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.