So, we hear you are new to hiking! Hiking is one of the most rewarding activities. You don’t need to be a pro, nor do you have to spend a ton of money on gear. The best part of hiking is anyone can do it.
The benefits of getting outdoors and exploring the world by foot is beyond physical, it is a mental reset, and a happiness booster. Oh, and you can hike anywhere, which means you can take these tips around the world with you.
We rounded up our ambassadors and asked them to share some tips and advice for getting your hike on.
Start small…learn your pace, skill level and gear
You don’t need to do a 10-miler to call it a hike. Find yourself a shorty (1 – 3-mile hike) with not a whole lot of vertical gain and get acquainted with your body, pace and gear. This will let you break in those shoes, adjust those pack straps and figure out what types of things you want to pack out with you (light layers, snacks, water etc.)
Do your research…it isn’t a term paper but a little preparation goes a long way
Make sure you’ve looked up the trail you want to do online – AllTrails.com is a fabulous free app for that. Read the descriptions and read the reviews. If it has a lot of recent reviews that will most likely tell you what the trail condition is like right now and it may be a good one to try because a bunch of other people are doing it too.
Don’t wait for the “right time”, just go
I’d say, don’t wait to be in shape. Don’t wait to have all the right gear. Don’t wait until the kids leave the house. Don’t wait to have friends to hike with and don’t wait for things to be perfect…just always take the basics, something in case the weather changes, water, a snack, a nice backpack to hold all your goodies 😁and enjoy the journey.
Go at your own pace
This is not a race or a marathon. There is no gold medal at the end for the fastest hiker. Go at your own pace and ENJOY your time. – Don’t worry about trying to keep up with others that have lots of experience in the outdoors, can hike faster than you, or seem to have everything figured out. Going at your own pace and taking the time to smell the pine trees is WAY more fun than getting to the end completely exhausted and realizing you forgot your lunch at the car.
Gear lists and safety protocol are key
While hiking is fun and you don’t need a whole lot of experience or expensive gear to get into it, you still want to make sure you have everything you’ll need before you head out. You will also want to make sure that you will be safe while out there.
- Always check weather conditions prior to going out (trails can be icy or muddy so you will want to make sure you have the right gear to match the conditions)
- More layers are better (you can’t ever go wrong with having more options. You can always take them off and throw them in your pack if you are hot)
- If you are going on a longer hike or hiking to a camping spot you will want to check off all the gear (tents, sleeping bag, etc.)
- Snacks and water are always important to bring – even if you don’t think you’ll be hungry, you never know if things might take longer than expected