Expert hikers give tips on how to prepare for your next trail

Expert hikers give tips on how to prepare for your next trail

YAKIMA, Wash.- Dozens of trails can be found throughout the Yakima Valley, but are your prepared for them?

Summer weather means more hikes will be checked off of people's bucket lists, but expert hikers like Jim Boyd want to warn people to be aware of what you're getting yourself into before taking on a popular trail.

"Check and start out with the easy ones. Look for the ratings because if they're rated difficult, they are," said Boyd.

Boyd leads various hikes throughout Yakima and all over the state, and says the most common mistakes that beginner hikers make, is not packing enough.

"People look and see that's it's a really nice day and say 'oh I don't need an extra jacket, I don't need extra clothing' and around here in the mountains it can change in a heartbeat," said Boyd.

He says food and water also fall short on people's list, and he says clothing and food are the key items you need in case you are out on the trail later than planed.

Executive Director at Cowiche Canyon Conservancy Celisa Hopkins says your first step when arriving to your trail needs to be made in the parking lot. She says you should always find a map of the trail and know where you want to go before you start your hike, and communicate that to someone.

"Let someone know where you are at. If you're not hiking with a group, make sure someone knows where you are at and what's a time to be worried if you are not back by," said Hopkins.

Boyd says for longer hikes, add a flashlight, a map, and a knife to your bag, and especially if you're hiking somewhere you aren't familiar with, pack a compass.

"You always should have a real compass and a real map, because they don't die. Even if you make a difficult route, and don't have any idea where your are at, and can follow a line to your car," said Boyd.

Boyd urges people to go online and check out the hike you are interested in first and see if the difficulty is something you can handle.

"If you start out on one that's too hard, you are going to get discouraged and not enjoy your day. So I recommend starting out on beginner hikes," said Boyd.

If you aren't an experienced hiker, there's opportunities to meet with hiking experts here locally who lead free hikes four days out of the week. You can find out how to join in on the next hike on the Cascadians page.

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