Hiking, as you probably already know, is a great way to connect with the outdoors, exercise and relax. There is nothing like getting outside and finding a great new trail that allows you to see the beauty of the outdoors in a new way. That being said there are certain conditions, mostly weather related that you will want to avoid when hiking. Some are serious… some not so much.
A heavy amount of moisture in the ground is a no no for trail hiking. It is best practice and a courtesy to those who manage our trails to not hike in muddy conditions. Not only are your prone to slip and fall more but you can ruin a trail with your footprints. Before knowing this I was out hiking one day and it started to downpour. I was on my way back to my care when I was stopped by a park ranger who asked if I was headed back in our out. We stopped and talked for a minute under a covered area and he told me just how much damage one can do on a muddy trail.
This is probably one of the most serious common hiking conditions you want to avoid. Obviously you wouldn’t want to be out in a tornado or anything like that but lightning can be especially dangerous when hiking. Tree roots conduct electricity so you can still get electrocuted without being directly hit by the lightning itself.
While night hikes are pretty fun, especially when you are camping they can also be pretty dangerous. You cannot see as well obviously so you are more likely to trip and fall on roots and other objects. You also can run into tree limbs which I can tell you from personal experience is not all that fun. Furthermore, you can run into some not so fun night critters like raccoon, wolves or bears depending on your location.
This is the not so serious condition to avoid. Getting up early in the morning and being the first one to blaze the trail sounds great right? Actually being the second person is the greatest in my opinion. Why? Because you are not the one who has to walk through all the cobwebs and other spider creations made overnight 🙂
Have fun hiking but always remember to be safe!