Hiking in your hometown is easy, but how often do you head to other states to explore new trails?
Many American states are known for their awe-inspiring trails and natural landscapes. Every year, hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts head to such states hoping to reconnect with nature in new ways. Alaska, Arkansas, and Hawaii are home to the nation’s most sought-after hiking spots, making them a popular destination among new and seasoned hikers alike.
If you’ve exhausted all hiking locations in your region, it might be time to go hiking in other states! Before you do, read this extensive guide and learn how to prepare for your trip efficiently. You’ll learn how to invest in the best hiking gear and pack properly when planning a hiking trip below.
Researching Local Trails
When camping in a new state, researching local trails is crucial. Despite how long you’ve been in this new state, you’ll likely not know much about its hiking destinations unless you do thorough research. So, start by following these smart research tips.
Look for Online Groups
There are hiker communities in nearly every state since hiking is among the nation’s favorite outdoor activities. You can look for these communities locally or search for them using social media platforms and online resources. Start by searching for hiking communities in your state on search engines like Google. You might come across links leading to Facebook groups or Instagram pages. Use these links to join community groups and engage with local hikers. Ask these hikers for trails they had good experiences hiking on. Make a list for later.
Ask Locals You Trust
Reaching out to locals you trust is a fool-proof way to discover trustworthy and safe trails. If you have any hiker friends, family members, or acquaintances in the state, ask them for recommendations. Try to discuss your new ventures with people who have camping experience in the specific regions you want to visit. Their firsthand knowledge and personal recommendations can be invaluable in finding off-the-beaten-path camping spots and must-visit destinations.
Connect with Authorities
Many hiking trails require permits. Connecting with local authorities, such as park rangers or visitor centers, can provide you with up-to-date information on camping regulations, permits, and safety precautions. They can also offer suggestions tailored to your preferences, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable camping experience.
Planning Your Trip
Once you have a concrete idea of the trails you want to hike, it’s time to start planning your trip. The following steps can help you follow a smooth schedule, create an itinerary, and use the right hiking gear.
Step 1: Make an Itinerary
An itinerary is necessary if you want your trip to go smoothly. Consider factors like the trip duration and accommodation timings when making your itinerary. Think clearly about the number of days you have available for hiking and the time you can allocate for travel, rest, and exploration. Give yourself one or two extra days in case of emergencies or delays during your trip. This way, you’ll have time to unwind when you return.
Step 2: Invest in Quality Hiking Gear
Finding, buying, and carrying the right hiking gear is arguably the most critical part of planning a hiking trip.
Hiking gear covers a wide range of products, tools, and equipment. You need to bring the right camping tents and sleeping bags on your trip if you plan on staying in the wilderness overnight. The best camping tents on Amazon come in various sizes, allowing you to share a tent with your hiking companions. If you don’t require a tent but still plan on napping during your hike, you can simply invest in a durable sleeping bag, sleeping pad, or adult sleeping cot.
Reading online hiking reviews by experienced hikers can help you discover the best hiking boots for men and women. Choose the right material when looking for hiking clothes, and make sure all your hiking gear is waterproof.
Step 3: Arrange Accommodations
How will you get to the trail? If you’re not already in the state, when will your flight take off? How will you arrange meals during your hike? These questions are essential to answer when planning a hiking trip in a new state.
Take time to arrange the necessary accommodations. Make transportation arrangements if needed, and gather camping gear if you plan on staying on the trail throughout your hike. Arrange quality camping iron cookware and/or a portable kitchen setup for outdoor cooking. Consider and arrange toilet accommodations, too.
Step 4: Focus on Safety Guidelines
Government and local trail authorities might have established safety guidelines for particular trails in the region. Be sure to research and study these guidelines before setting off on your trip.
On a personal level, you can take certain measures and precautions to stay safe during your hike. Use tools like a rechargeable headlamp for better navigation through the woods in the dark. Always carry a topographical map or handheld GPS device to navigate the dense wilderness. If you plan on camping in a windy area during your hike, consider carrying a portable ceiling fan for hurricane emergencies.
Step 5: Prepare to Leave Home
Once you’ve arranged and properly packed all your hiking gear, it’s time to set off on your journey. Make arrangements at home depending on how long you’ll be gone if needed. Inform close friends or family members of your plans for safety purposes. Make accommodations for your pets unless you’re taking them with you. And lastly, prepare mentally for the endurance and perseverance you’ll have to exhibit on your trip.
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