• Posted on 2023-03-26
  • Lifestyle
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  • Written by sonofadam

HOW TO DEVELOP A HIKE PLAN FOR YOUR NEXT OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

It's no longer news that Hiking has gradually become a popular outdoor activity in Nigeria, with many scenic routes and beautiful landscapes to explore.

Most of these hiking routes or trails are situated in local communities which have a more natural environment and less built up space unlike the city centres.

Hiking in local Nigerian communities also gives you the opportunity to interact with locals and learn about some amazing cultures which is one of the things Nigeria has in abundance apart from mineral resources.

As a hike lover and trail guide myself, i recommend you go on a hike at least once every month. I will attempt to identify and discuss the very many benefits of hiking to our physical, emotional and even spiritual well being in another article but the internet is not short of that information so you can do a little research on your own in the mean time while we discuss the importance of having a plan when you want to go hiking.

Hiking is a great way to stay active and enjoy nature however it is always important to prioritize safety and have a plan in place before embarking on a hike. Your hike plan is simply a precise identification of where you want to hike, what you want to do on a hike and how you intend to achieve it and this basically helps you decide the route to take.

A hike plan states your starting point, rest points, and end point.

A hike plan is actually a determinant of safety practices on the hiking trail. For example the distance of the trail to a medical facility determines the type of first aid supplies to take with you.

Now let's look at the 3 major components of the hike plan.

Starting Point

Before beginning a hike, it's important to take some time to Research the trail you will be hiking, including the distance, terrain, and potential hazards.

Looking up google map reviews of other hikers about the location can also be very helpful.

Most times there are at least 2 hiking trails to explore a location so this helps you decide which is best for you. For example Karu Waterfalls in Abuja which was toured by Happy Trails Network in 2019 and took a total of 1 hour to get to the waterfalls can also be hiked in less than 15 minutes depending on the trail and hike plan.

As one of the organizers of that particular hike, I remember that the decision to make the hike ETA longer was taken as to allow hikers explore the community hills, get an aerial view of the vast farmlands and also do a little rigorous climbing before finally coming down hill to the waterfall. The waterfall was almost like a reward for the climb.

Unlike just taking a 15 minute walk to the waterfall which would still be fun but not as adventurous or as exciting.

When you arrive at the starting point, take note of your surroundings and any landmarks that can help guide you on your hike.

Let someone know where you will be hiking and when you plan to return, in case of emergency. It's also a good idea to check the weather forecast and avoid hiking in extreme heat or storms.

Rest Points

As you hike, it's important to take breaks and rest periodically. This can help prevent exhaustion and dehydration, and give you time to enjoy the scenery. When selecting a rest point, choose a safe and flat area away from any hazards such as cliffs or steep drops.

While resting, take the opportunity to assess your physical condition and check for any injuries or signs of fatigue. Drink plenty of water and replenish your energy with healthy snacks. Make sure to properly dispose of any waste and leave the rest point clean for other hikers.

Happy Trails Network Final Rest Point at Wuye Twin Hills Abuja

Depending on the total distance of your hiking trial and strength of hikers, you can have as many rest points as possible but it must be timed and properly utilized.

When hiking as a group also take a moment at the rest point to check on everyone.

End Point

When you reach the end point of your hike, take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment and reflect on your experience. If you're hiking with a group, make sure everyone has arrived safely before departing. Check your belongings to make sure nothing was lost or left behind.

Before leaving, make sure to properly dispose of any waste and leave the area clean. Take note of any potential hazards or concerns for future hikers. Finally, let someone know that you have completed your hike and that you have returned safely.

In conclusion, have it in mind that a hike is an experience. Imagine it as if you are traveling to an unknown destination therefore having a plan before embarking on a hike is crucial for staying safe and enjoying your experience.

Make sure to research your route, bring necessary equipment, and let someone know your plans. Take breaks at safe rest points and properly dispose of waste. Finally, celebrate your accomplishment and leave the area clean for future hikers. By following these safety practices, you can have a rewarding and enjoyable hiking experience.

 

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