In the Photo above is Skip Tschanz in search of the newest greatest hiking trail. He spent his summer hiking in the forest roaming the trails in the Columbia River Gorge and the Mount Hood areas. When someone spends that much time out hiking they are sure to have some helpful advice for inspired hikers. Check out his helpful suggestions below of how to keep your hikes safer and more enjoyable.

On the trail: Stay found, know where you are. Check your map at every fork in the trail. Walk a few paces in your new direction and look behind you so that you will recognize the trail you came in on.
As a matter of habit, every once in a while I’ll take a look back in the direction I am coming from. Here is another mistake that beginning hiker can make: Often hikers take a lunch break at their turn around point. They sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery, food and good company. Then they repack their stuff; and head off in the wrong direction; hiking away from their car, not towards it. More than a few folks have spent a cold night in the woods because they were busy gabbing, not busy thinking. If you get turned around in the Gorge; find Trail 400, it will always take you back to the highway.
Here goes the end of my random thoughts. Forgot your compass? An analog watch will make a workable substitute. Point the hour hand at the sun, and then draw a line between that and the 12 o’clock mark. That line will point north. If you have a digital watch just draw an analog watch on a piece of paper. Adjust your watch for standard time if it is set for daylight savings time.
How long will I have daylight? Stretch your right arm out, holding your hand horizontal so that your pointer finger is just below the sun.
You will have about 15 minutes for each finger between the sun and the horizon.

SRC: Find more helpful tips for preparing for a Hike at:

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