Increasing numbers of people have taken up hiking as a recreational activity in the last ten years. There were around 30 million active hikers in the U.S. in 2006, and over 45 million in 2017.
You may not think of Florida when you think of hiking, but the state does have a large network of trails and a vibrant community of hikers. If you’re thinking of going trekking in Florida, keep these pointers in mind.
Invest in the correct hiking equipment.
Make certain you’re prepared for the paths you intend to hike on by packing appropriate equipment. Your footwear and apparel are critical for both comfort and safety. There must be adequate room in your backpack or day pack for all of your essentials.
Make sure your clothing is quick-drying because Florida’s weather may be unpredictable and damp and humid. Having wet clothes is not only inconvenient, but it may also be dangerous.
Don’t Forget the Essentials!
Clean drinking water and food are essential, but it’s a good idea to bring more than what you think you’ll need in case of an emergency. You’ll be prepared if you get caught off guard and have to stay out longer than planned. In addition, you should always have the 10 items recommended by the American Hiking Society with you when you go hiking.
Make a Clean Break
Hikers should observe the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles as a “hiking 101” norm. LNT helps conserve animals on the paths you’re hiking on.
Nobody enjoys hiking on paths that have been destroyed or littered with rubbish. This can lead to pollution and even more serious concerns like fires.
Prepare for bugs.
Bugs thrive in Florida because of the state’s mild climate and plenty of water. If you live in a place where mosquitoes and other mosquito-borne diseases like Zika are a typical occurrence, you’ll want to keep an eye out for them.
Consider applying permethrin to your clothing and other items to keep insects at bay.
Let Others Know What You’re Doing
Always notify somebody that you’re visiting as well as how long you plan on being gone before going on a hiking excursion. You never tell when you’ll be lost or hurt as a result of an unanticipated event. One who understands wherever you went can get help if you don’t come that you said you would.
Inquire if you need permits.
Permits are required to hike on certain Florida trails that pass through private property. You’ll be escorted off the path if you’re discovered without one.
The Florida Trail Association requires membership for anybody planning to hike the Florida Trail. Several private landowners have entered into agreements on behalf of the whole membership.
Select the correct season.
While Florida is bright and sunny for the majority of the year, the temperature can drop significantly during certain months. As a result of the colder weather, there will be fewer pests to contend with.
Hiking in Florida
If you want to take in the natural splendor of Florida, hiking is a terrific way to do it, but it is far from the only choice.
Regardless of what you’re doing, Bill Jackson’s offers the tools you need. We can assist you in locating everything you need for an outdoor excursion, from camping gear to adventure clothes.
A trek may be made or broken by the choice of a daypack. Many outdoor shops have experts who can help you find the right size. To assist you in staying hydrated, I recommend investing in a pack with a water bladder capacity of at least two to three liters.
What do you put in your daypack after you have it?
Snacks, sunscreen, and a first aid kit are all essentials.
Towels and Ziploc bags with insect repellent are also useful.
Come on, let’s speak about the equipment! In order to keep your clothing from being too hot or too cold, it is best to wear layers.You’ll have more stamina for the trek if you wear comfortable shoes.
Bring a rain poncho, sunglasses, and a hat to protect you from Florida’s afternoon showers. You can use trekking poles or a walking stick to assist you in negotiating the terrain and support your knees as you go.
The Importance of Drinking Plenty of Water
Summers in Florida may be extremely humid and hot. Humidity may lead you to believe that you don’t need to drink as much water as you think you do. It’s not uncommon for me to hike with between 2 and 3 liters of water in my pack.
A cooling towel, scarf, and/or hat can assist in keeping you cool on the route. For the return trip,. Consider the warning symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion before they get out of control. Observe the following signs and symptoms:
-Desire for fluids, -Despondency, -Dizziness, -Exhaustion, -Heavy breathing
Exhaustion of Heat
Rapid, albeit feeble, heartbeat
-Dripping with perspiration
-A clammy or cold skin -A headache -A faint or dizzy feeling
Stop trekking and locate a cool place to rest if you begin to experience any of these symptoms. It’s best to use your backpack as a seat cushion. Wear looser garments if you’re experiencing discomfort. Rehydrate yourself by drinking water or a drink containing electrolytes. Cool your body temperature by soaking a piece of clothing in water.
The American Hiking Society has a great article on how to tell whether you’re dehydrated.
The Florida Scenic Trail, which begins in the Everglades and ends in Pensacola, is 1,500 miles long and is maintained by Trails Florida. From swamps to the coast, pine forests to open plains, and even excursions along the beach, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking trails in the area.
Thanks to plenty of signage, the trails in Florida’s state parks are well-kept and simple to find. If you’re planning to hike other trails, you’ll need a map or a navigation app to help you find the blazes.
On the trails, there must be a sense of security.
The location and duration of my hike are both communicated to them. A GPS watch or satellite communicator can keep you in constant contact with the outside world without cell phones.
Bring a buddy or a pet along for the ride, and you’ll be far more likely to stay safe. Numbers provide security, and having a companion to share the journey with might also be beneficial!
Florida is home to an abundance of diverse wildlife. Wild boars and bobcats share the landscape with alligators and panthers. Six venomous snakes and adorable creatures like the white-tailed deer, raccoon, and river heron are also found in our area.