Spring Into Adventure...Safely!
There's a new season in town and her name is Springtime! She brings a new energy that can best be described as rebirth. As the snow melts, flowers start to bloom and wind chimes sing a playful tune, we feel the Earth's vibration and we as humans, come alive. It feels wrong, illegal even, to sit indoors behind a desk and watch Mother Nature have all the fun. We love having fun, and if you're like us, you've already got a spring hiking trip in the books!
As refreshing as Spring can be, when it comes to hiking, it's not always roses and rainbows. Spring hiking can be tricky because the weather tends to be a little emotional, kissing you with sunshine one day, being a stick in the mud the next...literally. But that's all part of the fun! One of the benefits of hiking between March and May is less people are likely to be out on the trails, leaving you and Dame Nature to reconnect.
Before you start packing your tank tops and trail mix, check out our travel guide below to ensure you have a safe and memorable Spring quest. Oh, and most importantly, don't forget to pack your Zip Hers! No matter where you go, when you gotta go, Zip Hers will be your guide!
PACK LIKE YOU MEAN IT
Easily one of the most important safety tips for hiking in general, especially in the Spring season, is to pack accordingly. Spring weather can change quicker than a kid’s dinner choice, so we always recommend over compensating rather than under packing. Being wet and cold cannot only ruin an entire trip but possibly lead to medical emergencies, so a little extra layering won’t hurt. Our must-haves when packing include, but not limited to:
- Warm socks (bring a spare pair!)
- Hiking boots
- Waterproof apparel
- Sun protecting hat
- Bug spray
- Bear spray
- Water (drink more than you think!)
- Electrolyte replacements (Gatorade, Nuun, for example)
- Hand warmers
- Gloves Trekking poles
- Ziploc plastic bags (check out our YouTube video on TP packing)
The elements are not to be taken lightly when planning a trip into the wilderness. Just when you think you’ve packed it all, try to remember the forgettables!
As comfy as cotton can be for everyday wear, we do not advise packing it, wearing it or even thinking about it when you’re going on an outdoor adventure. Like our jeans after the holidays, the fabric can be less forgiving and holds in moisture, aka sweat, which can bring your body temp down. That’s something we DO NOT want when out on the trails. If you’re wondering what else is there to wear, try out our friendly fabrics: rayon, nylon and polyester. They’re way more suitable for the event and you can always layer!
CHECK FOR HOLES AND YOUR POLES
It’d be a real ball buster to pack everything perfectly and get to your destination, only to find a big rip in your tent or a hole in your sock. Talk about a womp-womp moment. Whether it’s new gear or old, make sure you look for wear and tear or any missing parts while you’re packing up. It’s best to lay everything out with plenty of time in advance of your trip, in case you need to return a damaged item and order a new one.
RESPECT THE TRAILS & MINIMIZE YOUR IMPACT
Do you like people coming into your home with muddy shoes or using your toilet and not flushing? Ew, neither do we. While the outdoors is open and free, with wildlife tenants, that doesn’t give us a right to treat it any less than we would our own home. In fact, we need to treat and preserve our trails better than we do our own home. New growth in spring can be especially fragile, so try to be careful when choosing a location to pop your tent. There are plenty of tips and techniques to keep our trail grounds looking untouched (refer to our YouTube page above to TP packing), for future travelers.
TRAILS & TRIBULATIONS
Even if you’re returning to a trail you can hike backwards in your sleep, make sure to look up the trail conditions and weather report before heading out, there might be new hours or closure times that can change daily. Lucky for us in 2022, most trails have websites and contact pages to verify the daily happenings on a trail. The National Park Service website has park alerts here. There’s also weather apps you can check to get an idea of the forecast, even though we all know those can be unreliable. Doesn’t hurt to look!
If you’re going somewhere with creeks and streams and the snow is melting, the water is typically at its highest and fastest point, making it tricky to cross. There’s also mud, slippage, slush, and dramatic temp drops that can interfere with your springtime stroll. When in doubt, chill out. Do not bite off more than you can chew. Take it slow, assess your surroundings, and try to not pretend you’re the female Tarzan. We’d prefer to hear about your adventures without the part where you took a trip to the emergency room.
Similar to how we feel about getting outside and exploring after the winter months, there are other creatures that also like to venture out of hibernation. The biggest and baddest on the block that we’re referring to is the oh-so cute but terrifying bear. If you are hiking in bear territory, they are most likely “hangry” and looking for grub in all the wrong places. It’s best to pack bear bags on your trip and remember, do not get near their young…there’s a reason for the term “mama bear”. While we’re talking about the animal kingdom, make sure you know your snakes. Rattlesnakes love to make an appearance come springtime, either hanging out in holes or poking their heads out of nearby bushes, making it very easy to step on. As a life tip in general, keep those eyes peeled!
Let us know where you're traveling to this Spring and submit your photo wearing a pair of Zip Hers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers to the journey!