If you love the outdoors and like to explore, hiking is one of the best ways to get in touch with nature with a replacement zip for jacket. But taking advantage of this pastime can be a bit daunting when it’s your first time. Believe you me, I’ve been there myself! So here are 10 simple tips for taking advantage of hiking on your very first day:
1. Make Your Gear List Early
Organize your gear before you go hiking to get your gear list done before you hit the trail. You don’t want to be scrambling around in the woods looking for something that’s already packed in your bag. This is the most important tip for getting started on a hike.
2. Pack For The Weather
Are you expecting rain, or maybe even snow? Pack accordingly! Make sure you have proper gear for all conditions when you head out to begin with! Don’t like wearing a full rain suit? Consider investing in a rain shell or poncho instead.
3. Pack For What You Expect To See
If you know you’ll be exploring a forest, bring along a first aid guide to treat burns. If there are bears in the area, pack an extra battery for your bear spray. Also make sure you have the proper permits for hiking in certain areas. This is similar to pack for the weather. Pack for what you expect to see on your hike, whether it’s a lake, an overlook or something that others would think of as the “lookout point”. I like to pack clothes suitable for either extreme hot or cold conditions.
4. Start Early
Don’t be late! Hiking isn’t a race, so don’t try and set a record on your first hike. Start early to avoid the heat of the day, or to avoid hiking in darkness. You’ll want to get to your destination before it’s too late! Hitting the trails by 8am will give you plenty of daylight throughout the day and enough time to explore before it gets too dark! Some people camp overnight while they hike as well. Be sure to check your area and county rules before camping!
5. Bring A Flashlight
It’s always a good idea to bring a flashlight with you when hiking. A handheld flashlight is great for general illumination, such as when doing trail maintenance. Try getting one that can also be used as a head light as well. Don’t be afraid to bring a flashlight! You never know when you might need it. Bring a headlamp if you plan on camping and need to get around at night.
6. Plan Your Route
Before you go on your hike, plan out where you are going to go and how long your hike will take. Know the terrain, how much elevation change you’ll be doing and what gear will be sufficient for rough terrain and weather conditions. Make sure that your packs are comfortable too! The last thing you want is an ache or pain in the butt later on!
7. Prepare For Rough Terrain
Just because you’re hiking doesn’t mean that you will be able to hike on flat ground. Make sure you are prepared for rough terrain so that your hike is as pleasant as it can be! Make sure that you have gear for rough terrain and weather conditions. The last thing you want is to get a blister from a rock or to pull a muscle from uneven terrain. There are lots of products that can help with this in the gear department.
8. Hike Gentle Uphill, Not Downhill
Start off by hiking gentle terrain and gradually work your way to more difficult terrain. It’s a lot easier than you think while hiking. When hiking uphill, don’t hike at an uncontrollable pace. Too fast and your legs will be done before you are! This can cause aches and pains, which is just not good when you’re out in the middle of nowhere! So pace yourself, take your time and enjoy the views!
9. Pack Your Stuff Properly
You want your stuff to be high in your pack, comfortable and full. Nothing will keep you from enjoying a beautiful day on the nature trails, but being overweight or underweight will take away from your experience. If you are hiking at night, be sure that your flashlight and headlamp are tucked away safely on the outside of your pack so they don’t accidently fall out in the dark!
10. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Foot pain can be a major inconvenience while hiking. I know from experience! Before you head out on your hike, be sure to wear the right shoes for the type of terrain and length of hike that you’re going on. Consider wearing hiking boots if you’ll be tackling rough terrain!
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You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed when taking up a new hobby, especially when it is your first time hiking. You just have to be prepared with the right gear and gear list. These 10 tips will get you started on your hike in no time!