Hiking is an enjoyable activity to keep you fit, healthy, creative, and lower your stress levels. It’s also one of the best ways to appreciate nature while being in the center of it. If this is your first time to try out this amazing activity and you are looking for some hiking tips for beginners then you’ve come to the right place.
From what to wear and what not to do, these are useful hiking tips and tricks that could make your first hike all the more enjoyable.
And remember! Hiking is an activity that nature has gifted us. So stay respectful to mother earth by not littering and not harming wildlife!
Let’s start with the basics of the basics. Many beginners think that wearing shorts and sleeveless tops is the best when it comes to hiking. After all, warmer places can get you sweaty so less is more right? Sure, if you want bug bites that you had no idea about.
Hiking is always done in the wilderness. Either somewhere in the mountains, remote areas, or forests. It’s definitely not in the middle of town. So chances of a bug crawling up on the skin of your pretty arms or sturdy legs are very high.
So here is what to wear for hiking – full-covered clothes. Reduce as maximum skin showing as possible because the risks of you getting an infection from bug bites, snake bites, and leeches (if you are hiking in a forest) or rubbing on some plant that you are allergic to are a huge possibility.
As for what pants to wear for hiking, it’s always flexible, tight-fitted full-length ones. There are tons of insects on the floor than there are on trees and these latch to your legs. If there is an opening then climbing up to the upper parts of the body isn’t impossible for the critters. So make sure you cut off all unnecessary contact with these more than four-legged or no-legged creatures. Wearing full-covered clothes lessens the chances of contact with anything unwanted.
This also brings us to the importance of hiking shoes. Get rid of any shoes that can be slippery and don’t have a good grip. You don’t have to buy anything too expensive. Just make sure the shoes you buy can withstand rough terrains, water and won’t let you slip and break an ankle.
Learning about the trail you want to hike is a must before you start on the path. If you’re a beginner then the question of “how to start hiking” is something that lingers on your mind. The answer is easy. Start with easy straight trails that don’t narrow out into a dangerous situation, go too high or too low.
If you aren’t used to walking 6-7 hours or 10km then choose a trail that goes around 2 to 3km and at best hike for 2 to 3 hours. These easy paths are the best way to start hiking for beginners.
Twenty push-ups, sixty sit-ups, and a 2km run every day. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do those because it’s not needed. Especially for a beginner. What you need is walking and plenty of walking at that. That’s one of the best exercises for hiking. Up your walking game to at least 2 hours a day.
Jump roping will help you build your core and overall strength. Flexibility and stamina are the number one assets you need when going on hikes. Even for beginners. While other exercises will help, walking and jump ropes are the best hiking exercises to help you start with.
For beginner hikers, it’s best not to carry a 10kg bag so you can enjoy and get a feel of what hiking is all bout. To do this, you choose an easy hiking path that only takes a couple of hours. In this case, you can reduce the number of things to take on a hike and lessen your burden.
In the beginning, it’s best to carry two bottles of water and a packet of biscuits. This way, you’d keep your thirst under control and can munch on some quick snacks in case your energy goes down, making it one of the hiking essentials for beginners.
This is the best way to get used to the hiking environment that will help you decide if the activity is enjoyable for you enough to carry a 10kg bag and go on longer multi-day hikes.
Before you embark on your adventure, here are some hiking safety tips to keep in mind at all times that will help you stay away clear of danger.
Don’t wander off into unknown territory. You could encounter wild animals or at the worst, get lost without knowing your way back. And nobody wants to experience “Cast Away” in real life, do we?
Don’t go to places not on maps or without a cellphone network. Yes, the thrill is real and its sounds like a real adventure…..but with plenty of downsides and life threatening risks. If you do get lost, not having the area on a map means rescue would be difficult. Not having enough charge or network on your phone means you won’t be able to call for help. Adventures are full but it’s always better to play it safe than sorry.
Don’t walk or stand near edges. Mountain/hill edges or river banks could have loose mud that could result in serious injuries or at worst, falling to your death. Always stay clear of edges and canyons.
Don’t try to go near wild animals even if they seem harmless. They are called wild animals for a reason. They aren’t used to humans and stepping into their territory could mean they see you as a potential danger and could attack you. Don’t try to get close or provoke them.
Don’t eat wild plants. Those sweet-looking berries might seem edible but they could be the most poisonous ones out there. Don’t eat food from the wild if you don’t have adequate knowledge of wild plants.