Hiking Guide for Beginners: Trails, Gear, and Other Tips

Hiking is a sport that people enjoy all over the world. It’s a great way to spend time with people you care about, or even with yourself. Not only that, but it’s a wonderful way to get in some exercise without even realizing you’re exercising. Going on a hike is also a lovely way to spend some time communing with nature and learning about the outdoors in general. Whether you’re a hiking expert or you’re getting ready for your first hike, there are a few tips that will help you make the most out of your hike. 

One of the main rules when it comes to hiking is to be prepared. This means understanding what’s coming ahead on a number of levels. From making sure you’re equipped with the right gear, and the tools necessary. Beyond that though, this also means considering other important aspects about the specific hike you’re planning to take. For instance, difficulty level is something that always needs to be considered when you’re planning your hike. Hiking trails vary in difficulty from extremely easy-going and family friendly to wildly fierce trails that demand respect. No matter which trail you’re going to tackle, you need to be prepared. 

Boots and Other Basics

Boots are probably the most important piece of hiking equipment. This is because they’re supporting and protecting your feet, which will be carrying you far, high, and wide. Having a proper pair of hiking boots will also help to protect and stabilize your ankle. This is helpful in preventing sprains, twists, fractures and other ankle-based injuries. Hiking boots typically offer more ankle support than other types of shoes which is integral in having a safe hike. Additionally, you should consider the terrain over which you’ll be hiking. If there’s any chance you could be crossing a river or a stream, it could be wise to invest in a pair of waterproof boots. These boots are sure to keep your feet dry as long as the water level doesn’t rise past the ankle. Paired with sweat-wicking socks, your feet will remain dry.

This might seem like a small point, but it’s actually vital in hiking, especially for long distances. Wet feet create an environment ideal for blisters, and potential infections as well. While blisters are sometimes unavoidable when you’re hiking, keeping your feet as dry as possible will help prevent potential blisters. 

Tread and make are other important factors to consider when purchasing your hiking boots. Some have steel-toes which are great for a variety of situations, and offer additional durability and protection. Depending on the intensity of the trail you’re planning to challenge, the tread on your boots could be vital. All things considered, boots are an essential when it comes to hiking.

Researching the Trail

Researching the trail is also very helpful when you’re planning your hike. This plays into understanding the difficulty of the trail once again. By knowing what’s coming ahead, you can plan for any number of situations. Many parks have multiple trails varying in difficulty and length, so you should be able to plan accordingly. This is especially helpful if you’re planning a group-hiking-event. 

Even if you’re just going to get some alone time with mother nature, it’s helpful to have an idea of how long you’re going to be spending on the trail. If you’re going to be spending more than a few hours hiking, it may be wise to pack some snacks, water, and other energy-boosters. 

Backpacking Vs. Hiking

Backpacking requires a lot of the same preparation that hiking does, only it requires a lot of additional preparation as well. If you’re planning a backpacking trip, there is a lot more equipment needed to make the trek. 

Many people that fall in love with hiking eventually take the leap to full-on backpacking, which requires a backpack, cooking equipment, a compact tent and sleeping bag, and a lot more planning. Solo backpacking should only be taken up by those that are practiced and experienced. 

Spending Time Outdoors

If you’re looking for a reason to spend more time outside, taking up hiking as a hobby can be a great way to be motivated to get some exercise and spend some time in nature simultaneously. If you’re just taking a short day-trip, you can even show off your mens graphic tank tops on the trail and score some extra style points.  

Even if you’re backpacking for a few days, you can pack some tanks and other comfort wear for your pre-planned non-trail hours. 

A Last Few Thoughts on Hiking

Hiking is a great sport and hobby that is beloved by many. It’s an easy and convenient way to commune with nature and to bond with yourself or your loved ones. Find some trails nearby and start exploring today!