GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — Every year in Colorado thousands head up to the hills to hike. Whether it is a day hike or an extended through-hike, there are the basics everyone should know before they go.

The Problem Solvers discover what you need to know before you go.

Thomas Gathman, 39, has hiked over 25,000 miles, which equals one trip around the entire world. Gathman is called The Real Hiking Viking, and we are not going to argue with that.

Gathman told the Problem Solvers what the minimum gear you need to hike in Colorado.

“Always have a rain jacket with you, no matter where you go no matter how far you’re going it’s a wind layer and a rain jacket. Another important thing is calories. When you hike you burn calories.”  

Make sure you have food with you and water is absolutely essential.

“You can survive many days without food, you cannot survive many days without water,” Gathman said.

Bruce and Sharon Johnson have been hiking the right way for over 40 years. The Johnsons will tell you they started out green, but they learned a lot along the way. 

“Weather can change in the blink of an eye. Not having enough sunscreen and hypothermia can set in so quickly, you could die,” the couple shared.

“Their experience is a testament to their preparedness,” Gathman responded.

Nature can also be nasty, the more you learn says Gathman, the safer you will live. Just like Bruce and Sharon Johnson.