It’s always a good thing to plan and actually go out on new adventures: hiking in a new location or in different weather, or going kayaking or climbing for the very first time. In reality, every time you go for an outdoor adventure, something is different. Be it the location, the weather, the company or your fitness level. And I have always believed that it is good practice to be well prepared for anything new.

So, when the plan is made and the things are packed, ask yourself the following five questions to determine if you are really ready for this new outdoor adventure before getting out of your home.

1. What New Are You Going To Do?

Have you figured if there is anything new in the outdoor activity you are going to do? If you can answer this question in affirmative, then start preparing yourself for the destination, activity or anything that is new. Increase the degree of difficulty, unfamiliarity or challenge bit-by-bit to reduce the level of risk involved. Get yourself acquainted with all the things related to the activity or destination. If you are going someplace new, you can hire a guide, so that you have a person in the group who knows the place well.

2. Do You Know and Understand The Challenges Involved?

Ask yourself a question, “What can go wrong and what will be the consequence?” There are a lot of things that can go wrong during an outdoor trip. Some of the most common mishaps include frostbite, falling off a cliff, getting hit by a rock fall, etc. These things often happen not because of the irresponsibility of the victims, but because they didn’t understand the hazards and weren’t prepared for them.

Talk to the people more experienced in the destination you are going to, make a note about the weather forecast, search the type of accidents that have happened in the past to fully understand the possible hazards. Explain everything that you know to the newcomers of the group to give them a better understanding of the hazards involved.

3. Is Everyone In The Group On The Same Page?

The person with the most experience gets to make the plan and the rest of the party just follows the plan like sheep. This is usually the case with people going outdoors. Everyone passes the hectic job of planning to the experienced one of the group without thinking that the decisions that person makes will be dependent on their understanding and skills.

If you are the leader of the group, make everyone else familiar with the plan and clear out all the confusion, if any. If you are merely a common participant of the group, make sure that you ask the leader about the plan, understand it completely and are comfortable with it.

4. Are You Prepared For Everything?

"Everything" doesn’t mean that you have to carry extra clothing, firewood, ropes, etc. Just be prepared for a weather little worse than what it says on the forecast, get yourself in a fit physical state so that if the trail is a bit tough you can easily accommodate the change, and carry a first-aid kit with all the necessary medication just in case someone falls ill or gets injured.

5. What Is The Plan B?

What if the weather goes too bad, or someone feels ill at the beginning of the trail? Having a plan B never hurts, especially when it is better to fall back than keep moving. Sometimes people do not give heed to the warning signs simply because they have no alternative.