There are studies that would prove hiking is good for both our mental and physical well-being. Hiking may be a low-impact workout, but it’s definitely not an easy activity to complete.
There will be days leading up to the day of the hike that would make you want to chicken out from the trip, but that’s normal, especially if you are not really into this activity. No matter how hard the climb may get, it’s the benefits that you should be thinking of.
That said, there are certain levels of difficulty that you should consider before planning on your first ever hike.
If you’re ready to take on the challenge of hiking your first mountain, we’ve got some tips for you.
Look for a hiking partner
It’s essential to have someone with you on your first hike. Aside from the fact that it makes the trek enjoyable, you can also have someone to look after you in case the trail gets hard.
It doesn’t mean that you have to bring a professional with you, but having a hiking partner means that you have someone to ask for help when you need one, and vice versa.
You can’t expect any of your friends to join you with your newly found love for hiking, but in case some of them are interested, well, you’re a lucky pal. If in case, none of them likes to come with you, there are online groups where you can find a hiking buddy such as MeetUp.
Hiking is no easy feat. If you have someone to laugh unfortunate incidents during the hike with, then it makes the activity bearable and even more exciting.
Hiking with a friend or a partner makes the experience lighter and happier. We’re not saying that hiking alone is a bad idea. Nonetheless, it can even be better for your mental wellness as it can give you a sense of freedom
Train before the hike
Of course, a hike requires the entire body to move for a couple of hours. That means you have to prepare your arms, legs, core, and everything else that needs to be moved during the trip to avoid cramps and other injuries.
Training before the hike is a necessity that some people overlook. Don’t be like the ones who underestimate the power of a good warm-up and training before the hike and end up with regrets.
You have to make sure that your body is ready for this type of activity. You might even need to get your doctor’s signal before you decide to push through with the trip, especially if you have special needs to be addressed.
This is not extra work. This is a safety precaution, so you better not skip this part.
Plan your hiking route
Knowing what route to take is an essential part of making your first venture into hiking a success.
You can start researching the place. There are readily available resources on the internet that can help identify which path is for you and which one is not. You can also call the mountain headquarters or their administration office to ask about available trails for beginners.
It’s really up to you whether to pick the easiest one or add some challenge to the hike. No matter what you choose, make sure that you are ready for any daring occurrences that might come your way.
Check the weather
Checking the weather is one of the first steps that you should do before the hike. It will set your expectations for the hike and can also help you determine what type of clothes to wear or what items to bring in case it gets hard in the middle of the trail.
If there is a thunderstorm coming, don’t push it. That’s obviously not a good time to go. The local mountain office can also be the one to tell you whether it’s okay to continue with the hike or not.
And if they say that they are not allowing hikers in certain weather conditions, just stay at home and wait until it’s back to regular days again.
You can avoid undesirable emergencies if you monitor weather forecast days before your scheduled hike.
Prepare your hiking gear
There are hiking gears that can help make the trek bearable.
To start with, you can carry the Ten Essentials with you. It’s a collection of gear and clothing items that you would need when you go hiking. It also has a navigation tool, sun protection, and other items that would help you survive the hike.
A trekking pole is also a very helpful tool. It can help you manage your weight throughout the hike.
Your backpack is your home when you start hiking. It’s where you’ll store important items that you will need during the entire trip.
You have to carefully pick which ones to bring because a heavy pack will slow you down. Instead of making your backpack an ally, it will only burden you.
Deciding on the items to bring is a crucial part of your hiking planning, so you better learn how to let go of things that aren’t really necessary.
Leave no trace
Apart from the health benefits that you can get from hiking, remember that you’re also out there to appreciate the nature around you.
Don’t try to ruin the moment by leaving behind packets of your snack or any trash you have with you. Respect the beauty of the trails, period.
There’s no shame in trying out new stuff, especially if you know that it will do you right. Start hiking now, and you might find a sport to love, finally.