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Hiking is one of our favourite things to do, from majestic peaks to magical forests, we love spending time walking in nature. Our hiking tips for beginners will give you a little more understanding of what hiking entails & will also help you to be better prepared for those adventures that are to come.

Now let’s get you ready to explore!

Hiking tips for beginners - are you ready to explore? - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly stood looking out over the mountains of Snowdonia National Park.
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Hiking tips for beginners – are you ready to explore?

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Written by The Wilder Route on 16th May 2021.


Hiking Tips For Beginners

As well as being mentally & physically prepared beforehand there are also a few things to think about whilst you are out on the trails, we’ve covered the most important things below.

Hiking tips for beginners - it's important to be prepared when you hit the trails - The Wilder Route. Image shows Adam walking along a stone trail in the Lake District National Park, England.
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Hiking tips for beginners – it’s important to be prepared when you hit the trails.

1. Invest In Proper Hiking Boots

Hiking boots will protect your feet & ankles, allow your feet to breathe & will give you better footing on a trail. If you go for waterproof hiking boots (which we’d recommend) your feet will also be kept nice & dry. When buying hiking boots a lot of hikers recommend purchasing boots that are half or even a whole size bigger, which will give your feet room to move when you walk. Before wearing hiking boots on a big hike, make sure you wear them in a little first (either on a shorter walk or around your garden). We’d also recommend pairing your hiking boots with a proper pair of hiking socks as they really do make all the difference.

2. Use An Adjustable Backpack

Having a backpack or rucksack that can be adjusted to fit you will make things a lot more comfortable, especially if you are carrying quite a bit of stuff or have packed your bag for an overnight hike. Getting acquainted with your backpack beforehand by knowing exactly what all those straps are for means that if you need to adjust it en-route it will be a lot easier to do so. It’s also worth thinking about getting a women’s rucksack if you are a woman as they do fit differently.

An adjustable rucksack or backpack will make all the difference when hiking - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly walking on a trail in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales, there are snowy mountains in the distance.
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An adjustable rucksack or backpack will make all the difference when hiking.

3. Research The Hike Beforehand

Properly researching any hike before you begin will help you to be prepared. Looking into things such as not only the distance of the hike but also the elevation gain is key. Knowing if there are any water sources or places where you can stop & get a drink or some snacks just before you begin or along the way is useful.

A quick Google search of the name of the hike should hopefully return enough blog posts to give you a better idea of what to expect. You can also check out all of our hiking blogs right here.

4. Wear The Right Clothing

Being prepared for the weather can be the difference between you having an awesome hike or a terrible one. Taking plenty of thin, warm layers that you can easily take on & off is what we’d recommend. As well as this having at least a raincoat & a nice warm beanie will ensure your body stays dry & your head warm – although depending on what altitudes you are hiking to & which season it is, you may need a lot more cold-weather gear.

Looking for some new warm & comfy layers? Check out our very own organic clothing range Nature Threads.

It's essential to wear the right clothing & be prepared for the weather - this winter hike in the Peak District, England meant having all of our warm-weather gear on - The Wilder Route. Image shows Kelly hiking through the snow.
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It’s essential to wear the right clothing & be prepared for the weather – this winter hike in the Peak District, England meant having all of our warm-weather gear on.

5. Start Early

Starting your hike early will not only mean that you get to enjoy nature at the best time of day but will also mean that you will leave yourself enough time should you run into any problems such as taking a wrong turn or the weather turning awful. If you are rushing because of time, the hike won’t be half as enjoyable so as hard as it can be to get up when that early alarm goes off, we can assure you, it’ll be worth it.

6. Use A Map

With apps such as Maps.Me working offline worldwide, there’s no reason not to have your route mapped out & ready to go. Even if there will be trail markers to follow, for us a map is essential. If you are hiking in the UK Ordanance Survey has an app with maps for all of Great Britain anytime, anywhere. It’s also a good idea to take a portable phone battery charger with you. Having a backup paper map & knowing how to navigate is also what a lot of people do.

