Planning Your Next Trip – A Guide to Hiking in the Era of COVID-19
By Oscar Davis
As the world has come to a standstill, there are two things you can do.
You can either mourn the temporary loss of your freedom of movement OR you can get to work planning the most spectacular adventure of all time.
With that being said, let’s plan your next hiking trip while taking into consideration the current state of the world.
Decide on a Trail
The first thing you need to do is decide on your trail. While you may not be able to drink in the trails of Spain just yet, there are plenty of local sites that you could hit up for a hike. In order to make a decision on your destination you need to consider a couple of things:
- Whether the trail is open for visitors yet—and if any restrictions are in place if it is!
- If your current level of fitness or abilities can handle the hike. We all got a little lazy during the lockdown.
- How long is the hike and how long will it take for you to complete it? This is especially important if the area in which the trail is located has any curfews in place.
Grab Your Gear
It’s important to make sure that you have the necessary gear on hand—or anywhere else on your body for that matter—before embarking on your hike. For starters, you need to be wearing proper hiking boots or shoes no matter how long or short the trail is.
Another thing many experienced hikers rely on are hiking poles like the ones shown above. Stability on a rough trail can make all the difference.
Secondly, and this should come as no surprise, you need to ensure that you have a face covering such as a face mask, neck gaiter or dust buff in case you cross paths with anyone else on your trip. There are some very innovative combination mask, neck gaiters and hats that can help with that, such as the hats pictured at left.
Moisture-Wicking is Key
Thirdly, make sure that you’re wearing moisture-wicking clothing that can withstand the demands of a hike such as those produced by hiking-friendly brands like Kryptek. You don’t want to spend your first post-quarantine hike being weighed down by improper gear.
Given the fact that stores in the area and toilet facilities may not be open, you really need to do your due diligence when it comes to packing for the excursion. It’s not enough to be kitted out in the latest gear, you also need to make sure that your daypack contains the (new) normal essentials.
Other than the essential hiking equipment that you should always have in your daypack, here’s what to pack:
- Hand sanitizer (With a 60-65% alcohol content or higher)
- Drinking water
- Appropriate snacks such as trail mix
- Navigation tools
- A multitool
- First-aid supplies
See, a little planning goes a long way, and as long as you plan ahead you’ll be able to enjoy a hike—pandemic or not. Be sure to keep the guidelines we shared with you today at the front of mind and you’ll make new memories that could make up for the past few months’ limitations.
Oscar Davis is an avid hiker and a freelance writer living in London.