Yellowstone National Park continues to attract millions of avid hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts each year. If you’re one of the many hiker paying respects Old Faithful this season, make sure you’re well-prepared for the adventure.
Here are a few essentials for making it through your Yellowstone trail like a pro:
Layer it up
Wearing layers is essential when hiking or camping in Yellowstone’s temperate climate. Many areas of the park experience rain showers and chilly winds, especially during the autumn and winter seasons. Make sure you’re well prepared for inclement weather with wool socks, moisture-wicking pants and shirts, an insulated vest, a wool beanie and a lightweight puffy jacket for any evening excursions on the itinerary.
Don’t get Stuck in the mud
The trails are usually very wet and muddy at the beginning of the year; make sure you’re wearing comfortable hiking boots that provide plenty of ankle support and will prevent your toes from getting wet. You may need trekking poles to make it across some of the bogs and marshes on the more challenging trails, so map out your route and factor in weather conditions well beforehand.
Pack up that First Aid Kit
Whether you’re putting together your own or picking up a pre-made kit, make sure you’re well prepared to manage insect bites, cuts, bruises and small wounds. While you won’t have many rocky boulders to conquer on the beginner’s trails in Yellowstone, you might find yourself forging through forests, thermal springs and canyons. Wrap up those wounds and treat insect bites in a flash with basic supplies stocked in your first aid kit .
Cook Smart to Avoid Bear Attacks
When you’re setting up camp in Bear Country, make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid a bear attack. Many hikers and campers encounter bears in Yellowstone because they’re not prepared; leaving food unattended at the campsite or cooking and storing food in open areas will leave a scented trail that attracts bears day and night. Use an efficient cooking and food heating system for your meals to make that food prep and cleanup is a cinch.