If you’re looking for a quick escape, hiking is surely the way to go since it helps reduce stress, improve your physical strength, and gets you to a better shape. According to the American Hiking Society, hiking can also decrease the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
Last 2020, with most gyms closed and no running areas available for physical activities, hiking increased dramatically. And now with the pandemic still in our midst, it’s best to try hiking if you’ve been planning to have remote recreational activities.
Here are some essential hiking tips fit for beginners:
1. Train Your Body
The best way to start a recreational activity is to get in shape. Exercise at least 20 minutes a day so your body won’t get tired easily. Practice walking a kilometer or two and use your legs as much as possible before you head to your hike. You can go out of your house and see if there are nearby trails you can practice in.
2. Research The Location
Knowing more about your location will prepare you better for your hike in terms of weather and trail. Search some tips on how to get there and how was the experience like for other people. Also, pick a date when the weather will be nice. You don’t want to go there when it rains or when the temperature is too high to handle.
You also have to choose a trail that fits your level of experience. Since you’re a beginner, make sure that the trail is fit to your level. You might not be ready both physically and mentally if you jump to a hike fit for experts.
3. Study the Map of Your Trail
In the old hiking days, everyone learned to read a topographic map since it was the only option to navigate a hike. Now, thanks to technology, we have GPS watches and smartphones. Hikers can resort to their devices and figure out where they are in a span of seconds. But some emergencies tend to happen and it is best to always be prepared in situations like this.
Bring a map, specifically a topographic one, and store it in plastic so it won’t get wet from the weather nor damaged from the mud and other factors that can tear it up.
Topographic maps give geographic positions and elevations for both man-made and natural features which use contour lines to show the elevation of the ground, and other details of hills, mountains, ridges, and bodies of water. It is a bit complicated to read them but it will be worth the research if it means saving you from risks when you go hiking.
4. Bring Sufficient Food and Water
Energy is essential for a successful hike. Don’t let yourself starve nor get dehydrated because you will lose the strength to continue the trail. Eat a big breakfast and bring snacks that are not heavy to pack but are rich in vitamins and nutrients like dried fruit, nuts, and wheat. Bring extra bottles of water too.
5. Carry the Essential Tools
There are many essential tools you need to bring when you go hiking namely. Flashlights are needed since there would be no lamps nor streetlights. It will be completely dark if nighttime strikes and you’re still finding your way down, or if you plan to sleep midway, it is definitely a must-have to bring a flashlight with extra batteries.
Bring a match or a lighter to easily start your bonfire for heating up meals and as an option B to save up your flashlight battery. Don’t forget to pack a tent as well, with comfortable sleeping bags that can fit inside. This will be your nesting place for a while so remember to pack it.
Always bring your phone with you in case of emergencies. You might need to contact someone from work or even for emergencies. You can also use it for maps and for flashlights. Bring your phone to get checked like in a reliable business phone repair service before your trip to ensure that there would be no bugs nor problems with it since it can be an essential device for the hike.
Pack bear sprays if you are planning to travel in an area where you can encounter predators. Better be safe than sorry. Next to your spray would be a first-aid kit filled with alcohol, band-aid, bandages, sunscreen, and medicine for flu, stomachache, and cold.
6. Choose the Right Attire
For those who want to look good even with hiking, it’s best to choose comfort than style. Leave the fashion at home and don’t even consider wearing jeans and a cotton shirt. Invest in synthetic or wool clothing. It will be easier to move and walk plus it provides warmth since it dries up fast in cold conditions.
Choose good hiking shoes like a pair of boots to protect the feet and the ankles. Don’t opt for something heavy since it might cause your feet to swell. Lastly, wear synthetic or wool socks to prevent blisters.
When you walk your first trail, you will feel empowered with such a calming activity. You can take the scenery in as you walk past by trees and nature. Hiking is a perfect low-impact workout for everyone. It is fun and offers health benefits like any other exercise.
Meta title: 6 Hiking Hacks Recommended for Beginners
meta desc: Hiking is such a good form of exercise and recreational activity. If you are planning to go on your first hike, there are some important things to remember. Read on to learn about them.