Hiking Tips For Beginners – How to Hike Like a Pro
Hiking can sometimes be an intimidating prospect for a beginner. It could make you anxious thinking about what could possibly go wrong when you’re out on the path if you are ill-prepared with knowledge.
These tips should give you confidence on your first few times out in nature and have you hiking like a pro in no time.
When you are hiking for the first time, it is best not to start on Mount Everest. The last thing you would want to do is take on a trail that is completely beyond your capabilities.
Find a trail that is known to take on beginner hikers when you are getting your feet wet. Do your research to find out what kind of terrain you’re dealing with, how long the trail is, and if there is going to be an uphill work.
As you continue to go on these starter trails, extend the time and length of your hike gradually. You will build up your stamina and knowledge and be on your way to more advanced trails.
For a beginner, you don’t have to be completely decked out in the latest and most advanced hiking gear. At the same time, you need to have at least the basic items that can make your time out there easier.
Essentials like a compass so you can keep direction. A small first-aid kit just in case you sustain some minor injuries and you need to do some dressing. Maybe a small light source in case you stay out a little too long, it can illuminate your path.
Hiking takes a lot out of you so it’s important to stay hydrated and energized. Make sure you bring enough water and high energy snacks like protein bars, fruits, and nuts to keep you focused and alert during your trek.
Choose the Right Footwear
Chances are if you are taking up hiking, you’re going to use your feet a lot. We ask Brian Bradshaw of Boot Bomb, one of the leading authorities on hiking boots, about the importance of having a decent pair. He says “you’re going to need some good walking boots because this is the most solid investment you can make for yourself if you’re an outdoors person.”
There are boots that are specifically designed for hiking through rough terrain and up hills, or shoes for walking long distances that also give you the support you need. “One common misconception is that you need some thick socks to give you added support, but high-quality hiking boots for men in 2019 usually come with all the support you need, so thinner socks are fine.” Brian further adds.
Don’t Rely on Your Cell Phone
If you are new to hiking, you are probably used to being plugged in at all times. When you don’t know where you are or where something is, you turn to your trusty cell phone for guidance.
While wherever you chose to go may have some cell service, there’s a large chance you might be in an area where it could cut out on you. It will definitely benefit you if you bring a detailed map of the area, and study it beforehand so you are familiar. This, in turn, will help give a sense of direction in case you lose your way.
Hike with Other Experienced Hikers
On your first trip out, if the trail is geared towards beginners, you can definitely roll solo. Most of those will be pretty straightforward, flat land, and of low difficulty.
If you want to get good at hiking fast though, and leave those easy trails alone and start getting up to speed with the pros, you should hike with some.
Having someone around you who is more experienced than you is great. They can give you tips along the way to ensure you improve and minimize injury, getting lost and any other mishaps that may take place.