Hiking Tips for Beginners: Things You Should Know!

Hiking Tips for Beginners

Hiking is arguably one of the most satisfying outdoor activities on the planet. 

However, as exciting as it might be to hit the road and level up your hiker skills, you need some basic knowledge before you set out. 

There are many tips you should consider as a beginner hiker, but there are basics you should always have down first. 

Hence, what are the basic hiking tips for beginners?

The important factors you should note as a hiking beginner are buying the right gear, picking a trail, how to deal with wildlife, and finding hiking buddies. Above all these hiking tips, ensure you always have the best hiking gear. These tips are useful, but having the right gear will ensure you are always hiking safely. 

Are you planning on going out hiking with your friends soon? If you’re a beginner hiker, there are a few things you need to take note of before you hit the road. 

This article will teach you all the basic skills, tips, and hacks you need as a beginner hiker. 

What Are the Basic Skills Required for Hiking?

Hiking Tips for Beginners

Unlike other outdoor activities, hiking is a straightforward activity. 

All you need is a path, a destination, some hiking gear, and a few hiking friends to motivate you to keep hiking if you’re a social lad. 

If you’re a fan of walking, hiking is the best outdoor activity for you. 

However, before you slap some shoes on and show up on a hiking trail with nothing but a smartphone, you should note some basic must-know skills. 

Hence, if you’re looking to educate yourself on various skills you need to hike a trail, turn your attention to the next section: 

  • Ensure you know how to read a map
  • It would be best if you learned how to read a compass
  • Learn how to administer first aid

How Far Should a Beginner Hike?

Keeping your mileage low is important if you haven’t gone on a hike or a walk in a while. It’s easy for a newbie hiker to gas out halfway through the hike. 

The last thing you want is to hit your limit in the middle of nowhere. You may have people or friends around who might be willing to lend a helping hand. However, everyone will be tired. 

Adding your weight to theirs will make it difficult to navigate the path. Additionally, you may cause an infringement on other hikers’ plans. 

However, in the worst-case scenario, you may end up alone without cell reception to call for help. Hence, knowing your limits and setting your mileage cap below your limit is important. 

Ensure you never exceed your mileage cap, no matter how tempting it might be. If you’re bothered, you might not cover as much as you want on the first tip; don’t be. 

With time and frequent hikes, your body will adapt to the mileage, and you can increase it. 

The general rule for beginner hikers is to stay within or below 6 to 8 miles on hikes. However, elevated hikes pose a problem for the general rule. 

Hence, there’s a subrule. For every 1000 feet you cover on an elevated surface, reduce a mile from your hike mileage. 

6 Hiking Tips for Beginners 

It’s difficult for a newbie hiker to plan a route since you have little to no knowledge about hiking. Additionally, it becomes increasingly difficult since you don’t have any experience hiking.

Hence, below are certain things you should take note of while planning your route: 

#1. Pace Your Hike

Pacing your hike entails you have a total of hours you plan on spending on the hiking trail. For instance, you can pace your hike by allocating 30 minutes for every mile. 

Hence, by implementing this on your total mileage, you will have a good knowledge of the hours you spend on the hiking trail. It will also help you know if you’re on track. 

Furthermore, pacing your hike lets you determine whether you should walk faster or rest before continuing. 

Side note: the time for short rests and water breaks is already 30 minutes per mile. 

#2. Avoid Unnecessary Hazards

Outdoor activities are fun; they often make us want to try something we haven’t done before. However, controlling the urge to do something out of the ordinary is important. 

While hiking, it’s important to always stay within your comfort zone – especially if you’re a beginner hiker. 

Hence, before you set out on your hike, choose a trail that you’re comfortable with. Don’t pick a trail that’s beyond your abilities and too technical. 

It’s important to always remember that you’re a beginner hiker. 

Pushing yourself to the limit as a beginner hiker isn’t the best choice. Furthermore, ensure you pick a trail that loops back to the trailhead. 

#3. Create a Hiking Itinerary

Hiking solo is a fantastic way to clear your head and enjoy nature. However, always leave behind a copy of all your hiking activities. 

