Are you looking to taking a hiking safari in Uganda but afraid that you have been on such a trip? Here are some tips for beginners looking to hiking in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. Before thinking about taking a trip, here are some things to start with;
- Start small and choose the trail that matches your fitness level
If you are a beginner to hiking, start by choosing a distance shorter than what you normally walk on a paved surface. As you hike, choose a pace that you are most comfortable with and try to study the elevation changes. After you’ve been out once or twice, you’ll have a sense for what distance and elevation changes work that is best for you.
2. Familiarize with the Trail
Obtain a map of the trail and area and review reports and data. Take note of any intersecting trails where you could potentially make a wrong turn or back track. Also look for a good spot for lunch like a peak with a good view or a lake.
3. Check the weather
Before starting the trail, check the weather of the area such that u are aware of what to expect. This information will guide you on how to dress and what to pack for the trek. If the weather is awful, it will give you the chance to change plans instead of getting surprised on the trail.
4. Let someone know where you will be
It is important to let someone who is not on the hike to know how your hiking program will be. This will help them know the time to worry and call for help. While on the trail, various things may slow you down like great views or a sore ankle. You might also choose to pack an emergency SPOT tracker which allows you to summon an emergency assistance by satellite.
5. Don’t forget to pack the essential things
These are the systems you should pack to stay safe in the outdoors, more so when you are spending the night along the trail. Depending on the length and remoteness of your hike, expand or minimize each system. Some of these essential systems and items include; Navigation (map & compass), Sun protection, Insulation (extra clothing), Illumination (headlamp/flashlight), First-aid supplies, Nutrition (extra food), Hydration, Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag). Many of these things are what you’d pack for a picnic.
6. Pace yourself
When you first get on the trail, instead of feeling like powering forward, pick a pace you can maintain all day. You’ll be a zero by the end of the day if you don’t pace yourself.
7. Leave no trace
The beautiful trails we love will only stay beautiful if we care for them. It’s up to every outdoor enthusiast to take care of our natural spaces.
8. Wear the right shoes and socks
When planning a hiking safari, you will need to invest in quality hiking shoes and socks. There are various ‘light hikers’ boots available in the market with little break-in compared to the old hiking boots. As for the stockings, don’t buy cotton. Synthetic fiber socks are your best choice. Packing some blister dressing would be a brilliant idea.
9. Dress for success
While on the trail, you need to dress as comfortable as possible so opt for synthetics. Forget about cotton because when it gets damp and stays that way, it will leave you feeling clammy. To easily adjust to the temperature and weather of the place, wear layers that you can add or shed as needed. You may as well consider packing an extra warm layer beyond what you think you’ll need, preferably something that will block wind too.
10. Research About the Destination
It is important to read extensively about the destination to be visited. This will help you learn about the weather and climatic conditions, the kind of vegetation to encounter and more.