9 Nature Hacks For Hiking Safety & Comfort
There is nothing more satisfying than an epic hike. Hitting the trail to explore nature in all it’s beauty is good for the mind, body and soul. While there are plenty of short, easy hikes you may want to up your challenge level to something more rigorous, or even an overnight or weekend hike.
When you are on a longer, more remote hike, it’s especially important to pack carefully and intelligently. You want to keep it light, but you also want to make sure you are covered. What you need are these 9 nature hacks to keep you safe and (relatively) comfortable when you hit the trail.
What Are The Biggest Threats When You Are Hiking?
Mountain lions and bears are often your first thought, but the reality is these encounters are few and far between. For most of us, the biggest issues are mosquitos, ticks, blisters and a sore back from poor packing! Here are a few hacks that can help you avoid or deal with these problems.
1. It’s All About The Duct Tape
Duct tape is essential when it comes to camping and hiking, and something every RV’r should have on hand. When all you are carrying is a backpack, an entire roll is overkill and takes too much room. You can roll some around your lighter or a water bottle instead.
2. Speaking Of Duct Tape…
Blisters got you down? There is a duct tape cure for that. Did you find a tick? Duct tape the little sucker and rip it off.
3. More Tick Tips
Soak a cotton ball in soap and apply to the tick for about 20 seconds. He should come right off. Consider saving the tick to have it tested for Lyme Disease.
4. Mini-Size Your Necessities
A full-size first-aid kit may be tempting, but it’s bulky and will weigh you down. Keep a mini-size kit of bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, etc. In a recycled pill bottle or Altoids tin.
5. More Mini-Sizes
Utilize more “upcycled” containers for things you will need to carry. Some examples include Tic-Tac containers to carry things like salt and pepper or other spices.
6. Keeping Mosquitos Away
If you have a campfire, consider burning sage. Sage is a natural repellent, and is easier to lug around than citronella candles.
7. Speaking Of Campfires
Starting fires isn’t always easy. A couple of kindling hacks include dipping cotton pads in wax and coating cotton balls with vaseline. You can also make kindling starters with empty toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint!
8. Carry A Whistle
It happens: You get separated from your group, or find yourself in some type of trouble. A hiking whistle can help attract attention, ward off threats and help your hiking buddies find you quickly.
9. Use A Walking Stick
Hey, not everyone thinks to use one. They come in handy for support, taking stress off your knees, but they can be used for other things as well like clearing spiderwebs and brush, testing the depth of puddles and streams, helping you balance and creating a shelter. You can purchase trekking poles, find a good stick on your travels or even create one out of a shovel pole.
Bonus Tip: When packing for a lengthy hike, pack smart! Choose a pack that fits your body well. Many a sore back is caused by ill-fitting backpacks. Streamline your packing as much as possible to avoid adding unnecessary weight. Pack intelligently, putting the most-used items within easy reach, and the rest at the bottom.
Hiking and trekking are awesome ways to explore the outdoors, bond with friends and family and get up close and personal with nature.