Hike a bit like life- the more you take a stride, the more you get the opportunity to witness all the beauty of nature. Allowing yourself to present throughout the entirety of a hike can give you the best moment. And if you are someone new to such exploration, then you will need to do a lot of homework before you step on the field of hiking. But don’t worry! As you have already got yourself here, you will get some basic hiking tips so that you can have a wonderful walking tour.
Tip 1: Short hike vs. Long
Since you are a hiking newbie, it will be clever to go for a hike below 5 miles with minimum climbing. Because shorter hike is considered to be ideal if it’s going to be your first experience ever. However, if you wish to go for a longer one, you will need to have a training plan beforehand. You can allow 30 minutes every mile for easy and flat terrain. Later you can include steep terrains and weather challenges gradually which will help you get ready for longer hikes. Do remember that a hike of a 5-mile flat will be quite different than a hike of 5-mile straight uphill. So, always keep in mind to note down how far you went, how long it took without the timeout and what you felt.
Tip 2: The trail for tyros
Trails for beginners is well-marked as you can assure yourself that you won’t get lost. You can do some homework on maps which outline all the different directions and routes that you can take. There are some mainstream trail types that are just super cool for new hikers. A few of them have been highlighted here:
- Loop: It brings you back to the same place where you started without repeating the route around the area.
- Out and back: Same as the loop since it begins and ends at the same point but follows a linear path to the half-way before you do a 180 and return to the same point you came.
- Point to point: It starts and ends in different locations and these spots are quite far from one another.
- Interpretive: One of the interesting types which refer to short and stress-free nature hikes which can give you ideas regarding history, flora, and wildlife of the area.
Tip 3 Dealing with difficulties
You will have to chew over a lot of difficult factors while you make yourself ready for hiking.
• Elevation changes: Do your homework on elevation gain. If you have any injury, it might make ascents and descents more challenging. While you will have to check the elevation changes over the total distance of your hike, you will also need to check how fast the changes happen. If you aren’t in top shape, opt for trails having minimum elevation gain.
• Obstacles: Mud, fallen trees, slick broken rock, water crossings: these are some of the most common trail obstacles you can encounter. But since you are a beginner, avoid such trails that have a chance of having these obstacles. Because you don’t want to fall in any danger as a result of such bravery act right?
• Weather challenges: The weather can significantly affect the condition of landscape banking on the place you are planning to hike. You will have less daylight during winter and fall so avoid your hiking plan in such duration. Meanwhile, the summer or dry season is the best catch for your hike. The smartest thing you can do is to check the weather forecast because that will give you the idea of present or upcoming weather condition. If it’s raining or snowing, even a little, better to avoid for the first few series of your hikes.
Tip 4: Essentials to ensure
Because, without these kinds of stuff, you are surely going to ruin the mood of your hike!
Backpack: Take a small backpack so you can carry your other essentials. Make sure the bag has straps so they can help distribute the weight of the bag while you will be carrying it on your back. Also, do check if the bag has a pocket or compartment for a water bottle for easy drinking access.
Water bottle: You literally need to keep yourself hydrated as that gives you boost to enjoy the adventure. So, make sure you carry a water bottle of 2 to 3 liters since you are expected to hike during the hot and dry season as a beginner. You can also carry a hydration bladder that makes it more convenient to drink water. However, make sure you drink 1 liter of water for every two-hour hike to stay hydrated, but that too depends on your pace and weight, hike trails and weather conditions.
Safety items: You have no idea when you might need this. So, always take a first aid kit that will have all the necessary stuff like bandages, alcohol wipes, Polysporin ointment, gauze, ibuprofen, and Benadryl. These items will help you deal with the most common incidents which can happen during a hike. Not just that, it will also save you from an emergency.
Communication device: If you get to a place where you will be absolutely out of the cellphone network, then carry a GPS transponder and communication device so you can use it to communicate. Such a device will let you send messages and locations to your family, friends or emergency responders.
Wears: If it’s your first hike, settle on your clothing by weather condition. As it will be worked out in summer, bring proper layers so that you can adjust it when required. But it’s better you avert bringing cotton as it will retain moisture or sweat. When it comes to shoes, it’s easy what to choose. You can wear your favorite pair of sneakers for the first few rounds of hikes. If you think you are ready for a more challenging hike such as an advanced trail, then you can switch to a light boot or a trail shoe. As for the socks, you will have to avert cotton again. In such cases, a good wool pair of the sock can be the best option to pick.
Snacks: Do carry some healthy snacks. The amount does depend on how far you will be hiking. However, the food might include some fruits, trail mix or any bar that you like to have.
Extra essentials: If you want more convenience, then you can also carry some other items such as a hat, umbrella, bug spray or repellant cream, sunscreen, and sunglasses.