For a fact, the majority of us need to exercise more often since we back off from the idea of registering with a gym. Some times we even get bored when we are stuck on a treadmill for over thirty minutes.
But, there is a solution to all of these. What better way to exercise than to embark on hiking trips? Even if it is your first time, there are hiking tips for beginners available.
Why hiking, you ask? Well, hiking allows you to get some fresh air alongside the exploration of nature’s beauty. Be aware that you can go on diverse routes and not the same path daily.
Understand that hiking is way different than taking a walk in the park. Lucky for you, we have prepared some hiking tips that will be your guide.
Hiking Tips For Beginners
Just as we have stated earlier, hiking is a fantastic way to get one’s self immersed in the great outdoors. Walking with your feet, carrying what you need for the day in a backpack, and discovering nature is what you need to get comfortable.
While you may see the hiking tips for beginners as daunting, you will realize that there are no special skills needed to go through with it.
For those who have dreamed of hiking and never tried to step out of the door until now, the hiking tips you should follow are:
1. Choose a hiking trail
This is of utmost importance. When starting with hiking, you should start at a beginner pace. Do not choose a tough one as you will suffer dearly for your choice. Some times, people tend to overdo hiking.
Instead of going for a hike that is well under five miles and entail less climbing, they would rather choose one that involves lots of climbing. The fact is, you can engage in long hikes, but you should plan seriously for such a hiking trip.
So, do not make the same mistakes that others before you have. Bear in mind that a flat five miles are very different than the five miles that are straight uphill. Do not embark on a steep hike without preparation.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to start a beginner’s pace. Over time, you can proceed to the advanced level.
2. Hiking groups or partners
Hiking is fun when you are going in groups or just you and a friend. If you have a friend who loves to hike, you can ask them to join you. Most times, we are excited to share our hiking experience with friends.
However, if you have no one to hike within your city, try asking around for hiking clubs. These hiking clubs or groups usually plan outings for such activities. Nonetheless, you may want to hike all on your own.
Hiking alone tends to provide you with the sense of freedom you crave for at the moment. But, a downside to it is that it gets lonely. As a beginner, a hiking tip you should take with you is that you should go hiking with a friend or group.
The reason for this is that, not only will they keep you company, they can help when you accidentally get hurt.
3. Know your trail
Now that you are ready to go hiking and you have even picked a trail, you should get a map of the whole area. Getting the map involves you reviewing the reports and data of your trail.
By doing this, you will need to search for loops in the trail. You are to take note of intersecting trails that could end up being wrong turns. To find good enough hiking trails, you can make use of guidebooks as well as websites.
Every statistics you will need to know about your hiking trail will be gotten from these websites and guidebooks. Are you bothered about the difficulty of the trail, directions, water sources, and even the elevation gains?
You will find it all in a guidebook. Also, if you have friends who take hiking seriously, you can ask them about the trail. Or, they may be of help to suggest nice locations for your trip
Not to forget, you can also enlist the help of locals or even call up a ranger station in that particular area.
4. Read the map
Due to technology today, most people who embark on hiking depend solely on their smartphone apps to know their location. Well, that will not cut it as you will need a paper map.
To enjoy your hike, you must have an idea about where you are headed. Making use of both your smartphone and your paper map is a good combination. Before you start your trip, you should print out the guide and map
And, before the D-day, you must have studied the map, read the guide, and know what to expect.
Even if you are making use of your phone, you must download an offline map too. You might not have a good cell network to go online.
5. Hiking at the right time
A helpful hiking tip entails searching for the ideal hike before you make the trip. What you need to do involves checking the amount of time you have for one trip. You should check your schedule to know if you will be hiking for the whole day or just some hours.
With this, you will have an idea of where you can go for your trip. Also, you should check on the distance you will need to hike.
6. Weather check
No one wants to get stuck at the mountain top when it begins to rain. Or do you? This is why before you embark on this exercise, you should check on the weather over and again.
When you check on the weather, you will have an idea of how to dress for the hike. Also, you will know what to place in your backpack. Imagine if the weather forecast says the day will rain heavily, that’s a win for you as you can move your hiking to another clear day
When it comes down to weather check, be aware that some of the hiking trails will not be easily accessible during the early season of spring. This is because they will be fully covered in snow.
However, when it is fall season, and the sun gets to set early, you should plan right so that you will not be stuck at the mountaintop after dark. You must check with the weather forecast before your hike.
7. Have an awareness of the ten essentials
We are aware that this is new to you, and as a good hiking tip, you should have an idea of what the ten essentials for hiking are. Every hiking guide you search through will surely talk about these essentials.
The ten essentials are stuff you need to take along with you when hiking. Whether your hiking will last for three hours or the whole night, you will need essentials such as food, water, compass, and so on.
Even with the importance of the ten essentials, some things are not necessary for a hiking trip. First aid is necessary, but do you need a box containing things you have no idea how to use?
The ten essentials that you need to embark on your hiking include:
• Map and compass for navigation
• Sunglasses and sunscreen for sun protection
• Extra clothing for insulation
• Flashlight or headlamps
• First aid supplies
• Firestarters like lighter, waterproof matches
• Repair tools and kit
• Extra food for nutrition
• Extra water for hydration
• Tent, garbage bag or plastic tube tent for emergency shelter
No matter how overwhelming the list looks now, you can always tailor it down to your hike.
