From the dictionary, hiking is an activity of going for long walks in the countryside. Or if you read from some magazine or see in the movie, you might think hiking is walking through impressive mountains or canyons for weeks with huge packs on your back. Don’t let that scare you!
If you’re unfit or just starting your journey to a healthier lifestyle, go ahead into serious hiking maybe definitely keep you at home and stay away from the paths. In fact, it doesn’t have to be epic all the time on how to start hiking. A walk around a local park for few hours could be right for you before we do anything bigger.
Let’s follow these steps and welcome to the world of healthy!
Step 1: Find a club or group or invite your friends to hike with
It’s always better to start something new with friends or experience people. For hours of walking, to have someone with you on the way, talking and sharing will make the road shorter and motivate you to walk faster and longer. Besides, they can give you some helpful advice before you go for an epic hiking.
Step 2: Arrange to hike at least once a week at a local park
As a beginner, you will need many times to practice and train your body, because it’s not easy to start with days of hiking. An exercise weekly will be a good start to explore you.
You will improve your stamina and endurance, find the gears that fit for you most and train your footwork. Just look for a beautiful and close local park and start training. Take it slow, and you will indeed amaze how far you can walk.
Step 3: Know to hydrate correctly
The common mistake for beginners is they often forget to bring enough water. There are many factors affect this matter, such as weather, your pace, your weight and the path you choose. But it should be at least one liter for each two hours of hiking.
Drink enough water is critical to keep you strong and safe during hiking. Try to fully understand your needs to know exactly how much water you have to carry with.
Step 4: Learn what to pack
You can easy to find 10 essentials that you must to have in your pack on the internet. But more important, you must understand why you need to have them and how to use them properly. Don’t underrate the demand for preparation; even you are familiar with the area. Take 127 hours’ movie for example.
The primary activity in hiking is walking so you don’t want anything bad to happen to your feet. Shoes or boots will be your best friends, and you will stay with them on your feet for days. Attention on finding shoes or boots that make you the most comfortable then you won’t regret.
Step 6: Learn how to dress up correctly
The common advice is dress like an onion with many layers. This way will help you control the heat and moisture during your trip. With many layers, it will be easier for you control the temperature than a solid jacket. However, each person has the different metabolism so try every option you have to get the best outfit.
Step 7: Choose your hiking place
Ask your friends or experts to know where to start for a beginner. Normally, they also divide into an easy path and extremely hard for different hikers.
Step 8: Learn to read and understand topographic maps
This step will help you locate yourself on the map and understand the area you are hiking. You might think reading a compass is important but actually, this map is even more fundamental than the compass. Once you master it, you will see how often you use it on your trip.
Step 9: Tell a close friend and relative about your plan
A good plan is really important to reach your goal, and it’s even more important to let your friends and relatives know about it too. You don’t have to tell them everything, just some important information, like where and when you plan to go and return; the paths or trails you will take and who to call if you are unconnected.
Remember, even short or long trip; this is one of the most important preparations. Again, watch the “127 hours” movie.
- Always prepare for the worst.
- Start small and slow. Don’t overkill on long hiking.
- Never put your trust in technology. It’s good to have them around but, you better know how to read and use a real map and compass.
- Don’t do anything stupid to get in trouble. Stay safe and follow local rules and laws
If you are too heavy and don’t want to run yet, then hiking is a perfect way to start. You can pick your speed, control your own pace and decide the difficult of the road. With this simple steps on how to start hiking, you will always find the best amount of works for you, and it will never make you fell over challenge.
So, let’s buy boots and start living healthier tomorrow.