Hiking is a great way to stay in shape and get back in touch with nature. Still, taking up hiking as a hobby requires some research, which is why it’s important to educate yourself before you decide to leave for the wilderness. This is extremely important if you haven’t had any experience with outdoor activities. And if you’re just starting out, then you might be confused by all the information regarding hiking. So for that reason, here are all the important things that you will need for your first hike.
Make sure you’re not alone
You might have all the necessary equipment, but if you’re not used to being outdoors, then it’s essential to have someone by your side, preferably someone who has more experience than you. Being alone out in the open can be liberating, but also terrifying due to many dangers lurking around. If you’re planning your first hike, then it’s best to find a group in your area and join all the people who are already participating in hiking activities. That way, you’ll have someone to lean on, plus you’ll be able to learn more from like-minded people. Having someone by your side can help you conquer your fears and feel more self-assured and motivated.
Prepare your body before going on a hike
If you’re not super physically fit, then it’s important to prepare your body before going on a hike. You don’t need to exhaust yourself, but some gentle stretching will be of huge help. Adding stretching and some other lighter exercises to your daily routine can help you become stronger and build stamina required for more intense hiking routes and trails. However, the hiking itself will help you get in shape, but being a little prepared beforehand can help you start on the right note.
Pack all the necessary supplies
You need an extensive list of hiking equipment and supplies, especially if you’re a beginner. A pair of suitable hiking shoes or boots is a must, as well as comfortable clothes that are durable to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions. Footwear is probably the most important part of hiking. If it’s your first time hiking, then it’s best to go when the weather won’t cause problems throughout the entire hike. Therefore, be sure to check the weather forecast, so you’ll know what clothes to bring. Also, keep in mind that the right tools can literally save your life, so feel free to look into automatic OTF knives, as having a sharp object is a must, especially if you’re walking through the forest. Items that can help you cut through the stubborn tree branches and defend yourself are of great help if you’re a first-time hiker.
Make sure you’re comfortable and safe
A pair of trekking poles are a must, mainly if you’re going to hike on uneven terrain. Keeping yourself balanced is a must, especially if you’re not experienced enough for more challenging routes. This is why hiking in company can be of so much help: even if you forget an item, there will be someone who’ll lend you a hand. When buying equipment, make sure to take your time until you find what works for you. No need to be in a rush.
Choose an appropriate trail
Not all trails are equally suitable for beginners, which is why it’s crucial to find a trail that won’t be too difficult for you. Some trails are simple enough that they don’t require any navigation skills. But, if you’re aiming to hike more seriously, then be sure to practice navigation skills using the suitable equipment such as a compass. Also, if going outdoors seems like a step too far, then make sure to go hiking in the urban area. Urban hikes through the city or urban green spaces are a great practice when you’re trying to get a taste of hiking as a hobby.
Being an experienced hiker requires practice, discipline and education. Therefore, remember that learning more is always a great place to start, especially if you’re new to this. As long as you purchase all the equipment and remain surrounded with more experienced and like-minded people, you’ll be able to enjoy hiking to the maximum, regardless of your level of expertise.