Hiking is beneficial for your health. It is full of fun, burns calories, reduces anxiety, refreshes your mind, and takes you to a whole new world!
However, if you do not have experience before, you’d better need some preparation.
Here are some hiking tips for beginners to ensure that your hike is both fun and safe.
#1: Choose a suitable track for your fitness
Some beginners choose the route that is too long or requires too much climbing – that is a big mistake.
If this is your first trip, what about picking a hike under 5 miles with little climbing?
Then, if you want to try with a longer walk, do one or two extra miles each week to raise your targeted distance.
#2: Check the weather forecast
The hike usually lasts several hours. So, if the weather is forecasted to be bad, you should change your plan and do hiking on another day.
Also, checking the weather will help you to know what to pack and how to dress.
#3: Tell someone about your trip plan
It does not take much time to give somebody a call before you leave. That can be your trusted friend, family, or those who can rescue you timely if unfortunate events happen.
Tell them the routes you are going to hike, when you go and expect to return, where you park your car and so on.
To improve your safety, you can also bring an emergency device such as the SPOT tracker, allowing you to call for emergency assistance by satellite.
#4: Know how to read the map
Do not rely entirely on a smartphone app. You need a combination of electronic navigation, like GPS, and a paper map.
Learn how to use them, for example, topographic map. Thanks to this, you will know the landforms you see outdoors and find your position. This is a fundamental skill, and you will use it frequently.
#5: Keep your pace
Hiking is not a race! Remember to conserve your energy, especially when the trail is long ahead. For example, if, unfortunately, you get lost, you will not run out of energy when you are finding the right way.
After several miles, especially uphill, you will be thankful when you still have power. Besides, having a steady pace helps you to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful wildlife.
#6: Choose the right clothes
You are going hiking, not to a fashion show. Choose clothes that are most comfortable for you.
Cotton clothes? No. It can get damp, make you feel clammy, and cause chafing. So, we recommend synthetic ones.
It is also essential to pack warm layers in case the weather changes and the wind is strong.
See also: What to wear hiking in summer?
#7: Pick comfortable footwear
You will not want painful feet during a hike. Invest in high-quality hiking shoes and socks, and be patient until you find the ones that work for you.
A good pair of trailer runners, sneakers, or boots will be ideal. If you only have old hiking boots, it is time to stop using them. Otherwise, you may have to suffer from blisters.
Choosing the right socks is essential, too. Again, skip cotton socks, go with synthetics!
See also: How to choose hiking boots?
#8: Pack the ten essential things
These items and systems will keep you stay safe in the outdoors, even when you have to face a potential overnight. You can expand or minimize them, depending on the length and remoteness of your hike.
- Navigation – including map and compass
- Sun protection – including sunscreen and sunglasses
- Insulation – rain jacket and pants, extra clothes like sweater
- First-aid supplies – medical kit
- Fire – candle, lighter, or waterproof matches
- Repair kit and tools – knife, safety pins, duct tape
- Nutrition – extra food, snack
- Hydration – extra water, of course
- Emergency shelter – tent, canvas, garbage bag
Now, you are ready!
It is never too late to take up hiking. It will be one of your most exciting outdoor experience, we promise.
Hiking does not require any special skills either. Just have a passion for walking and follow our hiking tips for beginners above.
If you have any new tips, share with us!