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12 Hiking Tips To Help You Make It Home Again

Last Updated: September 9, 2021

Are you looking to go hiking any time soon?

That’s fantastic!

Hiking is a terrific way to get exercise, challenge yourself, and connect with the natural world. Knowing a few key facts might help you stay safe and maybe even save your life.

Although it may appear to be an easy escape, the outdoors has its own set of perils: weather, wild animals, poisonous plants, and so on.

So if you want to go camping but don’t know how to survive once you’re there, brush up on these 12 hiking survival ideas.

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Hiking Tips And Tricks

Hiking Tip #1: Choose The Right Trail For Your Fitness Level

hiking tips

Select a walk that is shorter than the distance you can normally travel on a flat or paved surface. To calculate the time it will take you to complete the trek, use a speed of around 2 miles per hour.

Then check the rises and tack on an hour to your estimated hiking time for each 1000 feet of ascent. After a few goes outside, you’ll know what distance and altitude changes work best for you.

Hiking Tip #2: Familiarize Yourself With The Trail

hiking tips

Once you’ve chosen a route, get a map of the region and study reports and data. There are several wonderful internet sites to visit. Is the path circular or will you have to retrace your steps?

Keep an eye out for any cross trails where you might inadvertently take a wrong turn.

Hiking Tip #3: Check The Weather

hiking tips

Check the weather before and after your adventure to see whether it’s suitable. This will provide you with important information on how to dress and pack correctly.

If you were planning a nice weekend of trekking, but then hear there’s a storm on the way, postpone your plans. Nature doesn’t mind if you get hurt or make it home during your holiday; she just wants to enjoy herself.

Remember that turning back isn’t a sign of defeat; it’s a reflection of your respect for nature.

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Hiking Tip #4: Tell People Where You’re Going

hiking tips

It’s critical that someone on the journey notifies those who aren’t going to attend about the route and when to be concerned and contact for assistance.

If you don’t return, someone will detect and a search party may be dispatched right away. It’s much easier if they know where you were going; there’s a lot of nature to see out there, and only one of us to find it.

If you’re worried about not having access to a phone, consider carrying an emergency gadget like the SPOT tracker, which lets you call for help through the satellite. Devices like the SPOT are not meant to be used as a substitute for personal responsibility – they are simply a back-up.

No one informed authorities about the trek, in which a hiker cut off his own arm to free himself from under a rock and another lost hiker in the same region. Isn’t this what you see?

Hiking Tip #5: Pack The 10 Essentials

hiking tips


The 10 essentials have evolved from a list of items to a list of systems.

Here are the items you should bring with you if you’re going camping for the first time. These are the systems to include in your pack if you want to be safe outdoors at night, as well as in other situations. n

On a short summer stroll close to facilities, a little emergency blanket should be adequate. A lengthy winter trek, on the other hand, will necessitate something more substantial.

Here are the 10 essential systems:

Ten Essential Systems

  • Navigation
  • Sun protection
  • Insulation
  • Illumination
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire
  • Repair kit and tools
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Emergency shelter

This list may appear intimidating for novices, but once you adapt it to your trip, it won’t be so bad. Many of these items are things you’d include in a picnic basket.

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Hiking Tip #6: Wear The Right Shoes And Socks

hiking tips

It’s possible to ruin a trip with painful feet. Hiking shoes and socks are a must. This doesn’t imply you have to wear heavy leather boots; there are plenty of “light hikers” on the market that require less break-in time than my old hiking boots.

Also, don’t be cheap on socks and, in particular…no cotton! Wool or synthetic socks are the way to go. Pack a blister dressing just in case.

Hiking Tip #7: If You Get Lost

hiking tips

When you realize neither you nor anybody else knows where you are, it’s easy to get scared. The most crucial thing to do, however, is to keep calm: A rescue team will have an easier time locating you if you act predictably.

Sit down. Decide whether to get food or water, make a shelter, or start a signal fire before proceeding.

Make it as simple as possible for anybody looking for you. Put on your brightest attire if you have any. Keep moving in open, high ground. Blow a whistle every few minutes or so to keep people informed of your progress.

Try to draw attention to yourself as well as announce your location to possible rescuers. Create a fire that will be visible and not cause a forest fire. Make a sign on the ground that can be seen from the air.

