You’ll want to opt for clothing that soaks up your sweat, rather than jeans or heavy shirts that will weigh you down as you venture further into your hike. You’ll want to wear comfortable, supportive shoes made for hiking that have the right tread on the bottom. I love Merrell shoes. They make both hiking boots as well as trail shoes that are similar to running shoes. Bring plenty of water to ensure you stay hydrated. I use a CamelBak with a 100oz bladder for all day hiking. REI is also a great destination for hiking gear. The employees are very knowledgeable. It’s also important to keep a charged cell phone in case of an emergency.
Some other gear you might want:
There are many different trail options when it comes to beginner hikers. Be sure that you pick an easier trail if or one that fits your athletic ability. A beginners hiking trail will be one that doesn’t have a lot of hills to climb or rough terrain, it will be a relatively level, and shorter distance to hike for the most part. It will also be well marked. Be cautious of more advanced trails that can often not be obviously marked and this is what leads to people losing their way while hiking.
Most hiking trails will have a map that helps you figure out where the path goes. This is important to have on hand because sometimes less used hiking trails can have spots of overgrowth which will make the markings of the trail more difficult to see. Learn how to read a hiking map and always have one on hand along with a compass so you can find your way in case you get lost.
As a beginner hiker, you may not want to go when everyone else is hiking the trails, so you may opt to go in the early hours of the day before the trails get busy. If you’re more comfortable having other people around, then pick a time later in the day when hiking is more popular so that you’ll be able to have other people on the hiking trail with you. This also goes for time of year. Depending on where you are hiking, many trails are not accessible during the winter.
Some hiking trails will require a permit, so be sure to call the local town office to ask if there are any permits or other permissions required for you to go hiking on this particular trail. For example, if your goal is to hike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, you have to get a permit and it is by a lottery. The lottery is open only in March for the summer season permits. Also, be sure to check the weather beforehand so that you don’t get stuck in the rain or other inclement weather that could make your hiking a little less enjoyable.
These are just some of the most essential tips for beginner hikers to get out there and enjoy the beauty of hiking in their local area. Hiking is such a wonderful low-impact exercise to do on a regular basis and it’s fun for the whole family to do. My husband and Little Monkey always enjoy a family hike. We love to find new places and explore.
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