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Getting started with hiking

Hiking is a great way to break away from the daily routine by discovering nature and exercising at your own pace. And with a little preparation, it is an activity that is within everyone's reach. As a bonus, it promotes better physical and mental health. It's really quite simple: ask friends or family members to join you, choose a trail, grab your gear, and get some fresh air!

As a rule of thumb, jeans and clothing made entirely of cotton aren’t your best choice for outdoor activities. Cotton absorbs moisture, cools the skin and dries slowly. However, a blend of cotton and synthetic fabrics or wool may be appropriate for short, easy hikes where you're not planning to break too much of a sweat. If you plan to hike longer and tackle more technical trails, choose breathable, stretchy, quick-drying attire, and shoes or boots designed to stabilize and support your feet and ankles. Proper footwear will also provide protection from debris and minimize the risk of sprains.

Clothes, boots and shoes : 

what to wear

your

hike

Plan

Always check the weather forecast before hitting the trails. If you decide to venture out on a mountainside, keep in mind that weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye. Plus, temperature swings on any given day can be considerable. Fall is the ideal season for hiking: colors are striking, light is fantastic, bugs have disappeared and crowds have retreated. What's more, mornings are cool, while afternoons are nice and warm. To stay comfortable through changing weather conditions, you can count on the multi-layer system!


When layering, you should wear a base, middle and outer layer. 


The base layer wicks away moisture

The middle layer serves as insulation

The outer layer serves as a protection against the weather


The multi-layer system is designed to keep you warm and dry during outdoor activities. You can add or remove layers when you get too hot or cold to adjust your comfort. This will allow you to play sports in a variety of weather conditions.

With children 


Having your children participate in planning the outing is a great way to motivate them.

Explain the route clearly, set goals and take frequent breaks. Once on the trail, help them visualize the distance you've travelled on a map. On the way home, talk through what they liked and disliked so that you can better plan future outings.

Checklist 

(modify as needed)

Clothing


Socks

Hiking boots or shoes

Hat or cap

Gloves

Sunglasses

Fleece sweater

Lightweight breathable waterproof jacket

Pants or shorts

Breathable underwear

T-shirt or long sleeve jersey



Equipment


Backpack (capacity of 20 to 30 L) for a few hours or a day hike

Walking poles



Orientation


Altimeter (an instrument for measuring altitudes)

Compass or GPS

Trail Map 



Water and food


Water bottle

Insulated bottle

Snacks

Lunch



Health and safety


Lighter or matches 

Lip balm

Knife

Sun cream 

Mosquito repellent

Flashlight or headlamp

Handkerchiefs 

Multi-tool

Toilet paper

Duct tape

Garbage bag to bring back garbage 

Whistle

Phone

First Aid Kit

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