Top 10 mistakes you want to avoid while hiking

Hiking or trekking in the mountains might seem straightforward with the right amount of training and preparation, however, it is fairly easy to overlook the little things.
Here are some tips from us, to help you better prepare your hiking trip!

Cut your toenails

This might seem ridiculous to some but this is by far the best tip I can give you. Imagine having long toenails rubbing against your hiking boots for hours, ouch! This can lead to severe discomfort, abrasion on your toes, and your nails cutting through your socks. In more serious cases, your toenail can drop off as a result of bruising and damage to the nail bed.
Your feet are going to be carrying you throughout the entire hike/trek, it is really important to you take extra special care of them. I’m not suggesting a pedicure (though that will be really good as well...) but ensuring your toenails are cut is a good beginning! You can check out our blister prevention plasters that can be placed at your last toe or back the back of your heel, it’s my favourite item to bring along for long trips.
Also invest in high quality socks and hiking shoes that will ensure comfort and safety for your feet. Shop our hiking footwear range below! :)


Bring muscle rub

My favourite muscle rub of all time of all time is none other than Tiger Balm. This is an absolute essential for me whenever I head for a trek lasting several days.
Along the way, while you are carrying a load on your back and trekking on terrains, your muscles will get sore from putting your body through all the work. What better way to relieve your muscles than to massage with some muscle rub. But if you’re not a fan of the smell, which can be overpowering at times, I suggest either using it after your trip or switch to another muscle rub.
Of course, the pros outweigh the cons and I strongly recommend carrying a muscle rub with you during your trips! :)

Use a hydration bladder


Hydration bladder or water bottle?

Hydration bladder of course!

Why? Your hiking backpack can comprise of water bladder compartments and with one, you can carry up to 3L with ease! Having a water bottle limits the amount of fluids you are able to bring along and becomes added weight at the sides of your backpack. This might cause your backpack to be slightly unstable while you hike/trek.
Additionally, drinking from water bladders are more convenient. All you need to ensure is that your backpack allows for you water bladder tube to be connected to your straps and you’re good to go! :)

Powder for showering and reduce chafing

When you are trekking over a period of time, you will not be able to get access to showers as much as you would want to. So the solution is baby powder! Or my personal favourite, Prickly Heat. Having a powder bath will reduce the chances of chafing with hiking by drying up any moisture on your skin and reduce the occurrence of body odour during your trek. Another quick tip: it also mops up greasy scalps on multi-day treks if you have zero access to showers!


Carry less, hike more

No one can ever emphasise this point enough. Packing efficiently is a tip that you have to always prioritise! Never ever over pack for a trek as that will only cause you to burn out early on in the trip from all the weight you are carrying. Carry items that you definitely will need and bring along clothes that you can use for over a few days. Having a good backpack with compartments will help you plan what to bring on the trip better.
Alternatively, you can purchase additional storage bags to help you organise your backpack properly.


Bring a camera

This is an absolute given. Bring a camera!! The image above is captured by one of our sport leaders, Andrew, during one of his adventures!
Our phones are now equipped with great cameras that can capture beauty all around us. Nothing is better than capturing the memories of your trip with a camera. Be it videos or images, these memories will be with you forever. If you want to shoot amazing pictures with a camera that you already have, go ahead. Have the camera with you at all times and keep it safe in our Quechua Camera Bag!


Find a hiking buddy

Hiking with a friend has multiple benefits. For one, company. Hiking is more memorable and fun when you have someone with you going through the same journey, experiencing the same joys and hardships. Shared memories are created and over time, you can look back at the memories with the same people and have a great bond. This will also ensure each other's safety. You will be assured that someone is always looking out for you, as you are looking out for your hiking buddy.
Join the Decathlon Singapore Hiking Club to join fellow hikers and trekkers on their adventures! :)

Use a hiking pole

Hiking poles have often been viewed to be made for old people hiking/trekking who need help. No! This is not true. Hiking poles is encouraged to be used by everyone. In fact, using hiking poles will give you better support during your trips. How does hiking poles support us you might ask? Multiple ways!

1. Gives you a boost uphill
When your hiking uphill, your legs will be put through a lot of work. Hence, having hiking poles will boost yourself up with your arms taking some of the stress rather than completely relying on your legs. This will allow your legs to not tire out too quick during an uphill hike.

2. Supports your knees when going downhill
Going downhill can especially put a lot of stress on your knees. With hiking poles, you can transfer some of the stress to your arms. Additionally, hiking poles can help you stabilise if you are making a huge descent between two points or large drops.

3. Gives balance on slippery or rocky terrains
I’m sure you want to save yourself from falling face flat while hiking on slippery trails. Save yourself from possibly hurting yourself by have hiking poles! You hiking poles can help you gain balance on rocky or slippery terrains.

4. Clears obstacles along the way
If you’re hiking/trekking into nature, you’re bound to come into contact with deadfall or extremely bushy trails at times. Your hiking poles will be the perfect tool to clear them and get on with your hike/trek!


Respect nature

When you are with nature, hiking or trekking, you should always respect the environment you are in. Check out our sports advice on 7 minimal impact strategies for hiking where we highlight what you should and should not do when hiking. Always remember that you are a guest in nature and you should not leave anything unwanted behind nor should you take anything back with you.


Have a headlamp

Having a headlamp is important especially if you’re going on a long mountain hiking trip! Instead of holding onto a torch throughout your trip, our headlamp will be convenient for you. It has a range of 25m around you and has three modes,

1. Red mode to be discreet in the shelter or keep your night vision
2. Eco mode for walking or use in bivouac
3. Bright mode for trail hiking

It’s ergonomic design allows for comfort while wearing it during your hike and easy access to the on/off button while you hike! Equip yourself well for your next adventure! :)

The best views come after the hardest climbs.

We would love to hear about your mountain hiking adventures!
Join our Decathlon Singapore Hiking Club by liking our Facebook page to do so! :)

Till then, happy hiking! :)

 Simarpreet Kaur

Simarpreet kaur

Digital sport leader hiking

Growing up, I was never a fan of the outdoors, but that all changed when I started hiking in my teenage years! Now, most of my trips and plans involve hiking and it allows me to clear my mind and enjoy the views that I witness at the end! :)