Hiking is a fun and rewarding way to commune with nature and get great exercise.  It can also be very dangerous.  If you are not properly prepared you could find stranded on the side of a mountain.  As they say, an ounce of prevention goes a long way.  So, before you head out on your hike remember to be prepared.  A few key items you should have before you leave the house are: good hiking boots, a well packed backpack and plenty of water.

When looking for a good pair of hiking boots there a couple of things to look for.  First you want a boot that sits at least one to two inches above the ankle.  This provides with you support against twisting or breaking your ankle in the off chance you slip down a hill.  Second you want a boot with a think, rugged sole.  The sole should have deep treads, like a tire.  A boot with a rugged, deep treaded sole allows the boot to provide surer footing, thus protecting you from slippage on difficult paths.

Next, you will need to pack your backpack properly.  You will need a first aid kit, a hat, sunscreen, a battery or solar powered GPS, a whistle, your cell phone, a windbreaker and food like, granola or energy bars.  You may be asking, is this really necessary?  The answer is yes.  It is better to be over prepared, than poorly prepared.

In regards to water, the more the better.  It would actually be in your best interested to purchase a camel back backpack.  This way you do not have to pack an overly large water bottle.  When it comes to water, you can enough when you are out in nature.

Now, with the proper attire and essential items, you confidently take a hike and know that you are ready for almost anything.

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