If you’ve been wanting to get into hiking, but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help! We’ll be going over our seven essential hiking tips for beginners.
Be Prepared/Have the 10 Essentials
Tell people where you’re going
Bring enough water
Make sure your shoes fit
Know where you’re going
Be prepared for no cell service
Don’t overdo it
So you want to head off into the woods? While your day will probably go as planned, you want to prepare as if it isn’t going to, so you should always, no matter what, have the 10 essentials with you. This is some of the most important hiking gear you can have. You can check out our blog post on them for more details, but to recap, you'll want to bring food, water, navigation equipment, fire-making gear, sun protection, a first aid kit, a knife, and a headlamp.
In case you get hurt, lost, or delayed, it’s good to have someone back home know where you started and where you were going. Especially if you're hiking by yourself. In the rare event a search party needs to be called for you, this information is crucial. Tell them where you'll start, how long you think it will take, and when you’ll likely be back.
If you’re someone who drinks a lot of water, it’s a warm day, or it’s a hard hike, you’re going to be chugging water on your hikes. Bring more than you think you’ll need - at least 2-3 liters for most hikes. And don’t forget extra water for any children or animals in your party too.
If you’ve picked a hike with hills (or mountains) chances are you have to go down those at some point too. If your shoes are too short, your toes will hit the front of your shoes on the downhill slopes and start to hurt, so you want to make sure they’re long enough (lots of women wear hiking boots and running shoes a full size up from their dress shoes). Head to an outdoor store and get fitted for shoes there, they’ll be able to help you out. You can also check out our blog about buying hiking boots. If you feel a blister starting, pop a band-aid on it from your first aid kit!
Researching the trail you're headed to is always important! Read about the trail, download a map, check the weather, and look at recent trail reports to see what you may encounter. It's always a good idea to check for any closures before heading out.
Many hikes have little to no cell service so it isn’t possible to call, text, or check hiking websites once out there. Download or screenshot important information, and have a plan to get help if you can’t use a cell phone to call for it. GPS devices like the Spot or Garmin Explorer are great for this.
Not everyone can start out doing hard hikes, and that's okay! Know your limits and don’t push yourselves on the trails. For a beginner, shoot for shorter hikes with less than 750 feet of elevation gain for every mile. If you start with too difficult of a trail, you can get discouraged. There are lots of gorgeous easier hikes out there for every level.
Stay safe and have fun out there! Be sure to tag us on social media using #adventuresforeveryone so we can see your upcoming hiking adventures.
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