Hiking can seem difficult for beginners.
Sometimes it may seem like it’s never the right time to go for a hike at all.
You start thinking about what to wear when hiking, what to include in your backpack, or how much will weather mess up with your plans.
But if taking a walk in nature is one of your callings – by all means, start with the basics right now, so you can master the hiking skill as soon as possible.
The Beginner’s Hiking Guide
I hope you already know that as a beginner, you never go alone on a route. Take with you someone who’s already experienced in hiking, and make sure they have already hiked that road before.
The second rule of thumb in Hiking for Dummies is that you only go on easy, known routes in the beginning.
Get used to the long walks, the strain on your feet, the various types of surfaces and terrains – you’ll have plenty of time and routes to try once you get the hang of the basics. But, as a beginner, stick with the easiest things first.
Discover the trails located in areas you already know, where the chances of getting lost are slim.
And before you go on your first adventure, read these 3 tips that will clear up your expectations for the first hikes.
3 Hiking Tips for Beginners
1. Pack the First-Aid Kit
The First-Aid Kit is not an optional item to bring along, even for short-distance walks that you can complete within a day. You never know what critter will jump from behind which tree, or when you could go over on your ankle.
You don’t need to pack a mini-hospital, but you do need to have:
- Plasters of different sizes
- Cleansing wipes (without alcohol)
- Scissors and tweezers that will help you remove splinters or glass from possible wounds
- Distilled water for cleaning the injuries
- Sterile gloves that will help you operate them
- Antiseptic and antihistaminic solutions, in case you discover (or activate) an allergy
- Thermometer, so that you can always check if your temperature is within normal limits.
Some additional items become mandatory if you’re staying for more than one day. Therefore, consider adding painkillers, elastic bandages, duct tape, gauze and insect repellent to your kit if you’re spending the night in the wild.
2. Choose the Proper Hiking Clothes and Gear
Especially because you’re a beginner, you need to pay attention to the gear and clothing. You shouldn’t go hiking in a random shirt and sneakers you used to run in, but you don’t have to buy brand new clothes, either. However, the proper hiking shoes and clothes will make the difference between a pleasant, incident-lacking hike and the “I’m never going to do that again” experience.
Besides the shoes, the right pair of socks will keep your feet protected from blisters and sore muscles – choose the puffiest socks you have in your closet, or buy a pair of socks specially designed for hiking.
Firstly, you need to adapt your hiking boots to the weather and trail conditions – is it going to be rainy or hot? Is it a steep, rocky trail or is the surface even?
Once you know these details, you can choose the proper gear and clothing items.
Besides the footwear, which needs to support your ankles and be comfortable enough for hours-long walks, there are three more vital things to consider.
- The base layer
- The insulating layer
- The water- and windproof layer
The base layer is made of shorts and t-shirt in the summer or long-sleeved garments in the colder seasons. Nonetheless, the best hiking pants are those made of spandex or nylon – they are quick to dry and protect your legs from poisonous vegetation or insect bites.
The insulating layer is necessary at high altitudes or if you choose to go hiking during late fall, early spring, and is made of fleece or wool garments (both of them are excellent insulators).
The last layer which protects you from wind and rain should consist of extra jackets and hiking pants that you can wear on top of the base layer.
3. Bring A Multi-Purpose Tool
Whether you’re going for a one-day hike or you’re planning to camp overnight, a multi-tool can prove handy. Do you need to cut some rope for your tent or scale a fish? Or maybe you just need to open a can of beans for lunch.
Ozark trail’s outdoor equipment offers a 14-in-1 multi tool for as little as $4. You get a wire cutter, a knife, a saw, a bottle and a can opener, three different types of screwdrivers, and many other utensils within the same tool.
Drop by at Walmart and make sure you include the multi-purpose tool in your backpack.
Hiking for Dummies – It’s not as Hard as It Seems
Although it’s not as easy as taking a walk in the park, hiking isn’t supposed to be a pain in the neck. Even if you’re not the most experienced hiker.
As long as you pay attention to the basics, nothing should disturb your adventure. These tips mentioned above will help you make the best of your hikes. Prepare yourself for adventure while preparing your safety net for misadventures!