I have been hiking consistently for a while now and I thought of putting something out there for people who are considering to go on their first hike and are probably wondering what to expect. Here are a few things that might come in handy as you plan on your first hiking adventure;
Get good shoes. They do not have to be like serious hiking boots but just make sure the shoes you settle on have a good grip and their fitting aren’t exact. I know you are probably wondering why you should have shoes that do not fit but see when you walk for a long time, your feet tend to expand and shoes with exact fitting will be uncomfortable. Find your good shoes and just go.
- Listen to your body
On the trails, some are known to be team Subaru. These guys are normally very fast and maybe they are used to this. Do not feel the pressure to go at their pace if you cannot keep up. Use your own pace after all that summit never moves but for real though go at a pace that you are comfortable with you will be okay. If at all there is anything, I have learned over time is that while there, walk slowly you will still get complete your hike. If you feel exhausted, pause for breaths along the way, these breaks will come in handy.
- Water is a MUST have
I cannot stress this enough. As they always say water is life and let me tell you, while you are on those trails you will make sense of this. Your body needs a lot of water since you are putting it to work and sometimes you are even sweating so you need to keep on hydrating to give your body easy work. I remember the very first time I settled on not carrying a lot of water since it was heavy and sis here was not about that life of struggling with water weight and at the same time making sure I am okay while on those trails. Long story short I regretted that idea so do not be like me carry your water. Something I have learned along the way is that it is important to drink water before you are thirsty it helps big time. Also, since we are trying to save the environment do not carry your plastic bottles bring along the re-useable ones, and please let us leave the parks and trails as clean as we found them.
- Wear light clothes
This I wish I knew earlier but it is never too late right? When going on a hike, avoid cotton clothes by all means. This is because they take long to dry in case you get rained on and you had no raincoat. Light clothes dry very fast and while at it pair your short-sleeved top with a long-sleeved under cloth, this helps protect your arms from the sun and also random scratches as you walk. All I am saying is know where you are going and dress accordingly but then the weather on the trails usually changes so carry what you can and go enjoy your time in nature.
- Ultra-light Back Pack
When on the trails my aim is always to be as light as possible. I do try as much as possible to avoid anything that will add weight while I walk. Make sure you have a light backpack and while you pack, carry things that you will need while on your hike. If it is food carry enough for you and maybe for another one or two people but do not overdo it. Weight tends to slow people down and I know you will not want that. Light backpacks usually come a long way and they eventually help you avoid back pain, trust me, you do not want that.
- Trail Manners is key
You are probably wondering what this is and what do manners have to do with the trail. This simply means that if you encounter hikers on a narrow path, the one going up the hill always has the right of way, let them pass it is just courteous. Also, when they said leave no trace, it is serious, carry everything back with you, this includes banana/orange peels. The only trace you are to leave behind is footprints.
Please don’t go hiking on an empty stomach. Eat something the morning before and carry something to snack on while you are hiking. A fruit, energy bars will come a long way.
The final thing you should know is to just go. Don’t overthink it go and find out you will enjoy it and learn more things while at it.
I do hope this was helpful. Are you a hiker? What would you tell someone who is considering going on their first-ever hike?
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” John Muir
Till next time; go on that hike.