Hiking Basics: What Beginners Need to Know

hiking tips camping cooksHiking is a sport that is as much mental as it is physical. Hikers must endure the emotional struggles that come along with trekking through an unknown, rugged terrain, while also managing their physical strength and needs along the way.

Hiking trails offer glimpses into the wilds of nature, making it the perfect adventure for those who enjoy viewing animals in their natural habitat while searching for flora and fauna. These same trails often also provide some of the most picturesque views around the country.

Those who are interested in trying out hiking for the first time will want to know more before getting started.

A Beginner’s Hiking Backpack: What Supplies are Necessary

Just as a first-time camper wouldn’t rush out without camping or the best mess kits to eat from on the trail, an individual who is new to hiking should not just pick up and head out on a trail without investing in the right gear and packing up a hiking bag. Beginners may not need the extensive and elite supplies that avid hikers use on a regular basis. But, it’s still a good idea to purchase solid equipment that will be reliable while out on the terrain.

A pair of supportive boots is one of the first supplies that should be on any hiker’s list. Appropriate footwear is not only necessary for comfort, but also for safety. Hiking boots will provide better grip and support throughout the hike. Beginners also should purchase a hiking backpack that contain all necessary supplies for any hike. Items should include food, water, and a first aid kit.

Don’t Hike Alone: Guide for Picking a Hiking Partner

Even the most experienced hikers should begin any adventure with a hiking partner – always think safety will hiking or camping. It’s particularly important for beginners to find a reliable and trustworthy partner to hike with. Most people find that a hike is more fun when they have their friends along with them, so new hikers can first reach out to their circle of friends to see if anyone is interested in joining them. If they do not have friends who are interested in hiking, they can contact a local outdoor supply store or hiking school to see if there are interested partners available.

Safety Tips and Precautions to Take While Hiking

Safety should be a top priority on any hike. Hiking beginners may want to consider investing in an introductory course or in a safety course, so that they have an understanding of what they will experience while out on the trail. Those who are new to hiking also will want to take the following into consideration:

  • Outline the hiking itinerary and leave it with a relative, friend or neighbor.
  • Pack extra water and food in the event of an emergency.
  • Know the appropriate places to use the bathroom.
  • Study the trail before beginning it.

Choosing the First Hiking Trail and Route

Novice hikers need to choose their first trail carefully. It’s important to select a low-impact trail with a relatively mild terrain. This is so the hiker does not endure too many unexpected challenges while they are learning the sport. Generally, information about local trails will be readily available from the organizations that maintain them. New hikers should take into account the amount of time it typically takes to hike the trail that they are choosing. They should also look at the climate of the region during the time of year that they will be hiking. New hikers should start with trails designed for beginners, and work their way up.

There’s nothing quite like that first hiking adventure. Beginners who pack the right gear and follow the safety guidelines will enjoy an experience that they won’t soon forget.