How To Plan A Hiking Route? | Hikers University

If you are thinking of going on a hiking trip soon, then you are probably wondering how to plan a hiking trip?

A detailed hiking plan is advised whenever you are going on a hiking trip, with the main factor being the hiking route that you will take.

The first thing that you will have to consider is the hiking route that you want to take. You can use the ‘terrain view’ on Google Maps to get a good idea of the hiking trail that is safest that you can use while on a hiking trip.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to planning a hiking trip, one of which is the trail you are going to use. Going on a hiking trip is a great way to unwind and exercise the mind and body. However, it can be tough to decide on a hiking route.

As hiking enthusiasts, we can help guide you through the process of finding the right hiking trail. We have put together all the information you need for choosing a hiking trail and sticking to it.

Table of contents


How to Plan a Hiking Route?

The first step is to choose the place where you wish to trek. If you're having trouble deciding, try Google Maps (terrain view) for nearby mountains. Unless the mountains are quite remote from civilization, there are rarely any hiking paths nearby. Then you must map out your path.

To begin, look to see if there are any known hiking routes in your chosen location. Look for information online and look for GPS trails on special apps. GPS trails are useful since they not only display specific information like elevation, descent, and distance. This can then be printed out and taken along with you, so you don’t get lost.

GPS trails are useful since they can be downloaded and transferred to a handheld GPS device, GPS watch, or just a Smartphone, and they offer specific information such as elevation, descent, and distance. The trail and your location on it may be viewed at any moment, making navigating considerably easier.

However, having a paper map (particularly on lengthy and poorly marked hiking routes) is usually a smart idea because electronic gadgets aren't always trustworthy – batteries die, GPS signals go out, and so on. It's also conceivable that the path has shifted as a result of natural events like landslides and flash floods. You can usually acquire printed maps of the region online or at a local bookstore.

Most printed maps of the area may be purchased online or at any tourist office. National Geographic Mapping Software, which allows you to export maps for printing, is another useful (but expensive) choice. It also allows you to plan your trip and calculate distance which can be useful for longer trips.

It's critical to determine the estimated time it will take you to complete the route once you've planned it. When calculating the needed time, consider the distance, total climb, and your physical fitness. If you're traveling with others, take in mind that the needed time must be calculated depending on the group's least fit member.

Identify Possible Hazards

Before embarking on your journey, identify any possible dangers and, if required, modify your itinerary to avoid them. Sketchy river crossings, slopes if going off-trail, avalanche-prone slopes, or cliffs you should avoid if hiking in low visibility could put you in danger if a thunderstorm arrives, boggy terrain that could slow you down, north-facing slopes is just one of the hazards that you can spot on a trail map before actually going out on the trail.

Trip Reports

Even the most meticulous review of a map may not provide you with a complete picture of the circumstances or terrain you'll encounter. What seems on your map to be a few yards might actually be a long field that will take you an hour or more to climb through.

That small, harmless-looking blue line cutting through your track may turn out to be a roaring river rather than the calm stream you anticipated. It's definitely worth spending 30 minutes or more at the computer examining recent trip reports for anything that might cause problems.

Pre-trip planning requires you to figure out how long your hike will take. Hikers are prone to taking on too much by going on routes that they will find difficult to complete in the time they estimate. As a result, they run the possibility of having to finish their trip after dark, with all the additional risks that it involves.

While internet trip reports and route descriptions might give you an idea of how long a trek will take, it's important to keep in mind the varying fitness levels of hikers, be honest about your own capabilities, and realize that trail conditions can vary substantially.

The Temperature

When you are out in the open you are going to be exposed to the elements. You can just check the weather forecast if you are planning a hike that will take place soon. Temperature data for remote sites might be difficult to come by; if this is the case, verify the data from the nearest meteorological station. Then, because temperature drops with height – about 6.5° C (11.7° F) for every 1000 meters – compute the altitude difference between the weather station and the trekking area (3280 ft).

If you're planning a trip months in advance (for example, while arranging a hiking vacation overseas), look up temperature averages online. Choose your clothing and equipment based on the weather forecast.




Peter Brooks

Peter Brooks

I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.

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