Top 4 Hiking Tips for Beginners
Planning for your first hike? You will need to get as much information as you can as you will be venturing in the wilderness. Here are some tips.
1. Plan Well
Choosing the mountain you wish to hike is the first part. For beginners, we recommend mountains around 3,000′. After that, make sure you check the weather on the day you will be hiking and more information about the mountain you chose. Then, you can read other hikers’ experiences, advice, and what gear to bring. Read our tips on How to Choose the Perfect Backpack for Outdoors.
After you get information, make a checklist of things to carry and do, so as to eliminate any chance of forgetting.
If you would like to go alone, you can. But preferably, you should join a group for your first hike, because there will be people to help you out in case of any mishap, as there are high chances of encountering difficulties on your first hike. Once you are experienced, there is no problem in going alone. Joining a group or an experienced hiker also has another benefit that you can learn many new skills from them.
2. Take Care of Your Health
Keep your first trip short as your body is not acclimatized for a lot of exertion. Once you get used to, you can go on long hikes. Keep yourself well hydrated to avoid dehydration which can make you more vulnerable to altitude sickness and hypothermia.
Protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunblock and sunglasses. Before starting your trip, learn basic first aid and carry a first aid kit with you. If your socks become wet, change them immediately to avoid the formation of blisters.
Take a break of at least 10 minutes every hour. It will remove the metabolic waste building up in your leg muscles while hiking. Carry an emergency stock of food which you can use if you have to stay longer than you expected. Carry something for water purification like tablets or pump purifier.
Study the map well before embarking on the trip. Especially look for emergency exit points and places where you can get drinkable water.
Give a full idea of your trip to some near and dear one.
Consider choosing a lightweight backpack, comfortable and roomy yet not bulky. Waterproof your backpack with a pack liner or pack cover. Put on layers to stay warm and comfortable. Pack items like a map, flashlight, first aid kit, water and snacks in such a way that you can easily access them. In case of bad knees, try walking poles. Don’t forget your hiking boots!
Consider renting or borrowing your gear for your first hike rather than purchasing. Once you know about the quality of each one, you can buy them.
Follow these tips to make your first hike fun and good luck on your journey!