This is a compilation of hiking tips that have appeared on the home page of PA Hikes. I hope you find these usefull and beneficial when you go hiking. If you have any tips to share, please feel free to email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Not only will we add your hiking tip to this page, but you'll also see it on our home page.

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After spending a night on the trail, make sure to take your tent down and pack it properly.

  • Remove any dirt or mud clinging to tent stakes.
  • When removing the tent poles, start to collapse them from the center. Starting at the end puts a lot of tension on the shock cord on that end and can cause them to fail early.
  • Stuff your tent into the sack. Folding the tent can cause seems to form that are prone to leaking.
  • If you pack a wet tent, make sure to dry it as soon as possible. Mildew can grow on packed wet tents which leads to odors and can damage the water proofing on the tent material.
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Many people take the woods to hike the trails in solitude. But if you plan on hiking a low-traffic or remote trail you may want to consider hiking with a group of fellow hikers. Benefits of hiking in a group include the distribution of hiking gear. This will help lighten the load on long distance back packing trips when you don't have to carry all the gear yourself. Hiking in a group also assures you will have assistance in case of an emergency. Finally, by hiking with a group you can learn from more experienced hikers or even pass on your knowledge to hikers that haven't logged as many miles as you.

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A successful hike with kids starts by making the outing an adventure. You can look for discoveries along the way by bringing a magnifying glass and stopping frequently to view what the forest has to offer. Teach kids to be good observers by looking for signs of wildlife such as claw scratches on tree trunks, bird holes in dead trees or animal tracks. When choosing a trail to hike, pick one with features that interest kids as destinations or turnaround spots such as vistas, streams, or waterfalls. Also, make sure to put yourself in their boots. Their legs are shorter than yours and take many more steps during the hike. You should let the kids set the pace and call for rest stops before they ask for them.

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With the winter months and the snow comes to opportunity to get out and do some winter hiking and/or snowshoeing. One thing that I enjoy about winter hiking when compared to hiking during the other seasons is experiencing the quiet and serenity of snow-covered landscapes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you venture out on a snowshoeing excursions:

  • Check your gear before you head out. This is good advice year round, but especially important in the winter when the temperatures are cold and the environment is harsh.
  • Take frequent breaks and remember to hydrate. In the winter you typically aren't aware of the obvious signs of perspiring, but you still need to take time and replace your fluids.
  • If snowshoeing with others, take turns breaking the trail as this is the most tiring part of snowshoeing. If you happen to have a person that is extra energetic and wants to hike fast, let them take the lead. But also keep in mind the slowest person hiking with you and remember to stop frequently and allow them to catch up.
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Some hikers never venture out on the trail without trekking poles, while other hikers think they are a waste of money. Personally I feel that trekking poles are an essential piece of hiking gear, especially on longer, multi-day hikes. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your trekking poles.

  • Adjust to you - When gripping the poles, your forearms should be parallel with the ground, with your elbow making a 90 degree angle.
  • Adjust for the terrain - If you are on a steep incline, shorten the poles and plant them the same time you take a step. For downhills, lengthen the poles and plant them just prior to your foot hitting the ground.
  • Check your adjustments - As you hike, especially across softer ground, you may find your poles shrinking on you as the sections loosen. You should stop and tighten your poles, if needed, about once an hour while hiking.