Who doesn’t love hiking! In addition to being a fun activity, hiking is also beneficial for the mind and body. If you are interested in hiking but haven’t had any experience, then the first hike may get a bit overwhelming.
You will be surrounded by various thoughts, doubts, and questions before embarking on your first hike. Should I pack extra food? How much water should I carry? Should I pack three sets of shoes? Will I need my Altra running shoes, in addition to trekking shoes? These are some common thoughts that you might have.
To help such people out, we have discussed seven tips to help you on your first expedition.
You don’t have to start your hiking journey by going on the steepest and most difficult hike you could find. Rather, start with the easiest one. Research online to find the nearest, shortest, and easiest hiking option. Familiarize yourself with various related details like the best time to go, the amenities available nearby, the topography, and any safety precautions you need to follow.
Check the Forecast
You must keep a tab on the weather as it is highly unpredictable. Check the weather conditions and forecast a few days and few hours ahead of your scheduled hike. This helps better dress and pack things, such as the clothing required. For example, if the forecast shows drizzle, it is better to pack an umbrella or windbreaker.
This is crucial if it is your first trip and you are going alone. Inform someone where and when you will be going. Additionally, tell them by what time you are expected to return and what they should do if you don’t return by that time.
Similarly, communicate with them frequently, if possible, about your activities so that they don’t keep on worrying. The last thing you need on your first hiking trip is a close person being worried throughout the day for you.
The Ten Essentials
The ten essentials is a guide that should be followed on hikes and nature outings. The guide lists the ten most important things that you need to carry on such a trip. Items on the list can help you easily complete your activity and turn out to be life-saving in emergencies.
The items include tools for navigation such as a compass, satellite messenger, GPS device, a headlamp, first aid kit, knife, extra food, water, and clothes, among others.
Function > Fashion
You need to bear in mind that you are not going for a photoshoot (how ironic in the days of social media!). So leave your skinny fit, ripped jeans, and leather jacket at home. Instead, wear something comfortable and according to the weather condition.
Similarly, wear hiking shoes and pair them with woolen socks to prevent blistering of feet. Carry an extra pair of shoes and socks if there is a water body in your hiking route and there are chances of your shoes and socks getting wet.
Stay Hydrated And Eat Well
Hiking requires a lot of energy, especially under the blazing-hot sun. Hiking for an hour or two can drain your body’s water and burn your calories. So, remember to stay hydrated before, during, and after your hike. Carry at least a liter or two of water and keep drinking it regularly to avoid dehydration. You can also mix oral rehydration salts to replace the salts and water the body loses during dehydration. Additionally, avoid alcohol and caffeine. Stick to water and water only.
Similarly, pack sufficient food to power your body. Keep snacks such as peanut-butter sandwiches, protein bars, fruits, and nuts. Having food rich in carbohydrates and proteins can help prevent fatigue, dizziness, and low blood sugar.
Follow Trail Etiquette
Every hiker needs to practice and follow the “Leave No Trace” principles. This implies leaving ‘no trail’ of yours on the hike. In simple words, pick up your trash, follow the rules and instructions, respect any wildlife that you may encounter on your journey, be considerate of fellow hikers, and try to leave the trail in better condition than you found it as if you never visited.
You don’t want to be that person who ends up on the wrong side with the authorities on their first-ever hike or be that friend nobody wants during a group hiking. So, respect and follow trail etiquette to the best of your abilities.
We hope that the tips mentioned in this blog will prove helpful with your first-ever hiking experience. The tips are easy to follow and can significantly enhance your hiking experience.