top tips for women hikers
This came via email today-
From hygiene to safety, Katie Levy – skilled outdoors woman and Cairn (www.getcairn.com) Outdoor Ambassador – has smart recommendations for women who want to enjoy the outdoors for the day or the adventure of a lifetime.
Below are nine top tips for women hikers. [Actually this is great advice for hikers of any sex- JK]
Here are Katie’s top tips for women hikers:
1. Study Up. Whether you’re doing a day hike or something more ambitious, do your homework. Learn in advance about any permits you need, weather restrictions and general rules. Most public lands are managed by state or federal organizations with staffed offices you can call to ask questions of in advance.
2. Know What to Bring. Seeking help from someone experienced with the type of trip you’re taking goes a long way. At a minimum, know the essential emergency items you should have, test out layering systems, and break in a solid pair of hiking boots. You can also stay up to date on the latest outdoor products by subscribing to Cairn to receive an array of outdoor essential each month.
3. Know What Not to Bring. Be prepared, but don’t be bogged down by items that are usually unnecessary. This includes massive backpacks; too many clothes; multiples of gear and anything that can’t be replaced, like jewelry.
4. Stay Found. Review paper maps, understand area topography, and keep an eye out for landmarks. GPS tools are helpful but not always functional in remote areas. If you’re not hiking with a group, communicate your itinerary with someone in advance, and plan frequent check-ins if you can.
5. Stay Well. Consider a Wilderness First Aid course, which is specifically geared toward situations that could happen on a hike or camping trip including twisted ankles, windburn, hypothermia or spider bites.
6. Get Physically Prepared. Hiking for hours, especially with a pack, can be a serious challenge. Sustained cardio workouts, core strength training, weightlifting and training hikes can make a huge difference.
7. Stay Up to Date on Outdoor Gear. Research products and brands suited to your needs. For example, tall or petite hikers may gravitate towards certain brands. Subscribing to a monthly subscription service like Cairn can also help inspire you, and introduce you to new products.
8. Understand Your Options for Hygiene. Unless you’re headed on an adventure that comes with a full bathroom and running water, understanding how to manage doing your business in the backcountry with Leave No Trace principles is important. If it’s that time of the month, know you’ll need to pack out any sanitary napkins or tampons. They can be stored in an opaque Ziploc bag. Menstrual cups are also an option.
9. Trust Your Gut During Human Encounters. Most hikers I’ve come across have been friendly, but remember, if you meet someone on the trail who makes you feel uneasy, you’re not obligated to talk to them or spend time around them. Carry pepper spray if it helps you feel safer, and always have a whistle with you. The universal call for help is three blasts on the whistle.
And those are the top tips for women hikers from Katie Levy at get cairn.com!