If you have a lot of friends who love to travel or go camping, you’ve probably been invited to go hiking once or twice. It’s a fun activity for everyone whether you’re the outdoor type or not. Hiking allows you to see beautiful sights first hand and experience nature like no other. Most of all, it helps you disconnect from gadgets like your phone or laptop and bond with friends in an awesome way.
If you’re planning to go on your first hiking trip, here are 3 essential tips for first-timers:
Choose an easy trail
Like any other sport or outdoor activity, hiking can be done in various difficulties. It all depends on the trail you choose that should be appropriate for your level. As a beginner, choose one that is appropriate for your level of fitness. As you start to get the hang of it, you can opt for more difficult trails in the future. You should also do your part to condition yourself and get ready for the trip mentally and physically. Practice at a nearby trail, going as far as you can each time and resting when you get tired. If you don’t have a trail to practice on, the gym would do – try exercises like the elliptical and stair climber.
Get the basic gear
Since hiking is an outdoor activity, you should be ready for the outdoors in terms of clothing and gear. The most important one is the footwear that you’re going to use. A good, quality pair of rubber shoes would do (depending on the trail), but it is recommended that you invest in a good pair of hiking shoes/boots that offers ankle support and preferably one that is waterproof. It is crucial that you break in these shoes before your hike to avoid blisters. But just in case, bring a couple of blister band aids.
Eat well and stay hydrated
You’re going to need plenty of energy on your trip. Be sure to eat a good, solid meal before going and that you pack snacks with you (preferably light ones that contain lots of natural sugars and healthy fats). Dried fruit and nuts are highly recommended. Stay hydrated as well, so don’t forget your water bottle!
Keep in mind that hiking is both a mental and physical activity so you should condition both of these aspects of yourself before your trip. When it seems hard, just remember that what you’ll see at the end of your hike will all be worth it.
Daniel J. Smith is a survival expert. Having lived the outdoor life since he was very young, he loves sharing his expertise about camping, hiking, traveling, RV living and many more. He has also started his own company called OutBright, which will soon be selling products that cater to campers, hikers, travellers and all outdoor-loving adventurers.