10 Hiking Tips for 2016

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Our Tips For Hiking

We’re celebrating the 2016 Hiking Season with the Merrell Moab, the number one hiking boot!

We want to get you outside and into nature, so today we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks for those getting out for the first time (and even some for the seasoned hiker!).

  1. Protect Yourself from the Sun!

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    This especially goes out to those of us that aren’t used to spending long hours outdoors. Save your skin with 30+ SPF sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses! Protect your eyes from the sun and take it all the sights with a pair that blocks 100% of UV Rays.

  2. Be Prepared!

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    There’s a reason for the scout motto. You want to be prepared for the worst case scenario so that you don’t end up in serious danger.

  3. K.I.S.S.

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    It’s easy to get caught up in all the hyped up tech and gear out there, but it’s really best to keep it simple. If it’s your first hike, you probably won’t need a high-altitude expedition tent or $600 waterproof binoculars. You’ll have a lot more fun and a lighter pack if you take only what you need.

  4. Invest in a Headlamp

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    This is a classic piece of gear that you’ll truly appreciate if your hiking adventure involves dark places or later hours.  Headlamps are hands-free and often have long-lasting batteries. Plus, a headlamp strapped to a gallon jug of water makes an instant tent lantern!

  5. Pack an Essential First Aid Kit

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    A large clunky first aid kit isn’t helpful if you can’t take it with you. Make a small kit with just the essentials for your hike.  You can buy a pre-made kit or pack your own. Don’t forget personal medications, pain, itch, or allergy relief, and santizing agents.

  6. Don’t Ditch The Map or Compass

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    Just because you bought a fancy GPS or have GPS in your smartphone does not mean that you can toss the Map and Compass. Remember your last road trip when your GPS thought you were in the middle of the ocean? Plus, GPS takes up a lot of battery and you don’t want to wind up stranded.

  7. Be Aware (and Beware!) of Wildlife

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    If you’re going hiking in a less-populated area, be sure to speak with a local wilderness expert or an authority about the wildlife in the area–or do a quick Google search(and be sure to fact-check!). You want to know how to avoid dangerous animals and what to do if you encounter one. It also helps to know your poisonous plants.

  8. Mind Your Manners!

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    You are likely to run into other humans on your hikes. Be pleasant and considerate, alert others of your presence with a friendly greeting–and know when to yield the trail. Need to brush up on your manners? We like this Hiking Trail Etiquette guide from HikingDude.

  9. Save the Phone for Emergencies.

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    Turn it off, and put it in your pack.  Not only will you be more alert to potential dangers, but you’ll also be able to spend a lot more time enjoying nature. Plus, it’s rude to be talking loudly on the phone or not paying attention when there are other hikers trying to enjoy the outdoors.

  10. Have fun!

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    It’s nice to get out of dodge and get some fresh air. If you forget something, don’t let it ruin your hike. Part of the fun of hiking is the challenge.

Want more tips? Follow us on Twitter (@TheShoeMart) and check out #TSMTips.

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