Hiking isn't all that difficult, is it?

You identify a trail or trails, you get everything together you're going to need, get your hiking buddy and go, right?

Well, yes and no. It all depends on what you plan on hiking and the conditions. For example, you don't want to hike a rocky area in flip-flops.

Take the story of the two hikers who decided to try and climb a 14'er in shorts and tank tops.

This would be a perfect example of not being prepared. first of all, while it's 90 plus degrees down here, it's a lot colder on the top of a mountain. And even though they took a wrong trail, heading into territory like that in shorts and tank tops isn't a recipe for hiking success.

Let's agree to a few things. First, don't hike alone unless it's a trail you're familiar with and doesn't involve hours of climbing and reconnoitering to get your bearings.

Next, make sure you're dressed appropriately for hiking the terrain you've chosen. Flipflops on a concrete trail are fine, but not in the woods. Get good hiking boots or shoes and wear socks.

And finally, always have water and a compass. And be sure to let someone know where you're hiking.

Taking just a few common-sense precautions can maximize your fun and minimize any possibility of getting lost or not being dressed for the hike.