Preparing for a Group Day Hike

What to Expect

I hope if you’re reading this, you’ve decided to sign up for one of our hikes! Group day hikes are a fun way to explore new trails, meet new people, and learn from each other. Each hike is unique and we do our best in the description to help you understand what to expect in terms of the timeframe, difficulty, and terrain. As with any outdoor activity, there is always a degree of uncertainty and risk. This page will guide you on how best to prepare for a group hike with Outdoor Muslims.

How to Prepare

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Most of us don’t drink enough water anyways, so start hydrating the day before to make sure you’ve got enough fluids to power that hike, maintain your body temperature, and balance those electrolytes.

Pack the day before

Pack your lunch and gear the night before so you don’t forget anything rushing out the door. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived at the trailhead only to realize I forgot my lunch!

Take care of your feet

I’m not saying you need a pedicure but trim those bad boys to prevent foot injuries. When hiking, your feet shift in your shoes on uneven terrain, your toes get smashed on rocks, and overall take a lot of abuse.

Get a good night's rest

Don’t pick the night before a hike to stay out late or late binge on The Office (again). It’ll make the hike unnecessarily difficult and will damper your adventurous spirit. No amount of coffee or Red Bull will replace the energy you’ll get from good night’s sleep!

Eat Breakfast

Oatmeal, Cereal, Eggs, Bananas, whatever you like, just get it in your belly! Without a proper breakfast you’ll be running on fumes from the get go and are likely to crash way before the group may be stopping for lunch.

Let someone know

Let a friend or family member know that you’ll be out hiking, the location, and when to expect you back.

Gear List

Being prepared and having the right gear allows you to safely explore more and adventure further in the outdoors. Being prepared also means more fun and less time spent addressing avoidable problems. The below is a basic list of items every hiker should have on a group day hike:

  • Daypack. Should be big enough to comfortably carry all your gear

  • Water. Reusable bottles or water bladders work best. Plan on carrying at least 1L for every 3 miles you plan to hike. (1L = 2 16oz water bottles)

  • Food. Lunch and snacks that pack light, won’t spoil and enough calories to keep you energized

  • Appropriate footwear. Ankle support, grip, and toe protection are what you need on a hike. Pay attention to hike descriptions for anything particular the hike may require such as microspikes, water shoes, etc.

  • Appropriate clothing. Moisture wicking synthetic or wool layers to help keep you comfortable and dry. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture longer leading to the risk of hypothermia.

  • Extra pair of socks. Wet socks = wet feet = blisters

  • Rain gear. A simple poncho works well. Rain jacket and rain pants are also great.

  • First Aid Kit. Supplies to treat minor scrapes, bug bites, and blisters

  • Special items. Pay attention to the outing description for additional gear you may need for your hike depending on the weather, trail conditions, or if you’re in the backcountry.

What’s Expected of Hikers

  • Pay attention to the hike descriptions and make sure it's right for you. Let the hike leader know if you have any questions. Three key things that will make any day hike enjoyable are adequate preparation, a positive attitude, and a sense of adventure!

  • Pack out all of your trash (even banana and orange peels) and be good stewards to the environment. Outdoor Muslims is committed to implementing Leave No Trace guidance to responsibly enjoy the outdoors. Learn More

  • Be courteous and helpful to others on the trail. We all come from different experiences, abilities, and we all engage with the outdoors in our own unique way. Hike leaders can remove anyone from the group our outing who is acting in an unsafe or inappropriate manner.

  • Be on time! Hikes are planned to safely be on the trail or off the trail by certain times. Unnecessary delays can jeopardize a hike or lead to unsafe conditions.

  • Let your hike leader know if you have any issues or concerns

Email us at outdoormuslims@gmail.com


 
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By Faizan M.
Faizan is one of the founders of Outdoor Muslims, an outdoors guide with the Sierra Club, and backpacking instructor. As a Virginia Master Naturalist, he has an affinity for the natural world and sharing what he learns at @thehikersjournal.

 
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