How To Start Hiking – A Beginner’s Guide
Getting acquainted with hiking can be a little perplexing. Some can warn you that camping entails sleeping in a tent and going on overnight journeys. Others believe that backpacking is the only way to do it.
Other hikers will face the difficulty of residing in urban areas. In these situations, you’ll have to schedule rare weekend hikes in the wilderness.
Even with all of these traditional obstacles removed, hikers must contend with concerns such as “what about bears!” Then there’s the age-old issue of what food to bring, how to cope with rain, and how to start a fire.
Many of these abilities are alien to beginner hikers or those just getting started. But don’t worry, because we’ll show you how to get off hiking the easy way.
Preparing for Your Hiking Trip
Proper planning and preparation for your next hiking trip is the glue that keeps your adventure together. Experienced hikers begin by selecting a destination and then determining the necessary needs and skills for their journey. Here’s how we’ll go about it:
Choosing a Location
When you first start hiking, it’s vital to choose a destination that appeals to you. However, keep your hopes in check. Avoid environments that may be impossible to navigate, such as deserts or especially remote areas. Consider picking a location with comparatively flat land to escape the challenges that come with significant elevation gains.
Hikers with more experience may choose to hike in and camp at their destinations. I’d consider deferring this for later. Start by going on day hikes only, and stop incorporating the challenge of camping to your first trips.
Equipment and Skills
Any hikers have the advantage of living near fantastic trails and pleasant conditions. Others can live in desert climates or in areas where rain falls on a regular basis. Consider where you’ll be hiking and if you’ll need some special tools or skills to be healthy and have fun.
A wilderness medicine course is popular with hikers and backpackers. Taking a wilderness first aid or wilderness first responder course would undoubtedly boost your self-esteem. I strongly advise you to take a wilderness medicine course by SOLO or NOLS at any stage during your hiking career.
Consider bringing some sort of water purification device with you on an outing. If you’re going to an especially arid region, you can bring extra water. For water, I highly suggest Platy bottles. Where you use them as the main water bottle or as an optional substitute. Of course, if you believe you need more fluids, a hydration pack is a viable alternative. Have a plan!
Check the Weather
This does not imply checking the weather forecast before going on a hike. Changes of weather are a natural part of camping in the outdoors and to be anticipated, so make sure you’re prepared. Being prepared for inclement weather entails having rain gear on hand and learning how to keep your sleeping bag warm and dry so you don’t get hypothermia!
More critical than testing the daily weather forecast is providing a sense of the general average conditions in the region you’ll be hiking in. What are the average high and low temperatures for this time of year in the area? Is the weather chilly and rainy, or sunny and dry?
Both factors will have a significant effect on the final decision regarding what hiking equipment to carry and how much and which layers of clothing to pack. It’s important to have a functional knowledge of the conditions in the region you’ll be camping in, as well as what it entails for your choices if you want to have a successful hiking trip.
Check with Local Authorities
Before embarking on your hiking adventure, you’ll need the best maps, up-to-date statistics, and local knowledge. If you have any unanswered concerns about seasonal considerations like conditions, road restrictions, or rules, you can contact the local park rangers or outfitters.
You’ll be amazed by how many useful tips and advice you can obtain simply by calling someone who is familiar with the region!
Frequently, I’ve discovered that charts or posts by other hikers just don’t cut it. Many trails, considering my knowledge of them, clearly lack good detail. There is only one solution in all situations.
Go directly to the source! It is important at this point to contact the local park ranger’s office or the closest outfitter. And if they don’t have the solutions, they’ll know who does!
Make Your Own Backpacking Meals
Prepackaged backpacking meals are costly, heavy, and cumbersome, and they often lack ingenuity or nutritional value. Many hikers like to pack their own meals, and it’s definitely the only way to get meals tailored to your preferences. For quick day hiking, you can also get away by simply throwing some food from your pantry into your bag.
You’ll need something else if you’re going on a solo trip or camping overnight. It’s simple to find delicious, high-calorie choices by using a technique known as freezer bag cooking.
This backpacking cooking approach entails leaving the pot at home (that’s right, no cooking pot). Simply place premade meals in Ziploc bags and add a cup of boiling water. It’s time to feed after the food has hydrated.
Minute rice, dehydrated refried beans, taco seasoning, and smashed Fritos are some of my favorite freezer bag recipes. I’m sure there are several different ways to prepare this dish, but I’ll share my technique with you.
In a bag, rehydrate the rice, beans, and taco seasoning. Once hydrated, stir well and top with crushed Fritos chips for a tasty meal that everybody would envy.