Hiking is a terrific way to enjoy the Montana landscape. It’s wonderfully simple to participate in an activity that requires only your own two feet, carrying everything you need in a backpack. You can go on an adventure at whatever pace feels comfortable. And almost anyone can participate. So, if you’re ready to explore the Montana landscape on foot, here are a few things to consider before you go…
Hiking is a terrific solo activity; however, hiking with a partner does have benefits. For instance, hiking with a partner or in a group is safer, especially if you don’t feel confident or entirely comfortable with the hike. A partner can add much needed confidence, and also assist in duties such as navigation and the potential for first aid assistance.
It’s also important to get to know the route or the area in which you plan to hike. Trail systems, especially those not well-marked, can be confusing to both the hiker-newbie and seasoned veteran. But time spent in preparation, checking the route online or on paper maps will absolutely pay off later. And when you decide on the route make sure you have the time to do it, and that your fitness level is on par with the distance, elevation gain, etc. And check the forecast for potential hazardous weather that could make conditions dangerous.
You don’t need to wear anything specific for hiking, but solid footwear is always a good idea. For those hikes where you don’t plan to take much gear, a simple pair of tennis shoes will work. Trail runners are shoes favored by many hikers, because they are both lightweight and have soles with an aggressive tred pattern. Specialized hiking clothing isn’t necessary, although to remember a jacket and layers in the event of inclement weather and lightweight breathable-type clothing when the temperatures are expected to be hot, is always good practice.
Hiking is a wonderful activity, and Montana is a wonderful state where seemingly everywhere there is an opportunity for outdoor recreation. Stay safe and enjoy the outdoors.