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9 Practical Tips for Newbie Hikers

Posted On: April 10, 2018

Are you new to the hiking world? If so, there’s several things you should know before hitting the trails for the first time. The last thing you want is to be rescued or to become a news story. Planning for a successful hike is easy.  Follow these tips we’ve put together and you’ll be on your way to a fun and memorable hike!


 Ten Essential items you should pack

  1.  Navigation: Maps, compass, GPS
  2. Sun Protection: Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
  3. Insulation: Extra clothing in case of colder temperatures
  4. Illumination: Flashlights, headlamps, extra batteries
  5. First-Aid Supplies: Bandages, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, peroxide, etc.
  6. Fire: Fire starter, lighter, matches
  7. Repair Kit & Tools: Knife, multi-tool, etc.
  8. Nutrition: Always bring extra food – enough for an extra day
  9. Hydration: Water & Gatorade for an extra day
  10. Emergency Shelter: Tent, tarp, space blanket etc.


  1. Research Good Beginner Trails


Start by getting a map of the area you’d like to hike. Use the map to look for trails you think will fit your fitness and experience levels. You can also use the internet for suggestions and trail reports. Asking friends for recommendations is also a good choice.


  1. Check the Weather Forecast Before Heading Out


Knowing the weather conditions is a must. This will help you know what to pack and help you avoid nasty storms. For your first hike, schedule it on a clear and sunny day. This will help you feel more comfortable as you experience hiking for the first time.


  1. Tell Someone Where You’re Going and When You’ll Be Back


Letting at least one reliable person know where you’re going and when you’ll be back is extremely important in case something happens. Also, create a plan with that person so they know what to do if you do not return from your hike after a certain timeframe.


  1. Bring Snacks to Stay Fueled and Hydrated


Having snacks on a hike is always nice, especially if something comes up and you end up spending the night. Also, be sure to pack plenty of water and bring a water filter so you can refill at lakes if need be.


  1. Dress for the Trail with the Layer System


Always plan for the worst and hope for the best. Wear fabrics that wick and dry quickly. Even in warm weather a windy peak can seem a bit chilly.


  1. Bring a Friend or Two – a.k.a. “The Buddy System”


For a first outing, it’s always safer to bring a friend. Plus, adventures are better when they’re shared with the ones we love.


  1. Practice the Principles of Leave No Trace


Don’t litter or leave the trailhead and trample vegetation. If you see garbage, pick it up. Simply leave the trail looking nicer than how you found it.


  1. Hike Your Own Hike


Enjoy the hike at your own pace, hike as far as you want, and take breaks to enjoy the outdoors. Hiking should be an escape from the pressure of every day life and leave you feeling relaxed.


Hiking gives you the opportunity to experience the outdoors like never before. Don’t spend your life cooped up in the house. Get out there and treat yourself to the beauty of nature!


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