By Sierra R.
- Wear sunscreen. Wear all the sunscreen. Buy out your local drugstore and apply liberally. Then apply again once you’ve managed to sweat that off, which, if my experience is any indication, will be five minutes after applying the first coat. Repeat into eternity.
- If you are not going to wear clothes, have a buddy give you a thorough tick inspection after your hike. Even if you do wear clothes, have someone give you a tick inspection after. The rain has made for some beautiful landscape, but also a rather thirsty insect population. With that in mind, you may want to load up on bug spray for any twilight hikes to ward off mosquitoes.
- Wear the right foot gear. You can probably get away with basic tennis shoes on most hikes around here, but make sure they’re comfortable, make sure your shoes and socks are dry, or look forward to the biggest blisters you’ve ever seen gracing your heels.
- In general, hike with a buddy. Though we don’t have much in the way of lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), we do have the occasional cougar. They mostly view humans as too big to make for a decent snack, but better safe than stuck in cougar teeth.
- Last but not least, pick a hike you think you’ll enjoy. Don’t try to conquer the Appalachian Trail your first time out, lest you become a cautionary tale—or worse, a viral video.