, such as getting caught in the dark or suffering an injury. Many of the following hacks will help you be more prepared for the unexpected.
- Adding convenience – Some problems hikers face are not a matter of safety, but rather of convenience. Anything you can do while hiking to make things simpler will help save you time and effort and make your journey more enjoyable.
- Increasing comfort – Boosting comfort on the trail can help you travel faster and farther. From preventing blisters to keeping you dry, we’ve included a variety of tips to make your hike more comfortable.
Click on the web story below to see our list of 25 hiking hacks every hiker should know.
Common Problems Hikers Face
Hacks are known to offer an inelegant, yet effective solution to a problem. But what are the most common issues hikers face?
- Getting lost – Whether it’s due to a poorly marked trail, a ruined map, or getting stranded after dark, losing their way is one of the most common problems hikers face. Knowing how to avoid it can turn a sticky situation into a mere bump in the road.
- Bad weather – Hikers may not be able to control the weather, but they can be prepared and informed. Proper rain gear, layering, and effective waterproofing strategies for your important items can go a long way in protecting you from the elements.
- Gear failure – Sooner or later, some of your gear is bound to fail on a hiking trip. Sometimes it’s a zipper malfunction, while others it could be a collapsing trekking pole or broken water filtration system. Buying high-quality gear is a good prevention strategy, but knowing some quick fixes and substitutes will help you make do in the event of gear failure.
- Blisters – Nearly every hiker must deal with blisters eventually. On shorter hikes, blisters are often a mild inconvenience, but they can become debilitating on longer treks. The best defense against blisters is choosing a quality pair of hiking socks like Silverlight socks, but knowing some hacks for treating the condition will help make your hike more enjoyable if you do develop hot spots.
- Dehydration – Remaining hydrated is a crucial component of staying safe on your hike. Dehydration can cause ailments ranging from mild to severe, including headaches, nausea, disorientation, and dizziness. It also makes hikers more susceptible to temperature-related conditions like heat stroke and hypothermia. Knowing how to ensure you pack enough water, drink enough throughout the day, and ration your supply will help you stay safe and hydrated on the trail.
Hiking Hacks and Safety
These hiking hacks are meant to make your life easier on your next hike, but they are not intended to replace basic hiking safety, trail etiquette, wilderness first aid, and wilderness survival skills.
Planning ahead, preparing for the challenges of hiking, and leaving no trace are all important aspects of outdoor activities that every hiker must learn. Take a look at some of our other blog posts to learn about building these skills and others. Doing so will help ensure that you are prepared for an emergency in the backcountry and that you have an amazing time on your next adventure.