CulturallyOurs Hiking 101 A Beginners Guide To Hiking

Hiking 101 For Beginners

CulturallyOurs Hiking 101 A Beginners Guide To Hiking

Dig into this hiking for beginners guide and learn how to get started with hiking as well as how to find the trail or hike that is right for you.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy the outdoors and being out in nature is through hiking. Also known as trekking, hiking is an activity that can be enjoyed by almost anyone and is fit for people of all physical capabilities. From the novice slow-paced walked to the speed walker, there is a hiking trail for everyone. There are even many accessible trails in many areas for the differently enabled folks. And if you are a beginner hiker, you truly don’t need much to get started with hiking, depending on the location and terrain, other than a good pair of sturdy hiking shoes (that have a strong grip), a small day pack or even a hydration pack and the right attitude.CulturallyOurs Hiking 101 A Beginners Guide To HikingOf course, like any activity there are some simple rules, regulations, and hiking etiquette that people should follow, no matter where in the world they are hiking. Following proper hiking or trail etiquette and outdoor guidelines can create a positive outdoor experience for both you and others on the trail. While many of these are common knowledge or even just common curtesy, it is important to know what to do when different or difficult situations arise on the trail.

If you are new to hiking, there are many ways to get started. The best piece of advice for a new hiking or someone just starting out is to start small and start local.

Find local parks or hiking trails

There are several easy ways to find a hiking trail that will meet your needs. You can check out local guidebooks or websites that list out parks, hiking trails or even state parks that have designated hiking trails. Trails vary in length, elevation gain, terrain, trail features, water availability. Some trails are dog, pack, or horse friendly while others are not. So, make sure to check all this out when finding a local hiking trail. You can also connect with other hiking enthusiasts or online hiking groups and ask for recommendations on the best hiking trails in your area. You can even contact a local hiking organization or call a ranger station in the area where you want to hike. Rangers typically have up-to-date trail conditions and are skilled at suggesting hikes for all skill levels.

Find the appropriate hike for you

Just because a hike is accessible or has all the right features does not mean it is right for you. Be realistic about your physical, health and mental fitness levels prior to starting a hike. How much time do you have for a hike? How much can you realistically walk without getting tired? How much elevation gain can your body handle? All these are important questions to answer, and everyone’s answer is different. If you are hiking in a group, make sure you understand that everyone’s hiking goals and preferences may differ and be open about sharing how much and how far you can go.CulturallyOurs Hiking 101 A Beginners Guide To Hiking

Choose the right gear for you

Like any sport or physical activity, having the right gear for your hike can make all the difference. One of the wonderful things about hiking is that you don’t need a lot of high-tech gear to get out there. With a few essential items for the trail and a sense of adventure, you’re ready to head into the wilderness. There are a few things that are a must for any kind of hiking adventure – appropriate shoes for the type of terrain you are hiking on, terrain appropriate clothing, water or hydration pack, small day pack, navigation tools like trail map, trail guide or even terrain guides, sun protection, insulation, and water protection, a basic first aid kit, energy snacks, and a small knife. Hiking poles are also great to have especially for new or beginning hikers for just that added level of support and stability especially on uneven terrains.

Find a hiking buddy or hiking partner

Hiking is a great activity to experience alone. Exploring the outdoors by yourself can give you a sense of freedom and adventure that are hard to find elsewhere. But it can also be intimidating and lonely at times especially if you’re new to hiking. Having a hiking buddy or a hiking partner can be a great way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and try different routes and trails you might not want to try alone. If you have friends who hike, ask them to take you on a trek. If you don’t know any hikers, many cities and towns have hiking clubs that regularly plan outings. Outdoor outfitters like REI, Cabelas, Camping World and even online groups like MeetUp can be a great way to find hiking buddies.

If going alone really is your only option, then start out with short trips to popular hiking destinations and make sure someone always knows where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone. You should always leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member. Sometimes even leaving a note with your route plans inside your vehicle can be a good way to inform search-and-rescue folks of your plan if they come looking for you.

Practice Leave No Trace Behind for every hike

Likes any outdoor activity, hiking is a great way to spend time exploring nature. But along with that comes the responsibility of taking care of nature and the outdoors. One of the best ways to do that is to familiarize yourself with the Leave No Trace Behind principles. And these should be followed no matter where in the world you are hiking or trekking. These ethics ensure the wild places you love will stay that way for years to come. Having an awareness of yourself and your impact while you’re outside is key to having a good experience as a hiker.CulturallyOurs Hiking 101 A Beginners Guide To HikingLeave No Trace provides seven principles that provide guidance for enjoying the outdoors in a sustainable way that avoids human impacts. The seven principles are:

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors

Hiking truly is an activity that anyone can enjoy. Don’t get intimidated by technical terminology or fancy gear. Think of hiking as going for a walk. Perhaps the surface might be a bit uneven or different than what you are used to walking in a park or even around your neighborhood, but the principles are the same. And yet the rewards are incredible – being out in nature, without the crowds and sounds of urban development, hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

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A Beginners Guide To Hiking By CulturallyOurs

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