Hiking Tips For Beginners And Beyond

hiking tips for beginners reading a map

Hiking is something just about anyone can do. You don’t have to be an outdoors expert to enjoy it and you can do it with your family and friends. There are many benefits of hiking from enjoying the scenery, getting fresh air, getting exercise, have fun and building relationships and more. Hikes can last from just a few hours to a few weeks.
You can enjoy this activity more if you have some basic knowledge on how to hike. It will help you to avoid mistakes, help you to have safe experience and get more out of it.

Here are some tips and ideas on hiking to get you started;

How To Find A Hiking Trail

Hiking Essentials – What To Take With You

Backpacking Checklist – Don’t Forget Your Gear

Packing A Backpack For Hiking and Camping

Choosing A Hiking Backpack

Compass Vs GPS

Winter Tips

Hiking with Kids

What To Do If You Get Lost Hiking – 14 Top Resources

Plan Ahead

Although hiking is fun it pays to plan ahead to properly prepared.  First off choose a hiking trail that is interesting and suitable for your personal and your group’s level of fitness, ability and experience. There are different types of trails and many are listed on the internet with other hiker’s ratings to help you choose.

Once selected be sure to understand your route and how long it will take to complete. You want to be familiar with the route and bring a long a map and other information as required.

Prepare yourself a checklist of the items you’ll need for your trek. Include the hiking essentials – clothes, food, water, guides, maps, first aid kits, camping gear, cell phone, sunscreen, hat  etc. Tailor your list to the hike and people you are going to be hiking with.

Learn and understand basic outdoor safety guidelines. Before you set out check that the weather forecast, leave the details of your route and when you expect to be back with someone who can raise the alarm if required.

Travel Light

As you are going to have to carry everything you will want to keep your pack as light as possible. This will help to make your trip more enjoyable. As a general rule the food and drink should be the heaviest things you take with you. The water and food will get lighter as you consume them along the trail.

Take It Easy

You don’t have to break any land speed records on your hike. Keep a pace that everyone is comfortable with will result on a fun experience for everyone. In fact, the slowest person in the group should set the pace to avoid anyone being separated from the group. The ideal pace is when you are able to walk and talk easily at the same time. This will also give you the opportunity to take in the wonderful sights and sounds of being outdoors.

Break It Up

Take frequent breaks to keep your energy up and give everyone a rest. A 5 to 10 minute rest every hour is recommended as being an ideal frequency. Elevate your feet above your heart to help the circulation and eliminate any waste product build up in your legs and feet.

When it’s time to move on, walk a few feet and look back to your resting spot to see if you have forgotten anything.

Watered And Fueled

At your breaks and as required take on water and food, to keep energy levels up. It’s a good idea to have a nutritious meal before hand and eat food and drink water regularly on your hike. Bring along some surplus food just in case you need it. A hike is not a time for a diet as you need to keep energy levels up.

Once you’ve completed your hike, let the person know you left details of your hike with that you’ve arrived back safely to avoid a search party being sent out looking for you.

Hopefully you have found these hiking tips for beginners interesting and informative and you can put them to use on your next hike.

2 Responses to “Hiking Tips For Beginners And Beyond”

  • Zoe on January 7, 2013

    Very sound advice for beginners and seasoned hikers alike. All we need now in the UK is some decent weather!

    • Paul on January 7, 2013

      Thanks Zoe. You are right the weather can put a dampener on a hike.

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