Spring Hiking Tips
I just took my first hike of the season and it really reset my soul. We had such a long and depressing winter here in the Pacific Northwest. It was never ending snow and the grey skies really did a number on my happiness.I was so happy when I started seeing green grass and buds on trees and the birds starting to return that I got out right away and went on a mild hike. I didn’t even care that there may be rain later in the day, and there was. This led me to wanting to provide some tips for anyone else who wanted to take a hike this spring as it can present it’s own challenges.Here are my Spring hiking tips.
Tips for Taking Spring Hikes
Always Prepare for Rain Even if the Forecast Doesn’t Call for it– on our recent hike, rain was not at all in the forecast. In fact, it was sunny that day. I still know better in the Pacific Northwest. Rain can come at any time out of nowhere. Because of this, I brought a small umbrella in my pack. I could have also brought a small plastic fold up rain parka as well and depending on how bad the rain is, a dry pair of socks can come in handy.
Wear good shoes that are slip resistant– I learned the hard way just how important this was. I was coming down a bit of an incline on rocks that had just had a Spring Shower and although I was wearing sneakers, they slipped and I rolled my ankle. It could have been much worse (my own daughter just broke her ankle after it rolled the other way slipping in some mud!) Wear shoes that are very slip resistant and made for hiking.
Wear Layers– Wearing layers is a good way to make sure that you stay warm enough and cool enough at the same time. After the rain we experienced, it was great to be able to remove my wet top later. I also recommend wearing water-resistant top layers for this reason.
Don’t pick wildflowers– Where I am, the early wild flowers start popping up at the end of March so this means they are starting to show their beauty early. Don’t pick them. They are vital for bees as well as being something we can all share. Instead of picking, here are some tips for doing a wildflower ‘hunt’.
Know that Bears can be a real danger this time of year– Bears are starting to come out of hibernation and this means that bear safety is important to pay attention to. Make noise as you move through wooded areas and carry bear spray. You can simply attach bells to your pack if you are alone. Don’t wander off trails.
Plan for the unexpected– Spring is beautiful, but it’s also unpredictable in a lot of cases. Plan for coming up on snow, the possibility of rain, quick changes in weather patterns and getting dark early.There is also the possibility of spring washouts of trails due to mountain runoff.