How Do You Know You’re A Good Hiker?

Featured How Do You Know You’re A Good Hiker?

Heard of the movie The Good Doctor? He mysteriously knows how to attend to almost every complication of an injury with an uncanny knack in providing a solution for the patients or accident victim. But hey, this is only a movie. We don’t have doctors in this world with supernatural powers.

But let’s ask, “What makes a good hiker”? Good hiking shoes? Going with others that love walking? Many reasons make a good hiker. We briefly cover seven points in this article and welcome you sharing with the community your tips and experiences in what makes a good hiker. Have fun reading!

  1. BUDDY UP!

In hikes, it is useful to have a buddy. Your buddy would be a person that you can get to know along the hike, and an opportunity to build a friendship. Exchanging notes with your buddy about any physical conditions and challenges you have helps. Your buddy is better prepared in any odd or emergency situations. Your buddy and you might exchange any first aid knowledge and experiences including situations in past hikes where both of you may have had a physical problem. Remember, you need to be there for your buddy as well!


Ever felt a slight warp in your foot, or a twist in your knee as you walked? Eager hikers might race forward with dynamism; seconds later, they are panting for air or feeling rather uncomfortable in their physical movements. Good hikers learn mechanics of their bodies, and the movement required when hiking uphill and downhill. They reduce impact and injury to any part of the hips, knees, feet and muscles. They use their movements to their advantage. Here are some tips on movement mechanics: 

  • reduce steps when going uphill (prevent injury or pain to your hip flexors), and downhill (retains your centre of mass over your leading foot and to avoid slipping or falling).
  • tie shoelaces tightly to prevent and minimise blisters to any part of your feet.
  • use hiking poles to reduce impact to knees when going uphill and downhill. 

You’ve heard of the saying, ‘the early bird catches the worm’. In any hike, it’s best to start at first light. Hikers that arise earlier for a hike are usually chirpier. Our body is more responsive during a hike if we had good sleep. A Heidelberg study in people arising earlier showed that those that tend to rise early have more physical energy. The plus points in getting out of bed early are over-riding for it shows people with more positivity, are optimistic, and are healthier mentally.


“Hands up! Anyone knows first aid?” is a question that might be asked before a hike commences. Yet, did you put your hand up? Good for you that you did. But the next question comes hurtling down after the first, “Have you ever given first aid?” And with a meek smile, you might reply a soft, “No”.

Learning first aid allows you to administer some form of it for yourself, or for someone else in your hiking group. Our knowledge or experience of first aid can reduce pain in an injury or save a life. A good hiker will take it upon him or herself to be armed with first aid knowledge, and be ready to offer assistance in an emergency during the hike.


Know how to read a map, and a compass? Some might ask of the need to when there is already a park or forest map. And there is likely an experienced hiker in the group. But much like first aid, we can build our skills in topography (map reading) when using a forest trail map, or a  basic map that you can try and obtain from the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (Ministry of Water, Land & Natural Resources). Learning to navigate with a compass can be fun. There are many examples on the web in learning how to use a compass.


A good hiker stops and gets others to stop as well to enjoy the panoramic views of the city, the flora and fauna of the trail or forest. There are also the interesting and peculiar sounds of the trail where you might hear a woodpecker, a cicada, or even a wild boar. With our cameras, we can capture wonderful memories of our hike to share with others.


Good hikers have a tendency to use safety protocols before the walk commences. They know a hike can go wrong when they least expect it and the group might get lost during a hike. You might recall an earlier post we shared last year about a group that became lost during a hike and rescuers were sent out to find them. A safety protocol can encompass the following: 

  • inform the park of your hiking schedule – trails to be taken, start and end times, number of people in your group, physical conditions of anyone (they will be more prepared if there is an emergency or a helicopter evacuation is required).
  • use a mark or spot locator; whilst this offers no guarantees in a rescue searching for your group, it gives a more assured safety protocol than not having a mark or spot locator (A mark or spot locator determines your GPS location and sends your location and pre-programmed message to communication satellites). 

A good hiker recognises the purpose and importance of an effective safety protocol and irrespective of the number of hikes, a Good Hiker religiously incorporates multiple safety checks.

Last modified onFriday, 01 May 2020 10:59

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Special Features

10 Most Spectacular Hiking Trails in Sel…

13-04-2020 Hits:1227 Stories Hiking Malaysia - avatar Hiking Malaysia

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Being out in the nature is very relaxing and fun at the same time. Sometimes we need to escape...

Read more

10 Things You Should Bring When Climbing…

16-03-2020 Hits:1884 Stories Shamiera Auther - avatar Shamiera Auther

Wondering what you should bring to climb the majestic Mount Kinabalu? Deciding what to pack is more than just lacing up your hiking shoes and packing loads of snacks. Carrying...

Read more

Getting Away From Hiking III - The Socia…

11-03-2020 Hits:832 Stories Gregory Phua - avatar Gregory Phua

Emotion, mental well-being, and in the 3rd and final article of Getting Away From Hiking, we look into ‘social notworking’ in hiking. This is a terminology first being used here...

Read more


How to Beat Those Anxiety Attacks While …

10-11-2020 Hits:149 Skills Hiking Malaysia - avatar Hiking Malaysia

We can all probably agree that 2020 has really been something else! When we rang in the new year, we definitely weren't expecting to spend most of it isolated at...

Read more

Lesson Learned From Cave Exploration

22-04-2020 Hits:405 Skills Gregory Phua - avatar Gregory Phua

Cave Rescue is a leadership exercise that some global performance consultants use in their behavior-based or game-play workshops. The exercise may be used in planning & organizing, assertiveness, problem solving...

Read more

From Breath To Breath

31-03-2020 Hits:575 Skills Gregory Phua - avatar Gregory Phua

A few days ago, I asked my son about his breathing technique when he plays football. “How do you breathe when playing?” He replied, “Just as it happens”. That prompted...

Read more