Hiking is a great way to experience nature, and studies show that it has a number of health benefits. If you’re new to the joys of hiking, use the following tips to make the most of your beginner treks.
Test yourself on an easy trail
First and foremost, build the strength and stamina before taking your first hiking trip. While an easy hike can be done with little or no prep, medium and high difficulty levels require prior training, preferably with an expert or experienced hiker.
A good way to determine your fitness level with regard to hiking is to start small and take easy trails that you can finish in under an hour. If you’re generally fit, you should be able to walk about two miles in an hour. For the first few times, choose a trail with little elevation.
Doing this a few times will work as a primer and familiarize you with the joys and challenges of trekking. Once you feel that you can upgrade to a longer/more difficult trail, go for it.
Invest in quality equipment
If you spend a lot of time out in the wild for recreational or work-related activities, having the right equipment is crucial for your comfort, safety, and protection from the elements. Not having proper attire and equipment can seriously compromise your experience.
A sturdy pair of outdoor boots, binoculars, a high-definition GPS-enabled camera, and weatherproof protective clothing—the list is long, so prioritize and buy what you’ll need most. For protection from rain, check out affordable rain jacket that will keep you dry and warm when it’s pouring.
Don’t forget to check the weather forecast
As much as it sounds like an unplanned adventure, serious hiking needs efficient planning and foresight. Check the weather when planning a hike and also right before you start. The weather can turn quickly, and if you’re not prepared you may get stuck somewhere far or may have to abandon your trek midway.
In addition, at least one person should always know your whereabouts when you’re out exploring the wilderness. Even if you’re tempted to be lost and disconnected from the world, share your itinerary with a friend or family member.
Don’t forget the essentials
It’s easy for a beginner to forget carrying some of the must-have items on a hiking trip. Even if you don’t like to plan a lot, make a checklist of things you may need where you’re going. If you’re looking to buy quality outdoor gear, go to wetlandtools, a trusted brand serving environmental professionals for over a decade.
Based on the location and length of your hike, pack essentials such as sunglasses, flashlight, map and compass, first-aid, water and food, tent and blanket, knife, matchbox and lighter, and a repair kit for your gear. Just in case you can’t make it back or want to spend the night out in the open, you should have at least a basic survival kit to make it through the night.