Tips For Hiking The Continental Divide Trail

Tips For Hiking The Continental Divide Trail

If you are high in the hiking game, you must have heard about the Continental Divide Trails. It is one of the longest hiking trails in the world that stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. However, many new hikers have been asking, “Is the Continental Divide Trail hard?”

The Continental Divide Trail is one of the hardest trails in the world. The length of the trail is around 3.100-miles, which means you need to have some level of fitness. Additionally, you will also need some form of resources to ensure that you are adequately fed and have all the snacks to keep your energy levels up.

Since it is one of the hardest trails in the world, you must make it as easy for yourself as possible. We have tried to find as many tips from some of the previous hikers and people who have completed the trial. You can use these tips to ensure that you have the best opportunity to finish the trail.

7 Tips For Hiking The Continental Divide Trail

Many of these tips are related to hiking in general. However, when you look at the Continental Divide Trail, you can amplify everything. Many people have tried to complete the Continental Divide Trail, but many have also failed. Our goal with these tips is to give you the best possible chance to make it to the end and complete it.

1.      Get The Right Gear

Before you even think of doing the Continental Divide Trail, you will need to review your gear. It is important to look at the condition of the gear and make sure that you have everything you might need. If you are used to doing smaller trails, you will probably have some gear, but it might not be everything.

If we take boots as an example, the chances are that you will wear them out rapidly on the trail if you have cheap hiking shoes. You might need to save up a couple of bucks to buy better boots for the trip that could last through the trail.

2.      Consider Practicing With Your Gear

If you have new gear that you have never used, you must master it. Even if you have tons of hiking gear, you probably need new gear for the Continental Divide Trail. The new gear might malfunction if you might not understand all the tips and tricks. You will need to do a few hiking trails beforehand to learn the gear.

Aside from figuring out the gear, you also need to understand fitness. By doing longer practice trails, you will find out what your limits are for doing your planning. The CDT is not something you will do in one day, but once you have your limits, you can plan your trip according to your needs as there is no time limit on the trail.

3.      Don’t Pack Too Light

Since you will be doing a long trail, the first instinct for most people is to pack as light as possible. However, it is not always the best decision you can make. You might need to risk carrying a heavier load to ensure that you have everything.

One of the most important things is enough food and snack. Yes, you will cross towns and have access to stores to restock, but you will be on the open road most of the time. You must have all the food you need to keep your energy levels high.

4.      Clothing

The right clothing is always important to consider. The Continental Divide Trail is one of the longest trails, and you will pass through various states with different conditions. While you might plan your trip for the summer, it is better to be prepared and have the right clothing. There are certain areas on the trail that are cold.

5.      Ensure You Have Navigation

Navigation is your friend on the Continental Divide Trail. Since you will be in areas that you don’t know, it is very easy to get lost. Maps can help you find your way, but a GPS is often more reliable when keeping you on the trail. When using a GPS, you can plot your trail to ensure that you pass through the right places in case you need to restock your supplies.

6.      Water Is Life

If you get dehydrated, you are at serious risk of injury and even losing your way. As we mentioned, you might need to consider packing more than you expected, and water is one of the most important things. Water can be refilled in certain places, but you don’t want to find yourself having to take the risk of drinking water from a ditch.

We recommend that you carry a couple of water bottles and make sure that you fill all of them whenever you get the opportunity. Unless you carry a cooler, you will probably need to get used to drinking warm water. However, when you resupply, you might want to enjoy an ice-cold bottle of water.

7.      Never Give Up

Finally, the trail is hard, and it will test every bit of resilience you have. You will find that you want to give up numerous times, especially when the going gets tough. If you are serious about completing the trail, you need to buckle up and get your head together. If you feel like giving up, take a few moments and compose yourself before trying again.

Is the Continental Divide Trail Hard Summary

The Continental Divide Trail is a great challenge for enthusiastic hikers. If you are willing to put in the work, you will reach your goals and complete the trail. These tips can give you the best opportunity to complete the trail. However, let us know if there are any other tips we have not mentioned in the comment section.

Need Help Preparing for a Hike or Backpacking Trip?

Check out our Hiking Equipment Guide for Beginners.  It’s a complete list of gear that every beginner should have!


Hiking The Continental Divide Trail

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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