“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”- Mary Davis
With the temperature dropping and the colors of autumn enveloping nature, it is the best time to go hiking. Walking along the beautiful trails and soaking in the wonders of nature is the best way to rejuvenate your senses.
If you want to hike but don’t know how to go about it, we have some help in hand. This essential beginner’s guide to hiking covers everything you need to know to make your first hike successful.
Take a look:
- Start easy
You would certainly not want your first hike to be your last one. Hence, keep the difficulty level from easy to moderate the first time. Select a short and easy trail to familiarize yourself with this adventure.
Spend some time researching the trail that matches your fitness level. Find out the best time to go, the length of the trail and other relevant things. Consider elevation gain. You would not want to hike on the trail with substantial elevation gain the first time.
If you start easy, there will be no stopping.
- Check the weather
It is advisable to check the weather beforehand because you would certainly hate leaving your hike in the middle due to rain or high-velocity winds. Hence, keep an eye on weather predictions for a few days, and ensure to check them a few hours before your hike.
Checking the weather will also help you pack your clothes and other stuff accordingly.
- Buy a suitable hiking gear
What you wear during the hike is an essential determinant of how much you will enjoy the hike. If you wear something uncomfortable, your attention will keep drifting from nature to your clothes. Therefore, make it a point to buy suitable hiking gear.
Wearing denim for hiking might not be a good idea, as it will get heavy upon getting wet. Instead wear lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable workout clothes. Wear full-sleeve tops and long tights to ensure that bushes don’t scrape your skin.
Most importantly, wear comfortable hiking shoes or boots. The markets are full of lightweight hiking shoes for women and men. Make sure they are neither too tight, nor too loose.
- Carry a paper map
While you have GPS to guide you through your hiking trail, nothing could be more satisfying and fulfilling than reading a paper map.
Just for the sake of this experience, carry a paper map. Also, not to forget, in case of an electronic device failure, it is the paper map that will come in handy.
- Pack your essentials
There are a few essentials that will make your first hiking experience easy and fun. What goes into your backpack depends on you, but this list might help you determine the essentials.
They include- a flashlight, a navigation compass, a first aid kit, extra pair of clothes, sunblock, an emergency shelter, a lighter, food, and drinks.
- Eat well
You will need energy to keep going on your trail. Hence, make it a point to keep yourself well-fed and hydrated throughout your hiking spree.
It is easy to get dehydrated while hiking unless you carry a lot of water. Also, do not consume alcohol or caffeine during the hike.
Pack a lot of protein and carb-packed snacks, such as peanut butter, almond butter, snack bars, protein bars, the ones from Stars + Honey are highly recommended, mixed nuts, fruit strips, etc.
The bottom line
Hiking is fun for those who know how to hike the right way. If you aren’t prepared for it, it could turn into your biggest nightmare. We hope these tips will help you prepare for your first-ever hike.