Ensure you include the route you’re taking in the copy of the itinerary, and you leave the copy with a family member or a friend. 

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of tracking them down and handing them a physical copy, you can always email it to them. 

Additionally, ensure you let them know that you sent them a copy of your hiking information and the number of hours you intend to spend on the hike. 

Leaving behind a copy is important because family members or friends can keep tabs on you frequently. 

If you’re a beginner hiker, it is more crucial you fulfill this before leaving for your trail. 

If you’re interested in a comprehensive highlight of everything you need to include in your itinerary, turn your attention to the table below:  

Itinerary HighlightReason
Medical conditionsAdding this allows your friend/relative to provide relevant information to emergency services. 
Local park ranger or sheriff’s office numberThis item allows your friend/family to contact the relevant authorities in your hiking area.

#4. Pick a Hiking Trail with a Trailhead

It’s tempting to start your first hike in a remote area where you can have the trail all to yourself. However, as a beginner hiker, this might not be your best option. 

Picking a hiking trail with a trailhead has several benefits. 

A good trailhead should have the following facilities for hikers: 

  • Trail maps
  • Large parking areas
  • Information brochures highlighting the trail features
  • Restrooms

#5. Pack the Proper Hiking Gear

Before you set out on your hike, it’s important to pack the right hiking gear for various conditions. 

Hence, before picking out your hiking gear, look up the weather of the area you will hike. 

You don’t want to pack light clothing when it’s cold out. You might catch a cold, although you’re hiking the trail. 

Additionally, you don’t want to hike on a day when there will be a thunderstorm. You may end up stranded on the trail with no shelter. 

Hence, properly preparing for a hike with the right weather gear is important. You may sometimes be caught in a wild thunderstorm, although you checked the weather forecast. 

Hence, it’s important to pack a light poncho. Additionally, carry extra clothing if it starts raining. 

Furthermore, ensure you pack sun protection because the sun’s UV rays might damage your skin. 

If you’re hiking during the summer, you should protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Pack an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen to protect your skin. 

Additionally, pack up your bug spray when you want to hike a trail. Hiking outdoors means you’ll often come in contact with nasty critters like spiders, ticks, and mosquitoes. 

Hence, packing a bug spray can save you from coming into contact with them. If the trail becomes buggy around a time of year, a quality insect repellant can fix that in no time for you. 

#6. Pack Some Toiletries

Every good trailhead has toilets. However, how will you use these toilets if you don’t pack some toiletries? 

Hence, it would be best to pack toiletries for available toilets. You may not be feeling like using the toilet while you’re home. 

But you can never tell when nature will require you to visit the toilet. Hence, packing toiletries ensures you’re prepared for any occasion. 

What Are the Best Hiking Trails for Beginners?

As a beginner hiker, ensure you hit popular trails amongst other hikers.

Hence, you can take a page from the books of other hikers. Since they have ventured on these trails before, they know the conditions of these trails. 

Hence, without further ado, below is a quick rundown of the best hiking trails for beginners: 

In Italy

  • Volcano climbs in Sicily
  • The Amalfi Coast
  • Lago di Braies

In the US

  • The Grand Canyon
  • Yosemite
  • Yellowstone

In Greece

  • Samaria Gorge

5 Safety Tips for Hiking Beginners

Are you planning to hike soon? It would help if you took note of some very important safety tips. These tips will ensure you enjoy the best time while you’re outdoors. 

It will also keep you and other hikers hiking the trail safely. 

Below are some important tips you should note as a beginner hiker: 

  • Before you start your hike, ask the park ranger about the condition of the trail. 

It’s important to contact the park ranger because there might be closures or alerts you didn’t know about. 

  • Always keep track of your time and distance. Ensure you never go beyond your limit. 
  • Take breaks often and regain energy before you continue. 
  • Allow the slowest hiker to set the pace if you’re in a group. This tip ensures that you’re always together.
  • Don’t rush the trail; always take your time and watch your steps.
Josh Matthews

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