Instead of “Help,” use three heaps of anything (for example, three piles of leaves) in a triangle formation to indicate international distress; skip the old standby.

Hiking Tip #8: Navigating And Reading A Compass

hiking tips

LOST, or “losing one’s bearings,” is a frequent occurrence in survival scenarios. This condition is referred to as LOST.

Let’s assume you’re lost in the woods while hiking at your favorite national park, and because of some bad luck, you’ve lost your way and can’t see any trails.

So, what do you do after that? The best opportunity for survival is knowledge of how to navigate.

There are several simple methods for doing so, which will come in handy in a similar scenario.

Find The High Ground

 Finding a high point in the surrounding region, while not always useful or required, is generally the simplest approach to figure out where you need to go. Or at least where you should avoid going.

It’ll help you orient yourself in a far better way if you can get to the top of a nearby hill or even climb a little tree. When spoken aloud, it may appear obvious, but if you’re lost and frantic, looking for a view to assess your position is at least a good starting point.

Use The Sun

The sun appears to move from east to west across the sky, regardless of where you are on the planet Earth. It’s not a flawless system, but it’s considerably better than nothing.

The backbone, of course, is to find out what talent you have. However, there’s a simple method to make this simpler: put up a long pole and have it stand on its own. Then make an impression in the dirt where the end of the stick’s shadow falls.

Wait a few minutes and check the shadow’s position to see if it has moved in one of two directions: east or west.

Follow Water

Water is essential to human existence and civilization. If you can locate a river, follow the current. You’ll almost certainly encounter other people if you aren’t completely off the grid.

Even if you don’t immediately return, you’ll at least have a reliable source of drinkable liquid in the event that you become stranded. If you happen to bring a water bottle with you, fill it up before setting out.

Bring A Compass

We aren’t supposed to claim to be great navigators, but you don’t need to be an expert to use a compass or read.

Even the most basic knowledge of the equipment (one side of the needle always points north) might be beneficial in a survival scenario. Of course, if you have a map to refer to, reading a compass is still quite beneficial.

The most significant feature of a compass is that it may function in the event that other technology fails. This makes it more dependable.

Hiking Tip #9: Where To Find Water

hiking tips

If you enjoy being outdoors, you’re probably familiar with how quickly a bottle of water can go down. It might be the scorching heat of the sun beating down on you or your body perspiring profusely as a result of all the strenuous exercises it has completed.

What if you run out of water in the middle of nowhere? You may come across a body of water, but it’s doubtful whether it’s clean unless you’re a hardcore survivalist.

Make sure any water you discover is purged of pollutants: using tablets, a filter, or boiling it.

What To Look For

Gravity, Greenery, & Ground

Remember that the water’s direction is always going to be down hill when you’re in hilly terrain. In the gaps where mountains meet, look for streams and rivulets.

Water flow isn’t always visible. Even if you can’t see it, the water is there. Take a moment to try and listen for the sound of cascading water – simply follow the noise. Look for indicators of life if you can’t see or hear the life-giving liquid.

Animals and insects seek out locations with clean water. Insects, in particular, are attracted to moist soil. Sometimes, adding water to damp dirt may reveal subsurface water. Keep in mind that groundwater should only be used as a last resort since it might be extremely dirty and contaminated with germs and parasites.

Always Beware of This

Beware Of Stagnant H20

​Bacteria and parasites can survive in standing water for weeks or even months. Keep your dog away from any puddles that have been formed after a storm, as they are likely chalk full of every sort of pestilence.

It’s also true for streams, where water may be collected. When looking for drinkable water, your best bet is generally to go to locations with a strong flow; all of the things that will almost certainly make you sick propagates wherever water doesn’t move.

Mosquitoes are capable of spreading diseases such as chikungunya and Zika, which can be fatal. Both malaria and dengue fever – two very serious illnesses – are among the risks of standing water, as is anything else a mosquito might be transporting because the bloodsucking insects develop in stagnant pools. If you have a choice,

What You Should Do

Boil It If You Can

Even if you discover a stream that appears to be clear and clean, you should purify it.

Yes, it will take longer and you may become dehydrated, but getting a parasite or an infection that might lead to a much worse scenario is definitely preferable.

