Andrew Skurka's Number One Hiking Tip

"Before you go on a hike or backpacking, do your research. If you don't know the environmental conditions you'll face, you'll be forced to adopt a 'just in case' approach to packing, which inevitably leads to the carrying (and possibly purchasing) of unnecessary things. Before a trip, research things like temperatures, precipitation, water availability, sun exposure, insects, natural hazards, remoteness, and daylight, among a few other things. Consult historical weather data, topographical maps, and guidebooks—even contact the visitor's centers and knowledgeable locals. By knowing the conditions, you can pack appropriate gear and supplies to stay safe and comfortable."

Andrew Skurka has backpacked, skied, and packrafted more than 30,000 of wilderness areas and the author of The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail.

As reported by Bethany Marzewski.