KNOW THE AREA
Know the area you will be going into. Although many areas in Chilliwack, Whistler, Vancouver and Southern BC have well documented hiking hot spots, even local parks close to home will have useful information available. Whether it’s a web site with hiking trail info, or a map at the park office or trailhead, or maybe the local visitor center, always get all the information you can before you leave for your hike so you will know what to expect.
KNOW THE CONDITIONS
Know the conditions no matter where it is you’re going. Don’t make the common mistake of traveling to your hike only to have to turn back because you weren’t prepared for the weather or conditions. Make a point of searching online to find out if the trail has washed out or if there’s too much snow.
WEAR PROPER CLOTHING
Wear appropriate clothing for the season and the location. It can rain or snow anytime of the year while hiking in Vancouver and surrounding area mountains. Here’s a couple of tips for dressing well for a hike: Stay away from cotton if you can. Instead, wear synthetic and natural fibers that keep moisture away from the body. Also wear a number of layers so you can add or remove items as conditions change. It’s essential to have good socks and hiking shoes/boots. Too many people think they’ll get by with inappropriate foot wear until it’s too late and the pain of a blister reminds you of your error with every step. In cold weather, always bring a warm hat. You lose most of the head in your body through your head, so always bring a warm hat on every hike, regardless of the conditions at the trailhead or at your home before you leave for your hike.
FIRST AID KIT
In addition to knowing the are, hiking conditions, and wearing the right hiking clothes, you’ll also need a good first aid kit. In most cases a simple lightweight first aid kit will do the trick. You can find these in most outdoors stores or sports or outdoors sections of department or sporting good stores. If you’ve got the supplies at home already, you could even build your own hiking first aid kit. Include these basic items in a waterproof container:
- lightweight emergency blanket
- Aspirin, laxative, allergy, and anti-diuretic medication
- multi-use tool with scissors & knife
- needle and thread
- cell phone (charged!) (remember you may well be out of cell range while hiking, so always tell people where you’re going and when you’ll be home)
- Matches and/or lighter
- various sizes & shapes of bandages and gauzes
- different types of tape for wounds & fixing tools
- sun block
Four Tips for a Successful Hike in Chilliwack, Vancouver, and Southern BC Mountains
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