Best Hiking Tips for Beginners
Hiking is a great social activity that can help improve your body’s fitness and health. It can burn off excess fat and can also improve the cardiovascular system. However, when starting out in hiking, it is best to take certain precautions for a healthier, happier walk. Here is the Top 10 Hiking Tips. Let’s have a look.
1. Learn to Navigate Before Walking
Even if you will be walking with a group you should still learn the basics of route planning, navigation and how to use a map and compass yourself. After all, if the group leader should have an accident who is going to lead you off the hill? Rudimentary map reading skills are very quick and easy to learn. Learn how to use Hiking GPS.
2. Preparation and Planning Before a Hike
Take time to plan and prepare for your trip. This will be time well spent and the chances of you having a successful and enjoyable trip will be far higher if you have prepared well. Take time to plan you’re walking route and prepare your hiking kits regardless of whether you’re going for a one hour walk or a four week expedition, some careful planning can make all the difference. Make sure to have hiking tent if you plan more than 1 day of hiking.
3. Hiking Footwear
Make sure you wear the appropriate footwear for your outing. It doesn’t matter if you are taking up hill walking for the first time or are an experienced mountaineer. Nothing will ruin your day more than an ill fitting pair of boots! If you are taking up hiking it is worth considering modern fabric hiking boots which can offer more comfort than traditional leather boots. You also need to wear specially crafted hiking socks to prevent any injury to your feet while walking for hours.
4. Prevent Blisters When Walking
It is a common misconception that blisters are an unavoidable side effect of walking but this is not the case! Feet can be toughened up by regularly dabbing on surgical spirit but also by simply going walking. Start off with short routes and then increase them in length as your feet toughen. When taking up hiking it is a very easy and common mistake to underestimate the amount of time you will be out walking, meaning you could be caught out after sunset. A common reason for this is that inexperienced walkers often fail to take into account the much slower speed that can be achieved when moving over steep ground. Use hiking walking sticks while hiking and also use hiking gloves to prevent blisters on your hand while walking with walking sticks.
5. Hiking Accessories Checklist
Make sure that you have a complete hiking accessories checklist before starting the hiking campaign. The checklist must contain all the necessary gears you will require on hiking. Hiking knives, hiking sunglasses, jacket for hiking, first aid kit, hiking water bag, sunscreen, hat, rope, sleeping bag, firebox, nightlight etc. are some common hiking gears.
6. Food When Walking
Eating ‘little but often’ is a top tip for hiking. Carry some sugary snacks in your pockets as these will help keep your blood sugar levels topped up, leaving you full of energy. Also pack enough foods with your hiking bag because you don’t know what can happen while on the trip.
7. Water When Walking
Never underestimate the effects of dehydration which can still affect you on the wettest, rainy day! You will need to consume at least 2 liters (67.7oz) of water during any day of high activity, as this water will be lost through sweat. As with food, a good tip is also to drink little but often.
8. Observe the Country Code When Out Walking
In particular, be aware that some public rights of way may be closed at certain times of year, i.e. during lambing season. A little effort will go a long way and help keep open access land available to everybody to enjoy.
9. Emergency Communications and First Aid
Always take your phone with you (sealed in a waterproof bag) when you are out hiking. In the event of an emergency it will save valuable time if you are able to contact the emergency services immediately. Be aware that network signal strength can be non-existent in some remote areas so you may need to make your way to a public phone.
10. Taking Backpacks When Walking
On short day walks the load you carry will be very light so select a day-sack that feels comfortable and will suit your needs. For anything larger than a day-pack, take the time to visit a reputable outdoor retailer and get your pack fitted properly as one thing you need to look after is your back. Just like boots.