What is Hiking?
So, what is hiking? Today we are going to do a little intro into hiking for beginners. One of the things I love about hiking is that truly is very simple, all you do is put one foot in front of the other, you get out into a beautiful natural area and that is the essence about hiking.
Of course, it’s not just as simple as that, there are a few tips and suggesting these will make the beginners experience a little bit easier, and will help you to avoid some common mistakes that people without experience come across when they first start!
First thing is the feet, make sure that you have the right foot wear on, hiking boots are good but are a little heavier than a running shoe. If you’re on easier terrain we recommend to use running shoes, or lightweight hiking boots. Even hiking style sandals can be adequate if the terrain is more forgiving and you know what you’re doing.
For terrain in tougher, colder climates use boots.
For clothes, depending on the weather of course. If it’s a nice day I always like to dress lightly – shorts, or lightweight long pants, a t-shirt and maybe a jacket if it’s a cooler day. You can store that in you’re backpack because sometimes these can come in handy.
Some essentials that we recommend taking with you, take a day pack for your shorter hiking trips.
In this day pack please bring plenty of water, we can’t stress this enough. If the hike is only an hour long then then one water bottle will probably be fine, obviously if you are going on a long hike, maybe a few hours long then make sure to bring with you multiple bottles of water. Don’t take any chances!
Bring a little bit of food, some snacks, raisins and peanuts are a good choice.
Peanuts are packed full of fiber, protein and healthy fats, If you are feeling sluggish these will provide the necessary energy boost. Although they contain the most saturated fats of all nuts, it’s the good fat – and this lowers ‘bad’ cholestrol.
Have a handful of nuts before your hike, and take some with you.
Like I mentioned before, bring an extra jacket, even if there’s no rain forecast – sometimes you might get caught out and this will come in really handy.
A first aid kit is a must, these are relatively cheap and come in all sizes. All you need for a hike is a basic first aid kit.
This kit should contain:-
- Plasters (variety of different sizes)
- Sterile Dressings (small to large)
- A couple of sterile eye dressings
- Antiseptic Cream
- Antihistamine tablets
- Eye wash
- Sticky Tape
- Cleansing Wipes
The above list sounds like a lot, but some kits will easily fit in a backpack.
Oh, and don’t forget sunblock! You don’t want to look like a beetroot after your hike.
Where to go?
When planning a place to go hiking, almost everyone lives near a park or a wild natural area.
If you’re just beginning I’d recommend picking out a trail around 2 or 3 miles in length, maybe a bit shorter and of easy terrain.
As you get used to it you can increase the difficulty, increase the distance and find some heavier duty trails with more up and down terrain; around 10 miles on tough terrain would be a full hiking day for most intermediate hikers.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding and know the benefits of hiking, and what you will need to start out. I hope this helps beginners get a feel for it and avoid some of the common problems beginners may usually experience.