When you set out on a hike, there are a few options you can plan.
- A Loop: You start and stop at the same location and the trail forms a loop.
- An Out and Back: You start and stop at the same location. The trail is usually “straight” so you walk halfway, turn around and walk back.
- A Lollipop: Combines the loop and the out and back, making the trail you hike look like a lollipop.
- A “thru-hike” – You start at 1 location and end at another location. This requires a shuttle or car at the end of the trail.
A mistake I see people make a lot is on the out and back hikes. When you feel good, you might be tempted to keep going. You’re not tired yet, so why turn around?
Well, because at the point you turn around, you’re only halfway!! Too often I hear about people waiting until their tired to turn around. Then by the time you finish, you’re over it. It’s a very easy way to ruin your hiking experience.
We still had a good time but we did this while hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park. It was so amazing that we wanted to keep going. Finally, we made the decision to turn around and luckily we did because before we got to the end, our legs started to get really heavy.
So how do you avoid this?
When you’re planning your hike, determine the total mileage you want to do and stick to it! Know where your turnaround point is either by mileage, time or physical marker.
For information about hiking, click the link below.