Autumn is an awesome time of the year for going on a few hikes, as it’s not too hot and in most areas of SA, the rain will have subsided.
Even if you’re a seasoned hiker, it’s always a good idea to review some of the do’s and don’ts before heading out.
- Plan your Trip.
- Tell someone close to you where you’re going.
- Check the conditions on the day (not a week beforehand, as a lot can change – especially if you’re headed to the Drakensberg).
- Wear the right boots.
- Dress in layers so you can take clothes off when you get too hot and put them back on if the weather cools down.
- Pack enough water but don’t overdo it – remember, liquids get heavy after a while, so pack only as much as you think you’ll need.
- Pack some snacks to munch along the way.
- Get some training in beforehand.
- Pace yourself on the day and get into an easy rhythm.
- Take a raincoat that can be packed compactly to conserve space.
- Don’t hike alone – and make sure you’re not left behind after rest stops.
- Never wander off the trail.
- Don’t play loud music, or wear headphones while walking.
- Let the people you’re with know if you are suffering from any medical condition.
- Plan your route so you don’t end up hiking in the dark.
- If you have to answer a call from nature, steer clear of the trail and keep at least 200m from any streams or water sources.
- Don’t eat wild plants or fruits that you encounter along the way.
- Be respectful of any wildlife in the area.
- No littering – take everything that you wish to discard back with you.
- Refrain from trying to take photographs while walking – stop, aim and take the shot before moving on.
Respect the hikers’ rules
- if you’re going downhill, you must always yield to hikers coming uphill towards you.
- If you’re in a small group, give way to larger groups.
- Passing rules: keep to the left, pass on the right.
- Give the person in front of you verbal warning that you would like to pass them before overtaking them.
USING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
An excellent source of equipment for hiking is the one-stop outdoor adventure, security, self-defence and clothing store, Boys Toys. If you sign up for their newsletter, they will share their Special Offers for the month and they have an online store, so you can browse through their catalogues and order online.
Here are some suggestions for the avid hiker:
Nordiske Small Assault Bag Coyote
Nordiske Bladder Inner 2.5l Olive
Merrell Erie Mid LTR WP Ladies
A heritage-inspired hiker, built for modern adventures. The clean leather upper is durable and protective, and the soft foam midsole cradles the foot for long days on your feet.
Merrell Forestbound Mid Mens Hiking Boots
Go forth and conquer in the Merrell Forestbound mid waterproof hiking boot, this protective pack-ready leather mid waterproof hiker is built with cushion for comfort during your longest hikes.
SAWYER SP128 Mini Water Filter Kit
Weighing only 60g, the Sawyer MINI is rated to 0.1 micron absolute, and filters up to 300 000 litres, 30 times more than comparable filters.
Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and international travel and emergency preparedness, the MINI removes all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, leptospirosis, and E.coli; and protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.
It attaches to a drinking pouch, standard disposable bottles (28 mm thread), and hydration packs, or you can use the straw to drink directly from your water source.
1 – Sawyer MINI Water Filter with Tip Cap
550 Neon Orange 7strand Paracord 100ft
Paracord is one of the most versatile cords on the planet. It's high-tech materials and construction enables it to be smooth, lightweight, strong, and compact. With an incredible 550 lb tensile strength, paracord can easily perform tasks and jobs that other similar cords cannot.
Nordiske First Aid Kit
Rechargeable Induction Headlamp 230 Degree 350L with motion sensor
The USB LED head torch has an intelligent sensor mode that allows you to turn the headlight on or off without pressing a button.
The LED headlamp for jogging or hiking has 5 light modes: COB lamp bright, COB lamp dimmed, torch bright, torch dimmed and flashing mode (activated by long press of the switch).
Atka Emergency Whistle
If you can’t be seen – you may be heard!
Evergreen Super Band
Morakniv Companion Fixed Knife – Military
Companion is used in a huge variety of situations by a range of users: bush crafters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have all discovered the charm of this knife.
The blade is made of Swedish stainless steel, which makes it easy to maintain and keeps the blade sharper for longer.
The soft friction grip is made of TPE rubber, making the knife feel secure and steady to work with. The polymer knife sheath includes a practical belt clip so that the knife can be attached to your rucksack or belt – always close at hand.
Magnesium 70mm Flint Fire Starter Kit