“The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot” -Werner Herzog.
Hiking is one of the best avenues for getting that much-needed exercise while getting your dose of magnificent views of nature.
In fact, there is a boatload of research online that supports all the good things people say about hiking. As a physical activity, it is practically inexpensive, considering you only need a good pair of hiking shoes to get going. It is one of the low-maintenance types of physical exercises out there that carries a myriad of health benefits.
All that considered, hiking is, indeed, one of the best forms of physical exercise. However, before jumping right into the activity, it is imperative to prepare adequately. So, what does it mean to be ready for a hike?
One such way to make sure that your hike is enjoyable and goes without a hitch is to plan ahead. That said, this would mean that you need to make smart and practical choices when you are on the trail and rely on yourself. Beyond that, taking note of safety precautions prior to a hike is paramount. So, before you start your search for the best hiking trails near Manila, it is highly recommended and advised that you read the tips below for things you need to do before a hike:
1.) Find Hiking Buddies
While you may opt to hike alone, hiking in a group is better in general—especially if you are just starting out. Not only is it more fun, but you are relatively safer hiking in a group than you would be alone. Hiking with a group of friends allows you to help and assist each other should someone get hurt. More importantly, the chances of encountering wild animals are minimal as wildlife tends to stay away from groups. Ideally, you should hike in a group of four as in this way when someone gets hurt; one can stay with them while the other two look for help.
Keep in mind that hiking is not an activity where the “the more, the merrier” sentiment rings true. The more people you have in your group, the likely you will keep together on the trail. Also, large groups can be loud and disruptive to other hiking groups. That said, the ideal maximum number of people you can have in a hiking group is 10 to 12.
2.) Research Trail Options
Be sure to do some research before you pick a trail to hike. Doing research goes beyond just picking out nearby hiking trails in Manila or elsewhere. It also means researching the hiking trail’s level of difficulty. Before deciding on a hiking trail, make sure that it is a hike that is within the abilities of you and your group. If you are just starting out, it is recommended that you pick more accessible trails prior to working up to the advanced ones.
3.) Get the Weather Forecast
Plan the day of your hike and find out what the weather conditions would be like on that day. Find out whether if it is going to rain on that day and pack accordingly. However, if you are planning a hike in the mountains, the weather in the city may not be the same. More importantly, the weather may change when you gain altitude as you climb. That said, always be sure to get weather predictions prior to a hike—most especially if you are planning on high elevation hikes.
4.) Make Sure You Have Enough Time
Always have an approximate time of when you are going to finish your hike. Keep in mind that accidents are likely to happen when you are rushing or trying to finish a hike at night. As much as possible, make sure to complete your hike before sunset.
All that considered, research how long it would take for people to hike the particular trail you have chosen and add a bit more time as an allowance. Also, you need to account for the time it would take for you to drive there to your jump-off point. Check everything beforehand, including what time that sun would set, as you would not want to be caught after dark.
5.) Read up on Local Regulations
While most hike trails have a “leave no trace” policy in place, it is essential to consider what other rules and regulations your chosen hiking trail has enforced and keep those in mind. This is to ensure that everyone will have a positive experience. That said, check the website or social media page of the hiking trail if there is one and find out whether you need a pass or permit to enter. Also, this is an excellent time for you to inquire about the hiking trail guidelines. Find out if there are any areas closed off to the public or if companion dogs or campfires are allowed.
6.) Dress for the Conditions
Beyond having the right shoes for a hike, it is also imperative to have the correct type of clothes for the weather condition. Generally, it is recommended to wear moisture-wicking and quick-drying clothing when hiking. You can choose nylon, polyester, or merino wool clothing and avoid cotton at all costs as it absorbs moisture. Also, it is a good idea to dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing as the temperature changes.
Even if you have checked the weather forecast prior to a hike, keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable. That said, it is advised to always come prepared and have an extra warm layer and a rain jacket in your bag just in case.
7.) Avoid Getting Lost
Stay on the hiking trail by bringing with you a trail map and a copy of the trail description. If you are relying on electronic copies on your phone, be sure to have a USB power bank to serve as backup power. It is also recommended to have a GPS app for your hike—just to ensure that you can easily find your way should you stray off the trail.
As intrepid adventurers, it is your responsibility to adequately prepare for your next excursion–whether that may be hiking on a trail or camping out in the woods. If you have been researching for day hiking options, you may want to consider the Mt. Batolusong trail. If you do decide to go on this trek, keep the tips above in mind for a safe, enjoyable, and memorable hike.