Hiking is a long walk which is usually on trails or footpaths away from the city. It is different from “walking” because, in hiking, you will be a part of nature. You are going to breathe fresh air and see the beauty of nature with every step. If you want to experience such a thing, this is our guide for hiking for beginners.
Hiking becomes a more and more popular hobby every day. Since it is not only a hobby but also a sport, it has many benefits both physically and mentally. The best thing about hiking is, you are not trapped inside four walls when you work out. You will be out in nature and you won’t feel like you are working out. This is a completely different experience. You are not just going to see its benefits on your body. With fresh air, the sound of nature, and nice views, hiking will be a hobby that you are going to love.
If you are an advanced hiker, you already know the benefits. However, if you are a beginner, you may ask yourself how can “walking” can change your life. Luckily, we are here to tell you on this guide of hiking for beginners.
First of all, before anything else, hiking is a physical exercise. It is a good way of cardio. So, no matter what kind of trail you choose, you will see the benefits on your body. Hiking helps you build stronger muscles and it improves your balance. Thanks to these benefits, it lowers your risk of heart disease.
However, as we said before, the benefits of hiking are not limited to physical benefits. Remember that you are going to be in nature. You are going to see beautiful sceneries, you are going to feel the wind and the sun on your face. There is no doubt it is one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. So, it will boost your mood and energy. The stress and anxiety will go away and it will also reduce the effects of depression. We can safely say that hiking is a great activity to improve your mental health.
With those benefits, hiking affects both your body and your brain in a good way. There are places you can go hiking in almost every city in the world. Don’t wait up, go, and experience those benefits on yourself.
Is Hiking a Good Way to Lose Weight?
Hiking is an amazing activity to keep your mind and your body healthy. It is true that for some people hiking is all about fun but nobody can’t deny is a great way of exercise. Hiking is not only a good way to feel the peace of nature but also, a good way to lose weight.
Hitting on trails improves your stamina, it makes your muscles get stronger. When you think about it, this is actually what you expect from any sports. While you are hiking, doesn’t matter which kind of trail you pick, you are going to lose a lot of calories. If at the same time, you live a healthy life such as a healthy diet, of course, you are going to lose weight.
Since hiking is a sport you are going to do in nature, it is a very good way to lose weight because you won’t pay for a gym, or you won’t be in a room with a lot of sweaty people. Instead, you are going to explore nature. Even though you are going to lose weight, you won’t feel you do any kind of sport because hiking is a totally different experience in which you are going to fall in love with nature once again.
What to Do Before Going on a Hike?
Hiking is not a sport in which you go somewhere that already has equipment such as a gym. This means you need to prepare to own your own before you hit the trail. In this guide made for hiking for beginners, we are going to tell you what you should do before going on a hike.
First of all, we need to ask the question, “Why do we need to be prepared before going on a hike?” The answer is simple because you are going to be in nature and in nature, everything is possible. For example, an unexpected rainstorm or a bug bite. In the end, hiking shouldn’t be something that ruins your day. Instead, you should be very excited to go on a hike. So, make sure that you are prepared for hiking.
Hiking for beginners may be difficult and even scary. Since you will be walking on a trail surrounded by nature, you need to remember that nature doesn’t always bring beauty, but sometimes some dangers. Before anything else, you should find yourself a safe location. It can be a natural park or somewhere many hikers prefer usually. Also, research for the trail’s conditions so you can get prepared according to these. After you choose your location, find yourself hiking buddies. The more the merrier, indeed, and also if you get hurt while you are hiking, there will be somewhere who can help you.
The next thing is, you should really get the weather forecasts. You wouldn’t want to hike in a rainstorm. Even if you want it, you should wear proper clothes for it. So, find out how the weather is going to be. Don’t forget that the weather in the forest or mountains isn’t the same as in the city. After that, dress for the condition but keep in mind that the weather can change any time so make sure you have a raincoat with you.
You know hiking is a sport in which your foot plays the main role. If you don’t find yourself a shoe especially was made for hiking, your feet can get hurt. Remember that the more comfortable your foot is, the more you are going to enjoy it. Otherwise, it would be nothing but torture.
After all of these, all you need to do is to pack the essentials. If you want to know what are those essentials are, keep on reading.
What Supplies Do You Need for Hiking?
Hiking is a sport that you need to carry a backpack with you. The reason is simple, you will be away from the city. It means you should have every essential with you. Packing up your backpack properly is the rule number of hiking for beginners.
On your backpack, there should be enough water and food for you. Pack some food that you can eat easily on the trail. Such as energy bars, or nuts. If you are planning to take a break, you can bring a sandwich too. However, if you are on a trail that you are not sure if there are some wild animals, make sure that you didn’t bring any food that can attract them. Other than the food, bring at least two litres of water with you. Of course, it can be more according to your body and how much water do you drink on a day but two litres are essential.
The other most important supply is navigation. Bring a compass or a map with you just in case your phone’s battery dies. Also, some of the popular hiking trails have their own guidebooks. So, if you pick one of them, and we suggest you to pick one if you are a beginner, don’t forget to take the guidebook with you.
Another life-saver supply, literally, is the first-aid kit. The first-aid kits are a must if you are going on a hike because you can easily hurt yourself. The other emergency equipment you should bring is a whistle and a lighter. Also, you should put a knife and a small repair kit on your backpack, just in case.
What Do Beginner Hikers Need?
Hiking for beginners can be complex. Especially after you read the supplies you are going to need, you may feel a little bit overwhelmed. Just relax. Don’t let your anxiety to guide you. Believe in us, it is going to be an amazing experience for you.
We already told you what supplies you are going to need, or what you should do before going on a hike. However, since this experience is so new to you, you may still feel lost. Because of this feeling, maybe you are going to over-pack your bag. Don’t do this. The supplies we mentioned will be enough for you.
After you do your research well, everything will work out fine. Just trust yourself.
Safety Tips and Things to Know
When you are hiking, the trails you are going to choose might be hard. It can be a rugged terrain and in these terrains, it is very easy to hurt yourself. So, you should follow some important safety precautions. Now, we are going to give some safety tips for hiking for beginners to help you a little bit.
- Tip 1: Research where you going to hike. The most important part of hiking is to know your environment so you can take precautions according to that.
- Tip 2: Hike with a group. The ideal hiking group contains 4 people. Make sure you bring at least one friend so someone will be there to help you in emergency situations.
- Tip 3: Get prepared according to the weather. You should know how the weather is going to be on the day you are going to hike. Thanks to this, you will be able to avoid rainstorms and etc.
- Tip 4: Your backpack will be your saver. The supplies you are going to pack will save you from a lot of trouble, so make sure you have everything you need with you.
Nazlıcan Ay is a freelance writer for hire who creates original content for websites and blogs. She studies American Studies at university. When she is not working, she is reading poems and her biggest dream is to run her own boutique hotel one day.