Sunrise hikes are one of the best experiences of outdoor activists but to enjoy that moment, there are a lot of things to prepare, both mentally and physically. If you have no idea of what to do, don’t worry, we have got your back.
Here is how to mentally and physically prepare for a sunrise hike.
Be Aware Of All The Challenges That May Await You On Your Journey
Sunrise hikes are generally difficult because you might have to face a lot of hidden problems along the journey.
For example, hiking in the rain, wearing wet socks, carrying a heavy pack on your back day after day, unable to sleep because of wildlife sounds but having to wake up early in the morning, etc.
Preparing a positive attitude and learning how to deal with each problem are two important things every hiker should prepare to maintain their mental health.
A good sense of humor and great commitment to your target are some other nice bonuses.
Prepare Some Fun Games
Playing some small games while you’re hiking helps lift your spirit effectively as well as dispel the heaviness of the luggage on your back.
There are a lot of weightless games that require nothing. You can consult our article “Backpacking games that weigh nothing” for more interesting ideas.
Go To Bed Earlier
An extremely simple but very effective way to keep your mind positive and refreshed the next morning is to go to bed earlier.
A deep night’s slumber plays a very important role in restoring your energy and resetting your mind for the next day. Make sure to get at least a 6-hour night’s sleep. Pay attention to all the factors that can affect your sleep, such as:
- Comfort, breathability, and warmth of your sleeping bag, pillow, and blanket
- The quality of your dinner (Do you feel full enough? Are there any ingredients of the dinner meal that’s bad for your digestion system? Are you allergic to any of the cooking ingredients?)
- Your clothes and socks (Are they dried and clean? Are they warm enough?)
- The surrounding noise (if you can’t stand nature sounds, try putting on a pair of earplugs)
It is essential to give yourself some extra time to wake up, get ready, have breakfast, and enjoy the sunrise before starting another hike.
For example, if you plan to start hiking at 5:40 AM, set a timer at 5:00 AM to get 40 minutes for preparation.
If the timer is set at 5:30 AM or later, you will have to prepare everything in a state of urgency, lack of alertness, and irritability. Do you think those nuisances will make your day good?
Pack Everything The Night Before You Go Hiking
Don’t delay this task till the next morning because it will be very stressful and your day might be ruined completely.
Even though it seems there is very little to pack, such as for a day hike, you still should prepare your packing the night before the journey. For a multi-day hike, it is even more essential to prepare ahead.
Layout Your Clothing Attire
If you are not an early bird, every second you’ve got in the morning to sleep is extremely precious.
To do that, lay out your clothing attire the night before and place them somewhere that you can easily grab in the next morning. This also helps reduce stress in the morning.
Have An Appropriate Diet
This applies both before and during the sunrise hiking trip!
Make sure to provide your body with an appropriate diet with good portions of protein, carbs, veggies, and fruits. Based on your body weight and packing weight, consume 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day. Take a multivitamin if needed.
Avoid skipping meals or eating too much/too little.
Learning to DIY hearty and nutritious backpacking meals is encouraged because you can easily control what intakes to your body (number of calories, a number of nutrients, etc.). It is also helpful if you’re allergic to a certain ingredient (such as cashews, milk, or dairy products).
Read our article “DIY Backpacking Meal Recipes for Your Next Trip Off the Grid” to get some ideas.
As stated above, you’ll have to carry a heavy pack every day while hiking. Therefore, it is important to exercise and improve your endurance.
Estimate the length of your sunrise hike and the weight of your packing, and scout the trail to get an idea of its terrain.
Start with walking the same distance as your upcoming hike journey to let your body get used to the movement intensity. Walk around the house, at a nearby park, or on your treadmill.
Once your body feels comfortable with the distance, increase the walking belt incline.
And then, carry your packing on your back when walking.
This special exercise process significantly helps you adjust the way of breathing, modify your backpack to feel the most comfortable, and besides, your body feels a little shock and stress when starting the real hike.
Prepare Reasonable Drinks
Make sure to pack enough water to keep your body hydrated reasonably, especially during the summer months.
For difficult sunrise hikes, carry dedicated sports drinks for electrolyte and mineral supplements, helping your body recover faster.
In addition to the tips listed above, you should plan your trip in as much detail as possible. After training your body, estimate the average trail distance you can hike per day to set a suitable route.
That’s all for our article “How to mentally and physically prepare for a sunrise hike”. Thanks for reading!