Best Ways to Start Hiking
There’s a lot to love about hiking, but if you’re not experienced, it can be very intimidating. There are many benefits to hiking. Not only is it a great form of exercise, but it allows you to step away from technology and take time to appreciate the beauty of the world right in front of you. Hiking also allows you to challenge yourself by putting yourself in situations you may not be used to. Hiking can provide a very rewarding experience, offering a sense of accomplishment at the end of the trail. If you are brand new to hiking, there are several ways you can ease yourself into it.
Being new to hiking means you have to find the best trails for your fitness level. Start on shorter trails without much incline to start with. Once you have mastered those, gradually move on to more challenging ones. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have taken on a trail much too advanced for your fitness level. It’s good to challenge yourself, but it’s important to keep yourself safe. It’s a good idea to find a trail with a distance you know you’ll be able to do easily.
Make Sure You Have Correct Shoes and Apparel
Nothing can ruin a hike more than having incorrect clothing and footwear. Make an effort to find some high-quality boots with thick wool or synthetic socks. Dressing in layers before your hike is a must. Consider an alternative clothing brand to find apparel that you can customize, adding flair to your style. Choosing what you’ll wear greatly depends on the season, but you’ll want to bring extra clothing to ensure you’re comfortable.
Bring Friends Along
Hiking with a friend can be great motivation to keep going. Bringing along someone else on your hike is also a good safety measure. If someone gets injured, there’s another person to find help and/or perform first aid. Another good reason why it’s good to hike with someone else is that it can help keep wild animals away. Hiking with others is a good way to look out for each other. If you cannot bring along a friend or you just like to hike alone, you should at least let someone know ahead of time where you are going and when you should expect to be back.
Pack Important Supplies
Being a new hiker, you might feel like you need to pack anything and everything. While it’s a good idea to make sure you have everything you need, you also do not want to overpack. Some of the essential things you’ll definitely need include:
- First-aid supplies
- Sun protection
- Extra food
- Extra water
- Emergency shelter
- Extra clothing
- Waterproof matches
Some things may seem unnecessary, especially if you’re going on a short hike. It’s better to be prepared because you never know what may happen.
Check the Weather
Before you leave your house to hit the trails, pay attention to the weather. Everyone knows that weather can easily change without much notice, but make sure no bad weather is in the forecast as a safety precaution. If you end up getting caught in heavy rain, try to seek shelter until the storm passes and be extra careful with your footing.
Hiking is a great thing to do alone or with friends. Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to any physical activity. If you feel like you’re very out of shape and you don’t know much about hiking, focus on the beginner trails first. You’ll eventually be able to tackle the moderate to expert level hikes with enough determination.