a man and woman with backpacks looking at a map

Hiking Tips

May 15, 2023

Hiking and backpacking are great ways to stay active and enjoy the outdoors! It's important to know how to do it safely so one doesn't predispose themselves to injury. Follow the tips below to ensure a fun and safe experience!

  • Care for your feet, this will make or break your hike.
  • Wear good hiking shoes/boots with good tread and ankle support. The last thing someone wants is to sprain their ankle in the middle of their hike and have to figure out how to keep going or get out!
  • Good merino wool socks will also help prevent blisters and keep your feet dry. Try to keep your feet as clean as possible and let them air out if they become wet.
  • Trekking poles are also great to use to take unnecessary pressure off of your knees. Poles come in handy a lot going uphill and downhill.
  • Wearing sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat will help protect you from too much sun exposure.
  • Keep a first aid kit handy with moleskin, bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, pain relief medicines, etc. for use if needed.
  • Hydration is key, especially in warm climates and at high altitude. Always make sure you have enough water or pack a water filter you can use with flowing stream water.
  • Pack your food (if you're cooking your own meals) and snacks to keep yourself fueled.

Here is an article, one of our other athletic trainers wrote about how to fit your backpack properly. Experienced backpackers try to keep their pack as light as possible.

The best way to prevent injury in hiking is to train! Especially if you are doing a longer, heavy mileage, or high altitude backpacking trip, your body will need the strength and endurance to push through. Train, train, train!

There are plenty of places to hike in Kentucky: Red River Gorge, Mammoth Cave National Park, Natural Bridge, Cumberland Gap, etc. Go out and explore!

Have fun and be safe out there!

About the Author:

Alyssa Hampton, MS, ATC