While the decision to finally hit the trail for the first time can never be a mistake, doing so unprepared or too prepared can be both an uncomfortable and risky mountain experience.
Below is a short list of five common mistakes every novice mountaineer are bound to make:
1) Wearing Inappropriate Footwear
You know it. Rubberised shoes are not designed for rugged, slippery terrains. Not only will it make your entire trek uncomfortable but wearing those “malling” kicks attracts the risk of injuries.
2) Bringing your entire closet
Seriously, do you really need that four cotton shirts, a cotton towel/blankets, jogger pants and jackets for your overnight stay up in the mountains? Not to mention the chocolates, canned goods and watery fruits you might get tempted to bring. Remember to only bring dry-fit essentials and foods just enough for your entire trip.
Pack light. But don’t forget the essentials.
3) No pre-climb routine
This is pretty obvious but often overlooked. Just because someone said it’s just an easy hike doesn’t mean it’s really that easy. Remember that everyone has different fitness level and tolerance so it’s best to be physically and mentally prepared before hitting the trail for the first time.
An hour of jogging daily for a week prior to your climb is not bad. Be sure to be familiar with the trail too and see the physical prowess it requires.
This is pretty common mistake among seasoned climbers too. Yeah, overconfidence sucks!
4) Not bringing enough liquids
Probably the scariest thing to ever happen to anyone: running out of water.
If you’re a heavy water-drinker, be sure to bring enough water for your entire trip. If you think you need five liters to reach the next water source, do it. If you need help carrying those, you can always ask assistance from your porter for a fee.
We suggest you invest in a long-lasting water containers.
5) No enough warmers
As someone who’s just beginning to hike, the atmospheric condition is something you need to watch out for. Mountains are sure brutally cold, especially during the month of December to February (at least in the Philippines) where Mt. Pulag or Mt. Apo could hit almost near freezing point.
Never attempt to climb unless you have enough warmers, emergency blankets, fleeces, windbreakers & jackets.
Be sure to also attend Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) near you when you can. BMC teaches you the essential skills required to safely enjoy the fun outdoors.