You get a lot from hiking. Not only that you get to explore the outdoors, but you also get to exercise your muscles without ever feeling restricted like when you are in the gym or inside the house doing some routine exercises. It’s also fun and exciting. The excitement gets even more striking when something unlikely happens. You just have to thank mother nature for that as she can have some uncanny ways to shake things at times. But if you come out to hike well prepared, you won’t be so stressed even if nature will have its way. Don’t forget the best water bottles for hiking as it could give you more than just the refreshment that you may need from time to time while on a hike.
If you plan to have your very first hike, don’t be so intimidated. Everyone experiences a first time. As long as you know how to walk, know where you are, and have everything that you need to last the trek, there is no need to worry. Just pace yourself and enjoy what nature has in store for you. You’ll get a good workout doing it, and you’ll end up feeling better than the time you began. After a couple more hikes, you’ll get used to the terrain and you’ll soon think of finding a more challenging route.
Until then, you’ll just have to get used to the first track that you have set yourself to finish. Don’t forget this guide as well. This will provide you with the essential hiking tips that will help you make your first hike safe while having the fun that you want from a good hike.
Pick the right hike that you will enjoy
Don’t stress yourself when it is still your first try to hike. Choose a trail that will just be appropriate to your fitness level. Don’t pick one that is just too long or one that requires a lot of climbing when you haven’t been doing much exercise even at home. If you plan to take a longer hike, then you have to train in advance. You need to undergo endurance and strength training as these are what a more challenging hike will require.
Don’t forget to check the total climbing that you will do on your hike. Remember that walking a certain length will require less effort than if you would have to walk uphill at the same distance. A study conducted at the University of Michigan will best prove this claim.
If you are uncertain where to head for your first hike, you can visit several websites and apps like Peakfinder, The Map My Hike App, Maps 3D Pro App, Alltrails, and more to find many beginner-friendly trails and trail guides. If you prefer a physical book to read, you can just head over your local library for some of the great hiking guidebooks that can help you plan your first hike.
You need to be familiar with the hike, so check as much information about the trail before finally deciding to go. Find a good trail guide to know what to expect if there are any intersections, the turns (if there is any), spots where you can dine or settle for the night (if you are planning to stay overnight in between hikes), and so on. Make sure you have a good idea what is in store for you at the trail site.
Pack the right hiking gear
There are so many options online and even on your local store. Just make sure that when you pack the things that you need to bring, find the lightest of the item to pack. You can have all the essentials inside your backpack but if you have the heaviest of each item, you’ll probably the hike will probably take twice as much time than it should.
The things that you should bring should not only be light, but they should also be right for the hike. Put on and bring extra clothes that will ensure that any part of your body won’t get scraped if ever you brush off with some bushes along the trail.
Wearing the right footwear is also a must. Find a good pair of sneakers or trail runners that won’t be hard on your feet and would also give your feet the much-needed support throughout the hike. It is also worth remembering that blisters and bruises may just be part of the hike. It is best that you have some dressing and first-aid medication just in case.
Another essential item to bring is water. Keep your beverage in one of the best water bottles for hiking such as the Glacier Point Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. This can keep your beverage hot or cold for 12 or 24 hours, respectively. It’s one tough battle for a tough hike.
Set the right time for the hike
Avoid the rush and the crowd. Start your hike as early as possible. This way your body is still fully charged and you’ll have a smaller crowd to compete with if you are planning to hike to a place that’s a common destination.
You will also need to check the weather condition a couple of times before proceeding to the trail. Give the park office a call just before you leave as well just to make sure that you won’t be going for a hike when there is a storm. Giving them a call will also let you know if the trail is really open for hikers that day. Don’t end up wasting your time if you don’t.
Check if you need papers for the trail
You need to do your homework. There are some trails that require a permit, so make sure you have the necessary documents before proceeding. If you’re not quite sure whether you will need one on your next hike, contact the park office to clear things up.
Let someone else know about your hike
It can be as simple as texting a friend or a colleague where you will be hiking and when you are expected to be back. If you find the social media a better option, then, by all means, do so. Just make sure you let someone else what’s going on where you are heading. This is the easiest way to make sure that you can be found in case an unforeseen event happens.
Hike to enjoy not to race
How can you enjoy and spot all the natural beauty if you are in a rush? Hike at a comfortable pace that will allow you to spot the unusual wildlife that may be present in the area. Don’t use up much of your energy when you are just starting off. Save your energy for some of the more challenging climbs during the hike.
Watch where you are walking
There may be insects and reptiles along the trail that you may unintentionally step on. Make sure to pay attention to your feet. You also need to watch out for any slippery road, rock, or roots that may cause your foot to slip, twist, or trip.
Think you are lost? STOP
The first thing you need to do if you think that you have lost your way is to STOP. Check your map or your guide to see if there is anything that looks familiar in the spot where you are at the moment. If you can’t find anything similar, backtrack until what you see around you may be what you have seen or are seeing in the guide that you are using.
But if you still can’t recognize anything, check if you can get a signal and call or text the emergency numbers. You may refer to this list of emergency numbers around the world.
Learn to hike by the rules
There are some hiking etiquettes that you need to follow when hiking. For instance, a hiker going up a hill has the right of way, so if you are on an even ground, you have to make way for the other hiker pass. Not leaving a trace on the trail is another thing that you should remember. Keep the place clean and safe for other hikers to enjoy more of the scene and worry less.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you have other suggestions on how to make the first hike a better one? Share your thoughts in the comments’ section below.