Our apartments in Lychburg, VA are surrounded by beautiful mountains and gorgeous hiking trails. While the summer weather is here, many of our residents have been and will be taking in the scenery on these area trails. But, as most folks in Virginia have heard, hiking can be treacherous, especially if you are new at it.
Would you know what to do if you were lost, unprepared, or trapped out on the trail?
It's easy to assume when you leave the house for a day hike, you'll be back in a few hours. But the trail can play tricks, and you never know when that day hike will turn into a test of survival.
Mike Mitchell is a lifelong hiker. And he has some hiking tips for all the hikers out there.
"For most people that just start off wanting to hike and just wanting to walk, they think it's a flat level walk in the park and it turns out to be an ordeal in the mountains" said Mitchell.
He says the number one mistake when heading out on a hike, is a lack of preparedness. "You need a map, to familiarize yourself with the area, need to prepare to stay outdoors all day, maybe even overnight" he said.
Do your hiking homework. Don't head out without a trail route in mind. Plot it out on a map, and have definitive start and finish points.
People should not to carry any more than a quarter of their body weight. Also, know your physical limits. Don't go on a weekend hiking excursion if you can barely make it up the driveway.
"These are all things that can help you survive throughout the night" pointed out, Andrea Futrell, the owner of Outdoor Trails in Lynchburg.
Here are the top selling essentials for any backpacking trip.
Make sure that you have plenty of hydration, food and energy supplements, fire starting material, in case you get stuck at night you have a way to start a fire, a head lamp for the same reason.
A first-aid kit, and the right shoes are critical as well.
Another tip, especially for novice hikers is don't test your luck, stay on the trail. They're marked for a reason, and if you stick to them, you can almost always guarantee you'll make it home at the end of the day.