Tips for First Time Hikers


Hiking may seem daunting for the uninitiated. But it isn’t hard as some people imagine it to be. There are many trails that suit different levels of trekking experience. Going on a hike for the first time doesn’t have to be hard. If you are a beginner hiker, here are some simple strategies to make your trek as pleasant as possible.

Go on a short trek at a park near you

Even the easiest trails to navigate can be a challenge for beginners. Footpaths may be smooth in some parts while a bit more rugged in others. It is not like the regular tracks or paved roads that you take when going for walks. You can prepare by going on a few short treks in a park near you before your first hike. Not only will this give you a feel of hiking. It can also help in developing your stamina.

Find a suitable trail for your fitness level

One way to have fun on your first trek is to find a trail that’s suitable for your fitness level. The last thing you want is to suffer needlessly for choosing a tough trail. Choose a shorter distance in the beginning. Do some research on short trails, terrains, and the amounts of time estimated to cover them. Consider how many miles you can hike given the terrain on a reasonable pace. Preferably, choose a trail that doesn’t have much elevation. You can also ask for recommendations from hiking enthusiasts you know.

Hike with someone or join a group

Hiking solo may also be an enjoyable experience. But for beginner hikers, it is best to go for a trek with someone or a group. You can look for hiking groups that organize treks for different levels. You can benefit not only from the company of other beginners but also from the expertise of more experienced hikers who will be joining your group. This also provides you with an opportunity to meet people who could become your companions in future hiking trips.

Find the right shoes

Find a comfortable pair of hiking shoes. If possible, use them in your practice treks in trails at nearby parks a few times before you set out on your hike. Take the time to find shoes that are the best fit for you.

Prepare the essentials you need

Prepare the recommended ten essentials for hikers. These items include extra clothes for insulation, first aid kit, flashlight, food, lighter, map and a reliable compass, sunscreen, water, and a simple tent or easy to set up emergency shelter.

Inform a family member or friend about your hiking trip

Leave a copy of your hiking itinerary with a family member or friend. Provide as many details as you can such as your routes, destinations, and estimated time. If possible, stick to your planned itinerary to ensure that your loved ones can easily track your whereabouts if needed.

6 Reasons Why You Should Make Time for Hikes

Hiking is a pleasurable activity that not many people do. The idea of trekking to rugged terrains may seem daunting for some people who are not as physically active as many regular hikers are. Others may find it hard to squeeze in some time to go on outdoor adventures. Taking a hike, however, has several benefits including some immediate positive effects. Spending time in trails surrounded by nature is a pleasant pursuit everyone should take on.


1. Refreshing getaway from daily routines

Spending significant amounts of time indoors can take its toll to your mind and body. Hiking gives you a chance to step away from daily routines and escape familiar scenes. It is an activity that many people can easily do. You do not have to be extremely fit to go on a hike. Novice hikers can choose the easiest trails with fairly smooth paths. Even a walk in wooded parklands can be a great start.


2. Gives you a different perspective

Not every day is a good day. Some days you will feel overwhelmed by the myriad of things you need to do. Time spent outdoors is a great way to put things in perspective. Out in the open with scenic views as a backdrop, you can forget about your worries or reflect on them from a different point of view. Being outside likewise gives you a sense of freedom. You can choose to escape, at least for a while, from the daily grind or use the time to come up with new ways to deal with whatever it is you may need to work on.


3. Provides fresh and clean air

Have you noticed how different fresh air seems to be in places where there are more trees? There is less air pollution in areas surrounded by nature. Research suggests that there are more benefits to breathing fresh air in rural or wooded areas than in cities, especially ones with plenty of pollution. A trek in wooded trails or in the mountains allows you to enjoy cleaner and fresher air that you do not usually get to breathe in urban areas.


4. Stunning natural scenery

The outdoors is a stunning place. You can stumble into spectacular sights that you have never seen before. The unique natural scenery you find in the many trails you explore can lead to more spectacular views. The breathtaking vistas are among the top reasons many find hiking addictive.


5. Keeps you present in the here and now

Hiking helps keep you in the present moment. You become immersed in the here and now as you follow a path or a trail. You become captivated by the things you see around you. It is a great way to unload unnecessary thoughts from your mind which may be causing you needless worries.


6. Brings you out of your comfort zone

A trek through less beaten paths and rough terrains is far from comfortable. It will stretch you past your limits, especially if you are not used to some of the challenges hiking presents. But that is one of the great things about trekking. It allows you to explore things beyond your comfort zone. You can learn more about yourself and what you are capable of doing when stripped of the familiar comforts that surround you every day.