So, you’re taking up hiking. Congratulations, you’ve chosen a highly therapeutic approach to exercise. Not only do you get to enjoy the outdoors, but you also benefit from the varying inclines that make up a great workout. Plus, with different trails to choose from, you can switch up the intensity of your hike at any time.
As with any new hobby, you’ll be learning vital information to get started. To prepare for your first hike, you must consider the weather, your hiking gear and supplies, and your current activity level. These elements will significantly influence your experience hiking and whether you’ll stick with it for the long run.
If you’re overwhelmed by all that’s involved, don’t fret. It’s easier than it sounds once you’ve gathered up the right beginner’s hiking gear and mapped out your trail. To help you get started, here is a beginner’s guide to the world of hiking.
Get Beginners Hiking Gear
The gear you use for hiking will make a big difference in your experience overall. Make sure that the hiking clothes you wear are weather-appropriate. Wear a waterproof jacket if you’re hiking in the rain or snow. You’re ready to go with a jacket designed to fend off wind, rain, and snow, and one with internal properties to keep you warm.
You’ll also need waterproof hiking shoes to avoid slipping and getting wet. Choose beginner’s hiking gear like shoes with nonslip grips and built-in drainage systems. You might also consider an adjustable, breathable mesh hat to obtain a balance of warmth and breathability as you sweat.
Know Your Directions
It is easy to get lost hiking. Make sure you’ve mapped out your route correctly ahead of time. You can go through the route on your device before you head out to get a general idea of your path. While you should always ensure your phone is charged before your hike, if this fails, bring a compass with you, just in case, as part of your beginner’s hiking gear.
You might even consider making visual markers as you hike so that you can find your way back. Since you’re new to hiking, start with easy trails and work up to complex ones. It takes time to find your way around in the woods!
Look For Signs
Pay attention to the signs and markers around you as you hike. You can spot helpful directions, trailhead guides, indicators to restrooms, campsites, etc. If other trails cross yours, signs indicate you’re veering onto a different path. As a beginner hiker, you want to be mindful of these signs to avoid getting lost. Bring a flashlight with the rest of your beginner’s hiking gear in case you have trouble reading signs at night.
Make Your First Hike A Success
Hiking as a routine activity or pastime is a reliable way to increase one’s fitness and exposure to the great outdoors. For a successful first hike, refer to the above tips on beginners hiking gear and navigation.