“The mountains are calling and I must go.” — John Muir
As soon as flowers start blooming, we can’t wait to get out on the trail!
We asked hiking guidebook author Don Scarmuzzi for some of his best hiking tips:
- Plan your hike beforehand. Know the difficulty, elevation, distance, and duration, and if there is a pass or parking fee required.
- A dry, warm hiker is a happy hiker! Bring some if not all of the following on your day hike: lots of layers (synthetic or not), backup rain gear, dry socks, and of course a comfortable pair of boots you can count on.
- Bring a friend and let someone know where you’ll be and how long. (Consider carrying a SPOT or Garmin with a tracker.)
- Carry lots of water and/or a purifier.
- Don’t forget the other essentials: sunscreen, food, flashlight or headlamp, fresh batteries, smartphone back up battery/charger, first aid kit with an emergency blanket, lighters, knife, insect repellent, and whistle.
- And don’t forget maps, a GPS if you have one, and a good guidebook, of course!
Photos and tips above by Don J. Scarmuzzi, author of:
- Telluride Trails: Hiking Passes, Loops, and Summits of Southwest Colorado
- Day Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge: Hiking Loops, High Points, and Waterfalls within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
- Day Hikes in the Pacific Northwest: 90 Favorite Trails, Loops, and Summit Scrambles within a Few Hours of Portland and Seattle