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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Moss grows on the north side of a tree. Well, I’ve been in some dark, damp sections of the woods where moss was growing on all sides of the tree. When the moss can’t help you get your bearings, here are few other tips to keep in mind.

  • Pine trees/evergreens are the fulliest on eastern slopes.
  • Plants and brush are more open on northern slopes, smaller and denser on southern slopes.
  • The tops of hemlocks point east.

Always take a map with you when you hike. Look at the map for terrain features and relate them to those around you such as ravines, cliffs, hollows, and hilltops.

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The need to ford a stream is more typical in the spring then hiking during other times of the year. Certain precautions should be taken to minimize the risks while crossing a stream. If you find yourself on a stream bank, without any easy way to cross, keep these tips in mind before plunging in.

  • Look for a wide section to cross. Water moves quickly in narrower areas of the stream.
  • Take your time. Walk deliberately, making sure of your footing after each step.
  • Don’t take off your boots. Traction from boots or camp shoes are much better than bare feet. However, take off your socks and put them back on once you’ve crossed.
  • If you don’t have treking poles, pick up a stick or two. This will give you better balance while crossing.
  • Loosen shoulder straps and hip belts on your pack before attempting the crossing. This will make it easier to slip out of your pack if you happen to fall in.
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Just a few tips to keep in mind when you are planning on doing an overnighter. These tips are more about your comfort and less about gear needed: that is an entirely different discussion.

  • Take along camp clothes; something different to sleep in then what you hike in.
  • Eat a small snack before you go to bed; it will keep you warmer at night.
  • Keep a bottle of water handy; makes night time thirst easier to quench.
  • Keep a flashlight nearby; for animals invading your camp and all that water you drank through out the night.
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Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are eating on the trail. You should eat food that weighs the most first, such as fresh fruit, or a canned foods. This will lighten the pack early on instead of after hiking many miles with the additional weight. Also, try eating small quantities often. This will avoid stomach aches while hiking and also keep your energy level up through out the day. Before you begin a climb, stop and have a snack. This will give you an energy boost when you need it most.

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The one thing that I enjoy most about hiking is the exploration aspect. That is why I prefer loop or circuit hikes. You start at point A, and return to point A, while experiencing new surroundings every step of the way. Point to point hikes are also enjoyable, but require at least two people and two cars.

My least favorite type of hike is out-and-back hikes. However, if you have a large enough group of hikers, there is a way to avoid an out-and-back hike. What you’ll need to do is split into two groups. Drop the first group at point A and then drive to point B, park the car, and begin your hike. At the mid point, when the two groups pass each other, hand off the keys. Now the first group hops in the car parked at point B and drives back to pick up the other group at point A. An option if you are hiking by your self: drop a bike off at point B and then ride it back to the trailhead after your hike.