When you dismount from your motorcycle at a glorious mountain sanctuary (a state or national park), you want to be ready to hike safely. These tips will help.
Before you go, contact the park rangers. They know the trails intimately and can recommend trails to suit you. They also have current information. Maybe a windstorm downed trees or heavy rain washed out a section of trail. They can alert you to any animals, like bears, that might be active. They can let you know how to contact emergency services and enlighten you about weather conditions.
Be sure someone knows where you are going and has a detailed schedule for your itinerary. Share this with someone who’s not going with you or leave it with the ranger.
Carry a first aid kit, compass, map, water, food and shelter in case you must stay overnight, flashlight, matches and/or lighter, sun protection, extra layers in case it gets cold.
Your motorcycle boots might not be right for hiking. Test them (or new hiking boots) on a short hike before you get too adventurous. If you’re new to hiking, start with a short hike on an easy grade.
Experts say that the second half of a hike is more dangerous. You’ll be tired and so less alert and agile. Plan for this by spending some time at the half-way point (maybe the summit) and allow for rest breaks.
And, for your own pleasure, stop often to look around and enjoy the scenery.