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!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Hiking Tips For Beginners
We hope you’ve found this post help & you are excited to get out there & adventure.
Kelly & Adam x
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