Hiking, while an enjoyable and exhilarating hobby to thrust you into, can be very dangerous if the proper preparations aren’t in place before you go out. You need to be aware of every single part of the process, from the exact gear you need, the weather report of the given day you’ll be going out, the elevation of where you’re climbing, your overall health, and so on. To be as safe as possible, no one should go hiking without a lot of planning beforehand. Continue for a basic rundown of an essential hiking tips you need to consider.

First of all, you need to take your health into account. If you have issues with your heart, bad joints, or conditions like diabetes, you need to make sure you’re not going to over exert yourself or be out in the heat for too long. Strenuous activities like hiking can greatly exacerbate any health issues. As long as you study the weather conditions as well as what sort of terrain you can expect and how long it might take you to get to the top, you can plan around your personal limitations and bring whatever relevant supplies you need.

Of course, hiking is significantly easier if you have a lighter load. Make sure to only bring an essential items, some consider trekking poles that. Your must have items will be water, a light weight flashlight with some extra batteries and bulbs, a signaling mirror and compass, and a first aid kit. You also need to dress comfortably in sturdy boots that are already broken in.

Finally, make sure not to push yourself too hard. If you’re able to talk while you’re walking, that’s the perfect pace. If you’re notably having a hard time breathing, your body is fighting for oxygen, so slow the pace down and just try to enjoy yourself.