Learn more about using the app Maps.Me for hiking.

7. Hike Your Own Hike

Unless you are trail running, a hike is not a race. For us, it is an opportunity to connect with nature & take it all in so with that in mind we’d say going at your own pace is key. If hiking on an organised tour or with a group, the unwritten rule so to speak is that you only go as fast as your slowest hiker. This basically means that every so often the person or people upfront stop & wait for everyone else to catch up.

Hike your own hike - even when you are in a group - The Wilder Route. Image shows a grop of three hikers hiking in the mountains of Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.
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Hike your own hike – even when you are in a group .

8. Stay Hydrated

Making sure you not only have enough water with you on your hike but also drinking a couple of glasses before you start, will ensure that you stay hydrated. It’s also important to remember that even if you are hiking on a cool or cloudy day you’ll still be losing fluids quicker when you walk so it’s important to stop at regular intervals for a drink.

9. Leave No Trace

As in, take all of your rubbish with you, even that energy bar wrapper that you had to chase in the wind. We are fortunate to live on such a beautiful planet, respecting it & being responsible is how we as individuals can take care of nature.

10. Remember To Take It All In

There will no likely be about a million pictures you are going to want to take & whilst we say, go for it, what we’ll also say is taking 5 or 10 mins, without your camera or phone to just sit & soak up those views should be done, every, single, time you hike.

Remember to take some time to stop & soak up the views. Image shows Kelly at the summit of Scafell Pike, England's highest peak.
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Remember to take some time to stop & soak up the views – at the summit of Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak.

More Hiking Tips For Beginners

We hope you’ve found this post help & you are excited to get out there & adventure.

You’ll find loads more tips & inspiration over on our nature & adventure page & be sure to check out our hiking safety – 6 things not to do too.

Happy hiking,

Kelly & Adam x

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about the wilder route...

The Wilder Route - Author Bio. Image shows Kelly & Adam sat on a rock with a cloud encompassed mountain behind them, they are facing the camera & smiling. Kelly is wearing a bright yellow coat, a brown hat, jeans & yellow leg warmers. Adam is wearing a navy blue coast & jeans.

In 2017 Kelly & Adam Peck embarked on a journey that would change their lives forever... 

Equipped with a couple of second-hand bikes, they took a one-way flight to Havana, Cuba &, after a cycling escapade that took them over four hundred kilometres - through remote villages & untouched landscapes, the roots of The Wilder Route were firmly planted. 

From there the adventure was destined to continue... this intrepid couple spent the next 10 months soaking up the vibrance of Mexico, hiking up volcanoes in Guatemala, taking in the wild scenery of Canada & experiencing the beauty & diversity of Colombia, before eventually returning to the UK. 

With the feeling of exploration in their souls, Kelly & Adam knew that they wanted to build a life that brought them closer to nature, a life that made adventure part of their every day. Selling most of their belongings & packing the rest of what they owned into their tiny home on wheels, van life became the next step of their journey.

Since moving into their motorhome in 2018 (a Bessacar E560 named Barnaby) they have experienced many more magical moments, built their online business on the road & have even planned a wedding & said "I do" along the way.

Featured in publications such as Wanderlust Magazine & Housesitting Magazine & speaking at events such as Destinations ShowsBorderless Live & The Caravan & Motorhome Show about living a location-independent lifestyle - they are passionate about helping & inspiring others to explore, to connect with nature &, to live alternatively.

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as seen

The Wilder Route seen at Destinations - The Holiday & Travel Show in association with The Sunday Times
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as seen

The Wilder Route seen at Destinations - The Holiday & Travel Show in association with The Sunday Times
The Wilder Route seen in Wanderlust Magazine
The Wilder Route seen at The Caravan & Motorhome Show, Event City, Manchester
The Wilder Route seen at Borderless Live
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