A hiking adventure can be a great trip, whether it’s your first time or your tenth hike.
However, if you are the former, it’s imperative that you’re fully equipped with the necessary advice and knowledge before you begin to ensure that your hike is as safe, fun and enjoyable as possible.
Take a look at these beginner hiking tips for first-time adventurers to ensure that your first ever hike goes smoothly!
Always check the weather before you set off
One incredibly important thing to remember before you embark on your first hike is to check the weather before you set off.
You should ideally have a rough idea of when you want to start (especially if you need to do lots of training and preparation for it) and you need to check the weather forecast at regular intervals before your hike commences.
Begin by checking it at least one month in advance and then check every week until one week before, where you should start to check the forecast every single day. This provides you with the ability to prepare for the weather conditions you can expect to face and also alter your hiking schedule if the conditions may prohibit you from hiking efficiently and safely.
Familiarise yourself with the route you’re taking
Another top tip is to familiarise yourself with the route you’re taking well in advance of the hike itself.
You can do this by researching the route online, watching YouTube videos of people who have completed the hiking trail before and even join online forums and Facebook groups to ask for advice on the route you’ll be taking.
For example there are plenty of resources for the Camino de Santiago: online hiking groups, travel guides and books as well as blogs from people who have hiked it before. If you do plan on hiking the Camino de Santiago, you need to be aware of how long you can expect it to take you, the types of terrain you’ll experience and any other vital information that you may need to know.
Wear the right shoes for the hiking trail
Wearing the right shoes for the particular hiking trail you’re embarking on is imperative if you want to actually enjoy it and be comfortable.
Hiking in the Alpine mountains for example, will require you to wear appropriate hiking boots suited to snow and ice. Whereas if you’re traversing the Camino de Santiago, you’ll need to invest in hiking boots that can handle various types of terrain, such as rocky paths, gravel roads as well as grass and even beaches!
Also Read: 30 Camping Hacks for Your Next Trip
Let someone know what you’re doing and where you’re going
An incredibly important beginner (and even expert!) hiking tip for adventurers to bear in mind is that you should always let someone know what you’re doing and where you’re going.
In the unfortunate (and extremely unlikely) event that something happens to you, at least someone should know where you are and that you might need help. If you leave for a three-week hike for example, and don’t tell anyone your plans or intentions then you’re sure to have lots of worried people back at home!
Make sure you tell at least one person where you’ll be going, exactly what you’ll be doing when you’re there and how long you’ll expect you’ll be gone for. This is not only for peace of mind of your loved ones, but it’ll also fill you with confidence that people back at home know where you are and can help you back to safety if something goes wrong.
Pack the right equipment
Packing the right equipment is also an important step to take before you embark on your hike. You’ll have to research what you’ll need to take with you as the equipment and belongings you’ll require will likely differ between hikes.
A snowy hiking expedition for example, will require ice-axes, snow boots, ice picks and plenty of warming food. On the other hand, a trek through the jungle or desert will require copious amounts of water and energy bars so that you can sustain yourself through harsh terrain.
Conclusion – beginner hiking tips for first-time adventurers
In conclusion, there are many beginner hiking tips that you need to consider and put into effect before you embark on your first hike.
Ensure that you’re equipped with all the necessary equipment such as hiking boots, waterproof clothing and plenty of food and drink. You also need to familiarise yourself with the route you’ll be taking and make sure you let at least one person know where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be gone for.
Rebecca is a translator by day, and a traveler mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.