If you have the ability to build a fire and a vessel in which you can place water, bringing that water to a boil is usually the most secure and dependable method of eliminating any disease-causing pollutants.

If nothing else, you may bring a personal water filter (which you can get at most outdoor shops) or purification tablets (which you can get at many stores), if you are really desperate.

This is still a last-ditch effort. If you have the resources, attempt to purify any naturally gathered water, even snow or ice. The danger isn’t worth it if you have a choice.

Yes, I realize it’s a tired cliche to claim;

“It could mean the difference between life and death”.

But in the case of finding water in a survival situation; it’s both profound and accurate.

It’s about time you mastered this essential survival skill and get the right survival water filtration tools.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Water Filter Survival

Water Filter Survival

it will filter up to 1,000 liters of water without the use of chemicals.

Hiking Tip #10: Emergency Shelter Building

If you’re truly lost, it’ll take some time to locate you.

Making a shelter to sleep in should come first. It can keep you safe from the elements throughout the day, such as rain, wind, snow, insects, and sun. It does not have to be huge; simply spacious enough for you.

It can get chilly at night, no matter how hot it is during the day. Cover your shelter with leaves, grass, or even snow to keep it warmer. Insulate yourself as well.

The most basic construction for a lean-to is to cut the tree branches and twigs into hinged poles, then lash them together in the desired pattern using vines, sticks, or other natural materials. You can use whatever material you have available; however, if your surroundings allow, there are benefits to making this lean-to with other trees growing

Building A Lean-To Shelter

lean-to shelter

The lean-to is known as such because it generally consists of leaning building materials against a pre-existing structure or natural formation, such as a wall, rock face, fallen tree, etc.

If you can build a 3-piece standalone frame to which you may lean your supplies, it may also be erected free-standing.

One drawback of this style of fort is that it does not generally give complete 360-degree protection, and unless you are meticulous in your construction or have some sort of tarp or garbage bags, it will not be particularly water resistant.

That being said, it’s a fantastic structure when you need it.

Building A Round Lodge Shelter

This sort of survival shelter, also known as a teepee, wickiup, or wigwam, is similar to the gradual development of a lean-to.

It is similar to the previous design, with a huge number of branches coming together to form the bigger structure, although it does offer somewhat more protection because it can encircle the user almost entirely when constructed correctly.

It will take more time and resources to produce, but it also protects you, your goods, and any potential food you might gather from the elements as well as some scavenging animals or predators.

The Igloo/Quinzhee snow huts, a snow cave, Ramada, and various tarp shelters are among the other structures that are ecologically and materialistically dependent.

However, the concepts are all similar: to protect you from whatever environmental follies may be on their way.

While learning how to create survival shelters is a crucial skill for any serious survivalist, it’s something that only the most experienced can master. You might also want to prepare for a survival emergency with a TACT Bivvy.

The Tact Bivvy is the ultimate portable personal survival shelter.

It’s extremely thin and is made of mylar to keep your own body heat inside.

This little emergency sleeping bag could be the difference between dying of exposure to hypothermia or surviving the night.

Hiking Tip #11: How To Start A Fire Easily

The ability to produce fire is only second to finding suitable water in terms of being one of the most essential and beneficial skills available in the case of a emergency. Anyone who takes survival training seriously understands how crucial it is to be able to create fire.

In all types of survival situations, fire may be quite helpful.

  1. Heat
  2. Light
  3. Smoke

Hypothermia occurs when the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It can strike at low temperatures, especially in damp clothing. The heat from a fire prevents us from succumbing to hypothermia. It warms our bodies and dries wet clothing. Parasites and germs are also destroyed by cooking them with heat.

At night, you can use firelight and the smoke from a day’s campfire to communicate. The light of a fire scares wild animals away since it reveals the darkness, allowing them to avoid being seen.

The smoke from a fire may also be utilized to smoke raw meats, which is an old way of preserving food. Smoke can also assist you resist the most hazardous threat of them all, the mosquito.

You should be able to start a fire from scratch if required, as well as having a lighter or matches on you in the event of an emergency. Unless you always carry an ignition source with you, you could easily get caught in a survival scenario without one.

