Hiking is an amazing activity that has plenty of benefits. First of all, it’s a good way to stay physically active without doing any exercise. Together with staying active, you can test the capabilities of your body and explore the world around you. It’s an amazing activity that attracts more and more people every year. For example, about 50 million people in the US practice hiking regularly and don’t plan to give it up. We are sure that there are people who adore hiking, read a lot about it and watch videos on YouTube, but there are certain aspects that prevent them from doing it. And one of the most widespread factors that prevent people from trying themselves at hiking is fear. They believe myths and think that hiking is too difficult and exhausting.
Today we’ll destroy this myth and will make your first hiking experience great. You’ll easily enter the world of hiking and will never want to leave it. Just follow the steps below.
Solo hiking vs group hiking
It’s the first question you should answer. Are you ready to hike alone for the first time, or do you have a friend who also wants to join you? Since you’re a beginner and have zero experience in it, we don’t recommend you to hike alone, even if you choose an easy trail. Ask your friends. You certainly have a few people who are ready to assist you in your endeavors. If no one can’t accompany you, find a local hiking group, and don’t be afraid to join. Hikers are very friendly and are always ready to accept beginners.
Assess your physical preparation
Even though hiking doesn’t always mean something difficult and exhausting, you must look at yourself and your current level of physical activity. How long can you walk without stopping? Can you climb the slopes? We understand that you may love yourself too much and dream about starting hiking as soon as possible, but don’t overestimate yourself on this stage; otherwise, you’ll choose a too difficult trail and won’t overcome it.
Explore the trails near you
It’s possible to find this information on the Internet or consult an experienced hiker from a local hiking group. Take into account your physical preparation level, the difficulty of the hiking trail, and the amount of free time you have. Hiking is rather popular among students, but not all of them may practice it as often as they want.
Check on the weather
The hiking trail may get worse if you decide to go hiking in bad weather. But we want your first experience to be smooth and positive for you and the people who accompany you. The first experience and emotions you’ll get during it are very important. All your next hiking tours and their success depend on the first experience. Find a few days with warm and sunny weather without the heat and rain. It will let you take fewer clothes and, therefore, will make your hiking tour easier.
Get acquainted with the trail in advance
Do it even if you chose the easiest trail. You’re a beginner, and you’ll need to familiarize yourself with each new trail for the first time. You should also have a map of this area. We understand that we live in the digital era, but don’t forget that the phone battery isn’t endless. Get a portable battery and print a map, just for instance.
Gather all necessary hiking gear
Have you always been dreaming of knowing what hikers carry in their backpacks? You’ll learn it here. Since you’re a beginner and plan a short hiking tour, you don’t need to purchase a huge backpack. Just make sure it’s waterproof, and it will be enough. Here are the essentials for first-time hikers:
- First-aid kit;
- Portable battery;
- Sun protection;
- Warm clothing.
Be ready that this list will become longer and longer. The first hiking tour will show you what items are also necessary for a hike. Take note of each thing you consider necessary to buy and take it the next time. Safety first, so if possible, make sure to bring a hiking buddy who’s a first-aid expert.
Purchase suitable clothes
Hiking is always accompanied by additional expenses. You can’t just take the sportswear from your wardrobe and wear it. First of all, you need to purchase hiking shoes to be able to move on any terrain and know that your feet are safe. Opt for synthetic clothes because they dry faster and are warm. It’s better to wear several layers of clothes to be able to regulate the body temperature and undress when it’s necessary.