We know you’re excited to go out there and have a taste of adventure. To help keep you safe, we’ve come up with a hiking guide for beginners detailing the things you need for your next outdoor activity.
Here’s a to-do list of what you should prepare before embarking on your next adventure:
Before even heading out, take time to study the directions, features, trail difficulty, elevation, and current condition of the area you have chosen to hike.
There are plenty of places either online or in books where you can find out some useful information.
Be sure to locate in advance the places where you can seek help in case of unexpected situations.
As a beginner, it’s highly recommended that you take the most convenient path first. Choosing the easiest route will depend on the following factors:
How long will it take for you to traverse the trail? Do you need a full day to go up to your destination and back to your point of origin?
How physically fit are you? If you’re in shape, you can endure long walks that take several hours to complete. Otherwise, choose a trail that will take you at most half a day only, so that your body can handle the exhaustion without hiccups.
How long will the trail be? Remember that you’ll also be carrying a backpack, so consider the weight you’ll be walking with throughout the journey.
Go for a low-elevation trail for starters. The steeper the trail, the harder and longer it will take to complete the trek.
The accessibility of the trail will depend on the weather and the time of the year. Some areas may get covered in snow, some may get dark earlier in certain months, while some may become too muddy during the rainy season.
Timing your trek is vital in boosting your safety for the journey.
How accessible is the trail from local transport? Do you have a car or a shuttle service that can take you to the start point and fetch you at the endpoint?
You wouldn’t want to walk to the trail and back to your home without riding a service, so include logistics in planning your next trip.
Remember, before you step into the wild, arm yourself first with the knowledge needed to survive the adventure. Don’t listen to people that say you’re overpreparing for an easy adventure.
Books, websites, forums, blogs, groups – you have a plethora of resources containing hiking guide for beginners that discuss in detail all the vital things you need to know about your first hike. Doing your homework to increases your chances of successfully completing the trail.
For beginners, avoid travelling solo and make sure to leave instructions of where you are going and when you will be expected back. Leave this information with the Park Ranger or someone who can act on your behalf if you miss your deadlines.
You’ll never know the dangers you may face, no matter how easy the trek is as described by other hikers.
In every hiking guide for beginners, it’s recommended that you take a friend with you on the adventure. A hiking buddy will keep you entertained and also provide extra security during the trip.
If you can’t find a friend, consider joining hiking clubs online. They usually travel in groups and regularly hold outings for every skill level.
But we can’t stop you if you absolutely want to experience the wild alone. Just remember to take popular hiking destinations that are short and relatively near to a populated area.
Regardless if you have a travel companion or you want to trek alone, consider bringing a personal locator beacon (PLB) with you. This device will make it easier to send SOS signals in case of an emergency.
A trip to the unknown will make you hungry, but don’t bring too many supplies that they’ll be cumbersome to carry around. Your travel time will be your guide in identifying the amount of food and drinks you must bring.
As part of the hiking essential for beginners, aim for around 500 calories per hour of food. Half a litre of water per hour is also a good starting point if the weather isn’t that hot and more if it is.
Don't assume water is fresh where you hike so be sure take some steritabs just in case you need to sterilise your water.
These numbers aren’t fixed since there are other factors to consider like your weight, age, skill level, and body type. The difficulty of the hike, humidity, and other environmental aspects also play a role in depleting your stamina and increasing your hunger.
It’s always stated in any hiking guide for beginners to bring extra food and more water. The trek could take longer than expected, so it’s safer to have an extra stash of supplies for emergencies.
You don’t need to bring everything you can pack, especially if it’s only a day hike.
Here’s the list of basic hiking gear for beginners that you should always remember:
Opt for lots of thin layers of clothes made of moisture-wicking fabric such as merino wool or polyester. They’re lightweight, flexible, and breathable which are all suited for hiking that requires strength, agility, and endurance.
Many layers allows for you to strip down or put back on depending on temperatures and effort.
Regardless of the weather, you should always bring rainwear. If there is a high chance of colder weather then bring an extra fleece, gloves, beenie and thermals.
Remember, every 1000m (3300ft) of climbing you do, the temperature drops around 6.5 deg C (44 deg F).
The choice between over-the-ankle boots and low-cut trail-running shoes will depend on your comfortability. But in terms of function, boots are better for muddy trails because of their added support. For well-maintained trails with little to no obstructions, lightweight running shoes are better.
Whichever you choose, make sure that you’d be able to walk long distances with them without feeling sore.
Always carry a first-aid kit with you, regardless of where you’re going. You’ll find this recommendation in every hiking guide for beginners because it really is a necessity.
The truth is, the longer the adventure is, the more it’s necessary for you to have at least first-aid training. Regardless of your experience and skill level, you’ll never know when accidents can happen, so it’s best to be prepared and informed.
As a minimum include some bandages, band-aids, pain killers, antiseptic cream and a sewing kit!
I always throw a whistle in there too so I don't forget.
A sturdy but lightweight backpack is another hiking essential for beginners. All tools and supplies will be stored inside the bag, so it should be spacious and expandable.
Even if you’re just doing a quick day trek, a good 20-litre backpack will be a safe choice for storing clothes, supplies, tools, and extras. But for longer hikes, a 30-litre bag will be the best choice.
A rope or a tie strap should always be part of the basic hiking gear for beginners. You’ll never know when you need to tie something down or secure several items into a single load that’s easier to carry.
One of the common mistakes that hikers make is forgetting to secure their gear. You’ll most likely have an overflowing pack on your return trip because you’ll be carrying all used clothes (which most likely will be wet), trash, and all sorts of tangled equipment. You may not be able to fit everything inside your backpack the same way you did at the start of your journey.
The next best option is to put them on another bag or wrap them together and tie them outside your backpack.
Bringing a tie-down strap like WRAPTIE™ is the best option to go with. WRAPTIE™ is an all-purpose, hookless strap that’s versatile, durable, and functional. It can be used to tie your things together without worrying about any buckles or metallic components that can damage your equipment.
WRAPTIE™ is the compact hiking essential for beginners, so make sure you don’t leave for your next adventure without it. It’s lightweight and won’t take much space in your backpack, so there’s no harm bringing something useful on your journey.
We’re on sale right now and we have bundle packs perfect for your next expedition. Don’t worry much about the toughness of WRAPTIE™ straps. We promise it will last for years, longer than your knees can take you up on the hill.
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There are many ways to transport your board (maybe correctly, questionably, or illegally) but having a roof rack is undoubtedly the best option, at least safety-wise. If you do not have one yet, do consider installing one for for the sake of everyone’s safety, to maintain the condition of your board, and for your peace of mind. To secure your surfboard to your roof rack, you will only need WRAPTIE™.
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