Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

4 Tips for New Hikers

One of life's greatest pleasures is spending time in nature. However, life is also busy and can keep you from benefiting from as much exposure to it as you'd like.

Date:   5/24/2022 7:10:03 PM   ( 84 d ) ... viewed 41 times

One of life's greatest pleasures is spending time in nature. However, life is also busy and can keep you from benefiting from as much exposure to it as you'd like. When you're looking to truly immerse yourself in the outdoors, there's nothing much better than hiking to accomplish that goal.

If you're new to hiking, get excited. You have a lot to look forward to. There's also a little bit of homework to do before hitting the trail, which will ensure you're safe and comfortable along the way. Here are four tips to keep in mind as a new hiker.

1. Load Your Backpack Wisely

One of the first things you're going to need for hiking is a decent backpack. While you can certainly purchase an ergonomically friendly pack, you can also use one you have at home as well as long as it fits you comfortably. The next step will be packing it with the essentials.

What you fill your pack with will depend on the type and duration of your hike. However, there are a few staples you should include for all hikes. You'll need a basic first aid kit, a change of socks, and lightweight clothing for layering (a must for fluctuating temperatures). Since food is necessary to keep you going, don't forget to pack enough nutrient-rich snacks. Hydration is essential as well. Try upgrading regular water with red superfood, or adding a pinch of mineral-rich salt to it.

Until you become more familiar with hiking and what you'll need on your excursions, make sure you work off of a hiking supply checklist so you won't forget anything. 

2. Invest in Good Footwear

Hiking is a simple way to exercise. It doesn't require much equipment at all, making it an attractive outlet for movement. However, if there's one thing you're intentional about purchasing, it should be your hiking shoes or boots.

Good quality footwear is incredibly important not only for comfortable hikes but also for your safety and much-needed support along the way as well. If you're not sure where to start in your search. there are plenty of hiking gear buying guides that can be very helpful.

3. Hike Within Your Ability 

When you're new to hiking, deciding where to go can be unnerving. Finding a trail that matches your ability level should be your focus, rather than just looking for a hike that looks fun or has a rewarding view.

Now's the time to assess your physical fitness. If you're already active and are comfortable with varying terrain and being active for longer durations, don't hesitate to give longer hikes with elevation gain a try. If you're just beginning on your fitness journey or recovering from an injury, start small. Look for hikes with little-to-no incline or routes that are stroller-or-kid-friendly. These tend to be gentler all around. 

The more you hike, the stronger you'll become. Using that for motivation will have you hiking mountains in no time. 

4. Learn How To Read Maps and Use a Compass

As a hiker, being able to read maps and understand directions is necessary. Knowing this way could mean the difference between becoming lost and finding your way after taking a wrong turn, which happens more often than you might think.

Stash a paper map and traditional compass in your backpack, even if you've already downloaded the hiking map on your phone or another device. This will ensure you have a backup should something go wrong electronically. For longer hikes in areas that you're unfamiliar with, consider purchasing a separate GPS as well.

Additionally, in the event you do get lost, knowing what to do can be lifesaving. 

Hiking can be so rewarding, and one of the best things about it is how simple it is. You don't need to complicate it. All you need is to make sure you've got the essentials and are fully prepared before hitting the trail. Where will you go first? 


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