A Little Time and a Keyboard: 10 Things Not To Do When You Hike

10 Things Not To Do When You Hike

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What not to do when hiking

When you are out hiking this season, here are some things not to forget:

  • Don't forget to bring water and high protein snacks. Sometimes, we end up wandering longer than planned. Food and water are easily forgotten but you can be in real trouble if you become dehydrated or hungry on the trail.
  • Don't be loud -- it scares off the wildlife. Be mindful, you are visiting their home. Plus, too much noise will ensure you do not see them.
  • Don't disturb or remove anything from the preserve. The beauty of our preserves rely on the ecosystem restoring itself. Additionally, wandering off trails to collect nature samples damages the ecosystem. I always say to walk softly. 
  • Don't leave garbage. Try to use reusable containers and bring along a bag to contain garbage to be deposited appropriately when you leave.
  • Don't forget to take precautions for ticks and other insects. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County has some fabulous recommendations: http://fpdcc.com/conservation/people-and-wildlife/ticks-disease/
  • Don't forget binoculars. You will be amazed by how much more you will see using binoculars!
  • Don't wear inappropriate shoes. I have seen people hiking in heels -- no joke! Hiking shoes are preferred but sneakers work as well depending on hiking location. 
  • Don't forget sunscreen and/or a hat. You may forget how much sun you are exposed to even under the trees!
  • Don't forget a watch or other time telling piece. It is easily to lose track of time and you don't want to be stuck out on a trail.
  • Don't miss checking out the various trails and get your bearings before heading out.

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