Advice for New Hikers
The advice for new hikers that you will find here is of my personal opinion. I was once a new hiker too and now with over 25 years of hiking, trekking, backpacking and guiding experience, I believe I can contribute some good advice for new hikers.
The beauty of hiking is that it is very flexible and open-ended and so, there’s no right or wrong way of doing it.
There are so many types of shoes and boots, day hiking bags and apparel that can be used that provide different levels of comfort for different people, however I will say, don’t get too consumed with gear in the early days.
Hiking routes can greatly vary too. They can be short or long, walked at a slow or fast pace, and meander through forests, open spaces, valleys, hillsides, mountains, villages, towns and alternatively, you could choose to be deep in the wilderness with nothing around you for miles.
So, if you’re new to hiking, this advice will help you get started.
Feast for the Eyes
Sit back and think about what makes you tick. Write it down. Do you enjoy gentle strolls or challenging walks, very short distances or moderate length, hilly terrain or watersides, village life or remote locations, this will draw a picture and determine the kind of hiking that will make you happy.
In the early days of your hiking adventures, go local to get an understanding of how it feels and what it takes. Travelling miles away can create anxiety before you even begin and even worse, be daunting when you arrive at your destination especially if you’re hiking solo.
That’s not to say don’t challenge yourself, it just means, going local so that you can get a feel for your mental and physical capability and your gear.
You can absolutely start out hiking with nothing more than trainers and your daily clothes.
Not having the technical outdoor apparel or gear shouldn’t stop you from venturing out, but the right outdoor gear will certainly inspire and build confidence in you, especially, in weather conditions where it’s wet, damp, cold or even snow.
If you’re going to invest, invest your money into a good waterproof jacket, waterproof over-trouser and sturdy pair of hiking boots as they are essentials.
Your first hiking trip is less about the stuff you will take and more about the spirit of adventure.
In order to keep the spirits high, planning and preparation is key; plan where you will park, where you will start and finish your walk, how long it should take, what the weather will be like and then prepare your gear and food/water supplies accordingly.
It’s also important to let somebody know where you are, what you’re doing and approximately what time you will return.