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How to analyze hiking Terrain, A Guide

Analyze everything before you step out

How to analyze hiking terrains: The expected duration of your hike and what you will need to bring with you on your Hiking adventures will largely depend on the terrain that you will be hiking on. When it comes to the Hiking area, the terrain, and your trails, you should really leave nothing to chance. Make sure to find out as much as possible about your intended route, trail, and Terrain Conditions.


Analyze any Hiking Maps or trail guides that you can get your hands on. Use detailed maps and go over the intended route in your head. Never make the mistake of calculating the distance of a hike by measuring the distance on the map. Distances on 2D maps often differ greatly from the distances in 3D reality. It often helps to make a so-called Altitude-Aspect Ratio diagram and draw out your hike. In this way, you can really anticipate what you are going to do.

Make sure that the maps you use are up to date! Trails could have washed away or re-routed throughout the years. Check with local authorities to make sure your information is up to date. Most maps are created by local or national organizations that you can contact to check for latest versions and updates of their maps.

Terrain Conditions change as the seasons change. Trails could be dry in summer, muddy in autumn, and covered in snow during winter. Ask the local authorities about the terrain conditions. They will often know at what altitude you can expect snow and/or ice and what rivers might be in their natural boundaries. A map alone is never enough!

Even maintained trails differ in their difficulty and obstacles. There is a big difference between hiking over a grassy smooth trail and making your way over small loose rocks. Try to find a map that indicates what kind of difficulty and terrain you can expect. If possible, buy a map that comes with a booklet which outlines the Hiking duration between markers on the map. Most Hiking areas have authorities responsible for maintaining trails and they will almost always be able to give you last-minute details about the terrain, trails, and the weather. Make use of their services. In addition, local guides are another excellent source of information.

It is essential to make an assessment of your Hiking terrain and intended route. In general, everything should be planned out, or at least prepare for the things that you have control over.

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