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Hiking is a kind of physical activity as well as a leisure activity (a way of spending free time). Hikers (the people who do hiking) enjoy fresh air and the beauty of nature, and learn about the place. Many hikers enjoy challenging their physical and mental strength. Hiking with friends gives them the chance to become stronger.
Planning starts with a hiker deciding what he wants from the hike. A traveler should examine the information on landscape, climate, weather, plants, animals, type of ground, and so on. Based on that information, a hiker decides what equipment (tools) he needs. Writing everything on paper is strongly suggested to not forget anything. A hiker should choose the itinerary (the way of the hike).
Equipping means getting specialized clothing and equipment. Overnight hiking requires carrying more supplies, usually in a backpack, though many use a backpack even for a day hike. Suggestions for equipment can be found in any hiking book. A hiker is suggested to learn more than one source and work. Equipping sometimes needs getting skills in using the apparatus. Basic skills–different ways of orientation (the ability to find the way, for example)–must be developed before hiking.
Hiking can quickly become a fight for life. Hikers can get lost or suffer from injury, sickness, bad weather, or other dangers. For this reason everything in hiking is very important. Nobody should hike alone, no matter what the situation, without a great deal of experience to develop his hiking abilities.
Every hiker should keep in mind that theory is important, but it can hardly replace firsthand experience. To be safe a traveler should have enough experience. A hiker had better start by taking short hikes with more experienced hikers.
Finding the way
Getting lost can have bad results including sickness and death. A hiker is strongly suggested to check from time to time (at least every hour) whether he is going the right way. Portable GPS receivers can help, as long as the batteries are good. Accurate, complete maps and a compass can help, if the user understands them. On no account should he go on traveling if he has lost his way. The first thing a hiker should do is find the direction in which he was going before getting lost. Using the compass and the map, he should choose a reference point nearby (railway, road, river, etc.).