Hiking for Dummies

Are you a new hiker who needs some advice for getting started? Are you not sure what equipment to buy and overwhelmed with all the choices? Below are some tips to make your first hiking trip easy.

1. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes: The most important piece of equipment for a hiker is his or her shoes… and socks. Visit a local outdoor store to speak with an expert who can measure your feet and give you feedback on which shoes are appropriate for the types of trails that you plan to hike. They can also give you tips for the climate around you and what that means for the socks you should use. When hiking, it is very important to take care of yoru feet!

2. Strategically decide your route: Ask around about trails in your area that other hikers recommend for beginners. There may be some very close by that are easily accessible.

3. Wisely choose clothing & other gear: In addition to the right pair of boots, it is also important to choose the appropriate clothing and other gear. Even if you are hiking in cooler temperatures, dressing in light clothing, but in layers, will allow you to shed as you get warmer.

4. Pack Snacks: When doing a day hike, it is important to pack some snacks and drinks to keep up your energy along the way.

5. Don’t forget the camera: Hiking trails are inherently surrounded by nature that is sure to astound you. You do not have to be a professional photographer to capture some great shots along the way, but you will be glad you did!

6. Timing is everything: Be sure to wear a watch to keep up with the time while on the trail. It is easy to get carried away and keep hiking deeper into the woods. A watch will ensure that you do not get caught in the dark!

7. Check the weather: It is not the end of the world to hike in the rain. After all, you are there to enjoy nature. But it is very important to watch the weather before you go into the woods to ensure that you do not get caught in a storm!

8. Do not hike alone: Hiking seems like a harmless enough activity, but there is always a chance of something happening in the woods that will prevent you from being able to hike out. Always hike with a buddy to ensure that if something does happen, there is someone there to either assist you or to go find help.

9. Diversify! There are so many hiking trails around, that it is really a good idea to diversify and try not to repeat the trails too much at the beginning. You may, over time, develop favorite trails that you hike frequently, but when starting out, be sure to change it up and determine what you like best and which trails are for you.

10. Enjoy the view! Be sure to not get too carried away with the activity of hiking not to enjoy the views and to take it all in!