Walking

Beginner’s Guide to Hiking

July 11, 2015
beginners-guide-to-hiking

Hiking is one of the best physical activities, because during one hike, you can visit magnificent sites, experience the immaculate nature and at the same time work on your physical strength and health. If you are a beginner, then make sure you don’t go alone and that you ask someone with experience for help. However, you will start with short hikes, so there is no need to immediately buy expensive equipment, which will probably be suggested by a hiking pro.

1. Carefully choose the route – don’t be a hero

When choosing the hike, you should take into consideration the distance, terrain and the elevation change. If you are new at hiking, then you should start hiking slowly and not challenge yourself immediately. Hiking for hours in the unmapped wilderness while being out of shape is a huge mistake, and it is not a time to be a hero. Because of that, call a friend and go along the marked paths, because it is much better to start slowly and see magnificent sights, than to come back home in pain and exhausted. When hiking, make a lot of breaks in order to rest and prepare for following chapter of your adventure.

2. Make hiking fun with the help of your friends

When you are new at hiking, if hiking alone you might get scared at one moment or get bored quickly, because you are not used to that type of activity. The best solution is to call a group of friends to go with you, but if someone has been hiking before, let them know that you are a newbie. Spending the day with your friends and at the same time doing physical activity, will definitely be fun and unforgettable. Moreover, depending on the route, you might expect to see outstanding sights and even historical monuments on your way. So, make sure you bring your iPhone and take a lot of photos. The great advantage of hiking with your friends is that you will feel more motivated to hike and explore more.

3. Wear layered clothes

If you are going hiking on mountains or into the woods, it is certain that the temperature there is lower than in the city. Because of that, you should wear layered clothes, which will enable you to feel comfortable anytime. Even if it is really hot, bring a jacket if you are planning on staying till the evening. Professional hikers wear a waterproof jacket to keep them dry, but if you are going on a short hike in the nearby area, you don’t have to purchase it. On the other hand, if you are going on a hike with a group of people which will last the whole day, you should consider wearing this jacket, because it could rain for a short period of time and you will find yourself wet and cold.

The sun can be both your friend and your enemy during hikes, so make sure to bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun rays, and don’t forget a pair of sunglasses.

4. Pick the right footwear

Don’t rush immediately and buy the first big hiking boots you see, because they might just make your hike even more difficult. Hiking boots are usually really heavy, so if you want to buy one pair then inform yourself well and try on as many pairs as you need until you find the right ones. The purpose of hiking boots is to support your ankles and that way protect your feet from injuries while walking. If you are going on a short hike and you don’t have hiking boots, you can wear sneakers. The best type of sneakers for hiking are sports, the ones which are made for running and various sports. However, be careful when hiking while wearing sneakers because there are a lot of slippery surfaces.

5. Get a good backpack

Hiking beginners usually make the mistake of carrying a large backpack, which only makes their walking difficult. It isn’t camping, so pack light and bring only the necessary things. Depending on the length of your hike, you will determine how much food you need, which you can share among your friends to carry according to your physical ability. Carry a lot of water, but inform yourself if there is any water where you are going and don’t lug bottles of water if it is not necessary.

When going on hiking, make sure your phone battery is fully charged, because it can be used in case of an emergency, and it can be used as a compass, a map and to track the distance. Other must haves during the hiking adventure are a pocket knife, a first aid kit, sunscreen and a camera. On the mountains, you feel the breeze and you won’t feel that your face is burning, so in order to avoid pain bring some sunscreen with you.

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