How to Plan Your Next Hiking Adventure experience summiting Mt. Whitney was incredible. I felt inspired, excited, vulnerable, and accomplished. The journey was long and grueling, but well worth it. I encourage anyone who is considering a physical challenge such as this to jump in with both feet- you won’t regret it!


Here are a few things that I learned and would recommend to anyone planning a hiking adventure:

How_To_Mind Map2SmartDraw Tip: Select different Quick Styles to apply to your visual after a Theme is chosen. First, select the desired Theme for your visual. Next, select the shapes that you would like to change. Finally, choose your desired style from the Quick Styles dropdown menu found in the Home tab .

1. Make a Plan

Create a detailed plan to help keep you and your group on track throughout the entire hiking experience! The more information included, the better.

Hiking Adventure Plan_Mind MapSmartDraw Tip: Make all shapes in your visual the same width, height, or both to create a consistent look. Simply select the shapes from the Work Area then choose your desired sizing from the Make Same dropdown menu in the Design tab. 

2. Train

Of course, a main and vital part of your plan will be to include a training schedule.

Screenshot of Training Hike Map2SmartDraw Tip: Use the Data Map Template to import and plot your data points, then replace the plot point with a fun symbol such as the mountains seen above. 

3. Get the Gear

Since your plan already includes the dates of your hike, you will be able to research the weather conditions typical to that time of year. This will help you immensely as you are preparing to get the hiking equipment needed for your hike. Take it from me- I waited until the week prior to my hike to visit outdoor stores in San Diego with the purpose of getting traction for my feet and potentially a pick axe for the snow. Store representatives looked at me like I was crazy for asking “do you have any pick axes?” I must have forgotten that I live in a climate of 70 degrees and sun year-round.

The form below is an example of something you could put together prior to your hike, complete with an “inventory” of your gear needs, as well as the estimated price of each item.

Gear Needs Inventory_Form2SmartDraw Tip: Add or remove columns from the form templates by clicking into a cell and selecting an Insert option (Insert Left, Right, Above, or Below) or Delete option (Remove Row, Column, or Contents of either) from the Table tab.

Use the Gear Needs Checklist for your next hike!

4. Take it All In

I am very goal-oriented. Typically, I am a “go hard or go home” type of person. This was the approach that I took when summiting Mt. Whitney, and as I reflect on it, with many of my life events. I forget that the end result is not the only important thing, but rather, the journey is just as important. My regret for this trip is not stopping more, to really look at the beauty of the nature surrounding me- not taking enough pictures. I have quite possibly the worst memory that I know of, so I really should have taken more pictures. My advice- pace yourself, stop often, and reflect on the beauty around you and on the people you are with. Check out the picture below and the training photos from a previous post entitled Hiking Mt. Whitney: Training Hikes and To Do’s.

5. Do it Again

Yes, you guessed it- I will be doing Mt. Whitney again. I recommend this to anyone who has already done Mt. Whitney! You Only Live Once (YOLO), right?

What summer challenges do you and your family have in store? Any advice for fellow hikers, or adventurous people in general? We would love to hear from you!