Four Rules of
Before you step out on the trail, it's really important to be honest with yourself about your hiking capabilities. If you attempt a longer or tougher hike than you are prepared for, you not only put yourself at risk of injury, but also those that have to come help you. Start with easy hikes and build your way up. Hiking is great exercise and fun!
Know the Trail
Prior to your hike, you can use the vast resources of the internet to research information about the trail you're planning to explore. You can learn everything from weather, terrain, elevation and even the best places to stop for a photo. Print out a trail map at home and check the weather so you can dress accordingly. Read reviews from others who've hiked before you...you might just pick up a handy tip (like BRING BUG SPRAY!!).
Know Your Gear
Standing in the middle of a beautiful scene is NOT the place to be reading through your instruction booklet. Invest a little time reading at home and take a few minutes to watch the on-line "how-to" videos for your camera. You’ll be much happier taking pictures in the field than you will be reading about how your camera works. This goes not only for your camera gear, but your first-aid kit as well. The more you know your gear, the better you'll be able to use it when you need it.
- Know the "Deal"
Everyone, young and old should know the "deal" which is: we are guests in our nation's parks, we need to be conscious to do no harm and leave no trace of our presence. Carving your initials in a tree is a bad thing...pestering animals is a terrible thing. Your responsibility is to protect the natural world as you are enjoying it. Stay on marked trails. You can't take home souvenirs, or pick wild flowers; and you have to be really responsible with your camp fires. Let's all just take photos and memories home.