Mountain Biking/Hiking Tips
Planning on going off-road in the near future and you need some tips to make your mountain biking or hiking experience an unforgettable one? You’ve come to the right place. Here are some useful tips to make your next outing a success.
First and foremost, you should take into account that hiking or riding in the middle of nature is not the same as walking in the park. There are challenges that await you in the wilderness, so you must prepare and get off on the right foot.
In that vein, the first tip is related to clothing and equipment. You need to know that, although you don’t need special attire for these outdoor activities, being comfortable is paramount, especially if you plan long-distance rides/hikes.
Make sure your attire matches the activity you’re embarking on. Breathable and comfortable clothing is recommended for both hiking and mountain biking, but for the latter it would also be a good idea to have some minimum essentials to protect you from the unexpected, like weatherproof garments made from polyester, spandex or nylon, a helmet, cycling gloves and knee-pads. And if you plan on going on some steep trails or rocky terrain, make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes.
Furthermore, it’s advisable that you bring with you a waterproof backpack in which to store some bits and pieces just in case. A flashlight, a first aid kit, sunscreen, GPS and some water and snacks should be among those things.
This brings us to the next tip for a successful hiking experience: stay hydrated at all times.
Make sure to drink water whenever you feel you need to. Ideal with be to drink water before, during and after your hike or ride. Given that usually water is not available along the hiking trails, you should come prepared with the amount of water you think you’ll need.
If your hike or biking route is longer than two-three hours, make sure to have a snack with you, maybe some fruit, granola or energy bars.
Whatever the terrain, you are bound to feel the burn at some point, so the best solution is to take breaks to stretch, drink a little bit of water and just breathe for a few minutes before tackling another stretch.
Train before embarking on such an adventure. Mountain bike skills surely take some time to develop, and it’s important to practice some schemes beforehand, like riding uphill and riding downhill, as they require different body position in the saddle, different handlebars control and frequency of pedaling.
Mountain bikers should make sure they are prepared for any situation, even the unpleasant ones like a flat tire or mechanical problem. For this, it’s recommended to kit up with a basic bike repair kit.
If you go on an organized group activity, first appreciate the difficulty of the ride to know what to expect. And last but not least, try to stay on the trail, avoid diverging from the established route as this would damage habitat and create environment erosion.