Hiking is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. With a few essential items and a sense of adventure, you’re ready to discover the beauty of nature. If you’ve ever thought of hiking, but are yet to try it, just follow these simple tips:
1. Find a Group to Hike With
The easiest way to become a hiker is to hike with other people because it’s not only fun but also motivating. If you have friends who love hiking, ask them to take you on a trek. Most people are happy to introduce beginners to their favorite trails. If you don’t have friends who hike, many towns have local hiking clubs that regularly plan hiking adventures. You can also find hiking events through online groups such as MeetUp.
2. Hike At Least Once a Week
Hiking takes a lot of practice. If you want to condition yourself to more vigorous and challenging hikes, try hiking once every week at your local park. You’ll build on your footwork skills, get acquainted with new gear and work up your physical endurance. Ease up things on your side by looking for a beautiful park not so far away from your home.
3. Hydrate Properly
Beginner hikers don’t often carry sufficient water when they go hiking. A good general recommendation is to carry at least 1 liter of water for every 2 hours of activity. The exact amount of water you take will, however, depend on a number of factors including weather conditions, body weight and the time of the year. As you get more experience, you’ll get a better understanding of just how much water your body requires. It’s also good to carry a little food in case your trip takes longer than expected.
4. Choose Comfortable Footwear
As much as footwear is a personal choice, it is one of the most important items you should choose as a beginner. Some hikers prefer lightweight hiking shoes, while others prefer sturdy hiking boots. Lightweight shoes are good for well-maintained trails with little to no obstacles, whereas supportive boots are better on rugged trails with roots and rocks. Whichever you prefer, make sure that the shoes or boots are comfortable to be worn for long distances. Don’t forget to wear cotton socks.
5. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Choose clothes made of fast-drying fabric, such as polyester and wool. Avoid fabric that takes too long to dry, like cotton. You can think of clothing as separate layers: First, are next-to-skin layers made of wool to keep you cold. Next are hiking layers made of polyester such as t-shirts or sun hats. Depending on the weather, you can add a puffy jacket or fleece pullover and some warm gloves. It’s also wise to carry rain gear such as a waterproof jacket regardless of the weather.
6. Pack the Ten Essentials
Make sure you carry the ten essentials. This is a collection of clothing and gear that every hiker should pack whenever they go out hiking. They include items for navigation (map and compass), insulation (extra clothes), illumination (flashlight), fire (lighters and candles), nutrition (food), hydration (water), emergency shelter (tent), sun protection (sunglasses), repair kit and first aid supplies.
7. Leave Your Hiking Plan with a Relative
Whether you go out hiking alone or with friends, leave your hiking plan with someone you trust such as a relative. This includes details of where you’re headed, the route you’ll take, where you’ll park your car and when you expect to be back. Short or long hikes; this is a very crucial step.
There you have it- our top 7 hiking tips for beginners. Let us know if you have any more tips for beginner hikers.