How to start hiking: The beginners guide to the outdoors

by Discoverhorizons Admin on November 21, 2019

Want to start your outdoor hiking adventures but you don’t know where to start? This comprehensive guide to the outdoors will help you start hiking right away. It all comes down to three simple steps; location, choosing the right gear, and trail etiquette.

Location

As a beginner hiker, it is important to know what trail is right for you. If you are someone who runs out of breathing easily or tends to wander off and get lost, you might want to find a short trail that is .5 – 1.0 miles long. Any good trail should have markings along the way. However, a short trail will give you a good exercise without overdoing yourself while at the same time making it nearly impossible to get lost.

There are many resources online that will help you find the perfect beginner trail for you. If you are feeling adventurous and want to take on a more difficult trail there are sources for that too. Our favorite place to find trails is https://www.traillink.com/. Trail link gives you all the information you need to know about the trails near you. Looking up trails can seem like a hassle and some of the trails can seem intimidating to beginners. Don’t discourage from going out there and enjoying a good trail sometimes the reviews don’t do it justice.

Other perks of hiking, besides getting a good exercise and being out in nature,  are the many good things that go on in trails. You might catch a glimpse of some amazing scenery or you might encounter some rare animals you wouldn’t have encountered if you had stayed home. So go out there and enjoy a good trail.

Pro tip: you can still adventure as you get older, regardless of age. Check out our article on Bear Grylls on why age is just a number: https://discoverhorizons.com/bear-grylls-on-why-age-is-just-a-number/

Choosing the right gear

The essentials come first. Fancy hiking sticks and equipment are good and all but the essentials will always help you out if you find yourself in a tough situation. The first thing is a good navigation system. whether it be an old school map or a cell phone. it is always a good idea to know where you are going instead of aimlessly wandering around and eventually getting lost.

First aid is another essential item on your packing list. There are large numbers of hazards out in the trails; from straining your ankles to animal attacks. These hazards can be greatly reduced with a first aid kit in case of an emergency. Shoes are another essential item. Tired feet can completely ruin an enjoyable hike. Limping back and in pain are not good ways to begin your hiking adventures. In fact, it may make you want to quit hiking altogether. Hiking is the best thing to do if you are an outdoor enthusiast; You get to see nature in its full beauty with amazing scenery and all sorts of wildlife. Invest in a good pair of shoes so that you can enjoy the full beauty and experience of hiking.

Another thing to prepare for the outdoors is layers. Always check the weather beforehand and remember to layer up. In Cold weather, it is important to have breathable materials so that your sweat won’t stay in your back and get cold. This defeats the purpose of layering.

Layer 1: No matter how frigid the temperature, wear a light, long-sleeved base layer next to your skin.

Layer 2: Next comes a thin mid-layer—either wool, polyester, or a blend of the two.

Layer 3: A puffy, zippered jacket with a hood.

Layer 4: A shell made of a waterproof/breathable fabric with taped seams.

In warm weather, you want to wear the least amount of layers as possible to keep yourself cool.

Another piece of gear essential for your hiking adventures is a filter tube for hydration. Different variations of the filter tube can be found online to fulfill your hydration needs. Staying hydrated on the trail will make you feel cool and relaxed and greatly reduce fatigue so you can keep treading on for miles.

Pro Tip: The best part of a filter tube is that once you have filtered the water, you can enjoy it in one of our awesome mugs.

Trail Etiquette

Leave no trace is the best etiquette for the trails. We only have a limited amount of land and natural park area, so it is up to us to take care of it. Read more about leave no trace principles here. Here are some more tips to know on the trails:

  • Yield to bikes and horses. They are much faster, so it is easier to just step aside and let them pass.
  • Take a trash bag! This one is extremely important and the most common sense. We all love our trails because they are clean and beautiful. We should strive to keep them that way.
  • Stay on the trail. Unless the path is marked off(making it official), shortcuts can lead you to get lost.
  • Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it. No one likes a good hike ruined because they stepped on dog droppings.
  • Wear headphones if you are listening to music. People go hiking to enjoy the sounds of nature. They don’t want to listen to music blasting and scaring off wildlife.
  • A hiker going uphill has the right of way. It is more tiresome going uphill and people have not yet seen the scenery. Be courteous by letting them through and by not making their hiking experience more difficult.

Pro tip: We all live in this world lets take care of it and each other. Bring a trash bag on your hike.

Conclusion

Now you know how to start hiking. You know how to find the right location for you, what gear you need to bring on your hike and the proper etiquette for your hike. Now go out there and begin your hiking adventures and see what wonderful destinations await you.

Tell us where you plan to go. If you are already an avid hiker, share your experience with us. We would love to hear more from you and help you out with any more hiking tips. ????

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