Congratulations. The decision to go on your first hike is one that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
It is one of the best moves you can make, as it will open you up to outdoor recreation, physical activity and fitness. Not only is hiking a lot of fun, especially when done with friends or family, but it is a great workout.
When you finish a hike, you have exercised almost every muscle in your body. It is why so many people recommend hiking and similar exercises to those who want to lose weight or improve cardiovascular health.
However, hiking is not the same as going on the treadmill at an incline. When you are on the treadmill, you are in a comfortable, air conditioned gym.
You can easily step off and go about your regular routine. When you are hiking, you are taking trails in the wild, very far away from where you are normally situated. It is why proper preparation is so critical.
Here is a short guide from Shastaboyz on how you can appropriately prepare for a hike.
Before you take any further steps, it is crucial that you pack appropriately for your hike. It means buying a rucksack that you can use for all the essentials, which will include extra clothes, maps and a compass, sunscreen, flashlights, first aid supplies, fire starting kits, repair tools and a small tent or plastic tube tent.
Some people are going a step further and instead of regular rucksacks, they opt to choose a cooler backpack to have another important feature at hand – the capability to keep the contents ice cold.
These items should fit in your rucksack that you will carry on your back. One tip is to fill up your rucksack, have it on your back and see how it feels. Are you able to walk comfortably?
Or do you need a bit of practice so it is not too tiring on your back? Even if you are exhausted from the first time you attempt this step, do not worry. It is like any other workout – you just need more practice to train your body!
Pick a Trail Wisely:
Many people believe that it does not matter what type of trail you choose when you are hiking. They assume that advanced trails are just much further, in which case they can turn around after a while and come home. But that is not how it works.
While many advanced trails are longer than beginner trails, it is not the only difference. An advanced trail will also contain much more challenging paths, sometimes from the very beginning.
If you do not have extensive experience hiking, please do not choose an advanced trail.
You will only make life more difficult for yourself. It is a much better idea to choose a beginner trail that is suitable for your skill level. Then you can complete the whole trail and emerge at the other side, or turn around and come back!
Do not mistake a beginner trail for being easy. If you have never been hiking, even these trails are incredibly challenging and fraught with danger. The only difference is they are manageable for people who have little to no hiking experience.
Buy Quality Shoes:
Another rookie mistake that you can make when you go on your first hike is to wear a pair of regular shoes or joggers. You would assume since joggers are meant for walking and running, they will be fine on a trail. The problem is that even beginner trails have rough terrain.
If you are wearing joggers, your feet do not have enough cushioning and grip while going about the various routes. Be sure to invest in quality hiking shoes and break them in before you embark on your first hike!
If you follow these tips, we promise that you will have a wonderful first hiking experience.