Here are some tips to get you started:

What to Look For

The Drier The Better

If your fuel (e.g. wood, brush, twigs, sticks, etc.) is too wet/hydrated regardless of how skillful you are with a bow drill, magnifying glass, or flint and steel, it won’t work.

Rather than plucking branches off of living trees or collecting anything that appears to be even half alive, go after dry, cracked, dead twigs on the ground.

Your kindling, too, will benefit from being dry dead grass rather than fresh plucked greenery. Dry dead grass works 10x better than freshly plucked greenery and will save both time and energy. The only time you should use any sort of green vegetation on a fire is if you want to make smoke signals.

Even then, you should start a fire with dry wood first and then “cook” the greenery above it.

What To Do

Start Small

It’s easier to get a fire started if the material you’re burning is small. If you strike the flames correctly, a few smoky sparks in a few dead grass can start a roaring bonfire.

Don’t try to light medium-sized branches since it will most likely be a waste of time, fuel, and precious energy. In fact, you’re probably better off lighting your kindling outside of your major wood stack and then carefully moving it beneath your larger branches once you’ve got a small flame going.

Remember, a single spark may make all the difference. Be patient, gentle, and you’ll have a flame in no time.

Be Creative

Matches, lighters, and friction aren’t the only ways to start a fire. They’re probably the simplest option, but if you have invention on your side, you can figure out other methods to create a flame.

It’s a cruel prank to play on youngsters, but it’s also a useful skill later in life. If you have glasses, you may use the sun’s light to transform it into a concentrated beam and easily start your tinder. If you live in an environment with lots of snow or ice, this same method can be used to remove it clean

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of its design. Even though it may seem like a primitive bow-and-arrow set, this is one fire kit that you will not want to miss out on! This could save your life in an emergency situation when other fire sources are lost or inaccessible.

Hiking Tip #12: Dressing A Wound

The worst-case scenario when hiking alone is getting injured in an emergency situation, since it only adds to what’s already terrible about the problem. It’s always preferable to be prepared.

While you should be prepared for anything, it’s better to be ready to deal with any type of serious injuries if or when they occur.

Here are some helpful first-aid management techniques for a variety of common injuries as well as additional advice and methods:

Close The Wound

​It may appear trite, but open wounds are a doorway for germs and, as a result, infection – which can lead to further problems.

Even a little scratch might need cleaning (alcohol can help) and closing if you have it.

Bandages, a first-aid kit (band-aids and such), or – in a true emergency – burning an open wound that won’t stop bleeding are just a few of the options.

Bandage Reasonably

Tourniquets should only be used as a last resort in extreme circumstances. And that’s because the tight binding of a limb might result in its amputation. As a result, utilizing a tourniquet in non-emergency situations isn’t recommended.

Even though this may seem like a difficult situation, if you’re able to control your injury and prevent it from getting infected in the first place, you’ll be fine. Keep in mind that if you have access to sterile cloth, use it to close any fresh wounds. Change those bandages as frequently as possible because a filthy bandage might cause an

Brace A Break

​In the event of a fractured limb, you’ll want to immobilize it in a way that prevents additional damage.

Whether it’s a sprained ankle or a severe wound – if you don’t know how to tend to these medical emergencies you in deep trouble.

This knowledge is critical and could save your life in dire circumstances.

That’s why I recommend –

The Survival MD Training Guide

Survival MDIt’s the only complete medical survival guide for the laymen (like you and me).

It shows you how to treat yourself and your loved ones in an emergency when doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals are out of reach.

It’s a simple and straightforward, step-by-step program. And you don’t need any medical training… plus: there’s no need for a medical professional to look over your shoulder.

And here’s the best part: You won’t need to spend a bucket load of cash or waste weeks poring over hundreds of pages either. Because there are no weird medical terms to learn!

It’s so easy, a 12-year-old can understand it.

You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes to finally know how to use your medical supplies and protect your family from even the worst medical emergencies.​


Hiking is a great way to get exercise, push your limits, and connect with the natural world. Knowing a few basic things can help keep you safe, and maybe even alive.

These 12 hiking survival tips will help you make sure your enjoy the trail and make it home again.

What are other hiking tips you would give to beginners? We would love to hear your opinion! Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Hiking Tips and Hacks

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