8. Footwear solely for hiking
When getting set for your hiking trip, an essential item to be wary about is your footwear. While some hikers love hiking on very supportive over-the-ankle boots, others prefer trail running shoes. The trail running shoes are lightweight.
Furthermore, in selecting the ideal footwear, you are to consider the terrain you will be moving on. You can make use of low cut lightweight shoes when walking on trails that barely have any obstacles.
However, you will need to make use of sturdy boots when passing through a rugged trail. Nevertheless, whatever you decide to wear, ensure that the shoes are comfortable when walking long distances.
Also, make sure you are putting on either synthetic socks or wool and not cotton socks. If your feet get to feel pain, it will ruin the entire hiking experience. You are to invest in shoes and socks of high quality.
9. Dressing for hiking
Now that we have provided you with hiking tips for your feet, we have to look into the type of clothes you can wear. The key is to dress in what you will be comfortable in when you embark on your trip.
First and foremost, avoid wearing clothes made from cotton. This is because it tends to get damp. Damp clothes get you to feel clammy and uncomfortable. Instead, go for clothes that are made from synthetic.
Synthetic clothes will easily adjust to the weather and temperature of the day. Furthermore, you should wear the type of layers that you can easily add to or shed when the need arises.
Always make sure to go with an extra warm layer. It should be the type that can block off the wind. Essentially, you should go for clothes that get to dry quickly. These are clothes made from moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester and wool.
You should think of your hiking clothes as a system. When going hiking during cold temperatures, you should go for clothes made of polyester and wood. When it is sunny, you should go for clothes made from nylon or wear a t-shirt
And, for insulation, you should go hiking with a jacket or puffy vest. But, this will depend on the weather for the day. In case of rain, it is advisable to carry waterproof jackets.
10. Keep your backpack light
A vital hiking tip is keeping your backpack light. Though you have lots of things to take along with you, you are to pick light items. And, to carry the essential items, what else to use if not a backpack?
If you are going on little treks that are just around your block, you can go with a daypack. The daypack has enough space for roughly fifteen to twenty liters of water, space for snacks, and clothing layers that are, of course, lightweight.
Nonetheless, if you are moving deep into the wilderness, you are expected to go along with more clothing, water, food, and gear. Go along with a backpack that can hold roughly thirty liters.
11. Keep people informed
Importantly, you are to keep your friends or family informed about the hiking trail you are taking. Someone should be aware of your itinerary and the exact time to get worried and run for help.
You can also carry a tracking device with you. The job of this device is to call for emergency assistance through satellite. Also, you should let someone know where and when your hiking will be.
By doing this, you can send a text and let them know the exact time that you will be back home. You must leave a trip plan behind with a trusted relative or friend when going hiking.
This plan entails where your car will be parked, the time of return, route or trail you are taking and the person to call when you delay. Be it a long or a short hike, do not ignore this tip.
12. Nobody wins at the end
When hiking, bear in mind that nobody gets a trophy. You should not rush and miss out on nature. It is best to be steady than faster. You should conserve your energy mostly when it is a long hike.
Note that, when you hike at a comfortable pace, you get to soak the whole experience in. You are hiking to enjoy the beauty of mother nature. This is why you must pick up a pace that you will be able to maintain the whole day.
13. Be mindful of your steps
This tip made the list because of snakes lurking around trails. For example, rattlesnake. It is capable of blending in with a dirt trail. While this is not so common, it is best to take preventive measures.
Also, people tend to have twisted ankles when they step in the wrong spot. People go out hiking and come back with ankles that are twisted because they may have slipped on a rock, tripped on a root, or stepped on a poisonous animal.
All we are asking is that you ensure that you are mindful of where you step into.
14. Worrying over getting lost
If this should take place, you are to stop walking immediately. Take a quick glance at your guide and try to pick out paths or objects that may look familiar. However, if this does not work, start backtracking till you find a place that is familiar with your guide.
Understand that, people get lost when hiking and it has happened to some of the best hikers. Also, you can check if your phone has the signal and dial 911. Some people go hiking with GPS beacon as well.
Furthermore, you can spell HELP with sticks or make use of a bright cloth if you are hiking in an open ground. Aircrafts passing by may likely notice you. When you get cold, you can make use of leaves to keep you warm. Pile them on your body.
15. Take Some Medicine
This is where your first aid box is necessary. You should go along with medicines just in case anything happens. You may feel pain when hiking, a pain relief drug can help get you better to continue the hike.
16. Keeping your trail clean
Nobody wants to hike on a trail that is filled with litters. It is up to you to make that right. To do this, you will have to take your trash along with you. You can stuff snack wraps into your pocket to dispose when you get home.
Because some of these peels can decompose, it does not make it right to leave them littered everywhere on a trail.
Going out for a hike is a fantastic way to exercise as well as keep your head clear of disturbing thoughts. You can use it in taking steps away from social media and demanding tasks.
Nevertheless, with these hiking tips, you will have no reason to be afraid as a newbie. It is vital that you stop once in a while to take deep breaths. Also, you can stop to look around you and admire mother nature at its finest.
Skim through these tips and be assured that your hiking trip will be nothing short of amazing.
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