New Year, New Adventures- Tips for Beginner Hikers

posted in: Going Gear, Preparations, Trips | 0

Just about everyone makes at least one new year resolution. I am famous for making resolutions and not keeping them. But this year I have made a resolution that is so easy all of you can do it. Create new adventures! This year I want to challenge everyone to spend more time outside trying new things and visiting new places.

In 2013, I am going to spend more time away from the hustle of everyday life and create new adventures outside. For me, a good hike can cure the body and soul. There are not many things that are more calming and peaceful than a hike on a secluded trail.

So this year, my new adventures will focus on visiting new parks and trails I have never been to before. As you start developing your own new adventures here are some of my tips for any beginner hiker:

  1. Wear the correct clothing. There is nothing worse than getting half way through a hike and realize you are getting a blister from your shoes or you jacket is not keeping your warm
  2. Know your physical limitations. Start slow and short and increase your mileage as you get more active.
  3. Tell someone where you are headed. Even if you are going out for a short trip, someone should know which trail you’re on. Consider taking a partner if you’re headed somewhere more isolated.
  4. Don’t start a hike late in the day. Always allow yourself more time to finish a trail than you actually think it will take.
  5. Bring the right equipment. This goes along with the correct clothing. Having the right gear with you can turn a life or death circumstance into a manageable situation. Some basic gear you should have is:
    • Good backpack
    • Food
    • Water
    • Flashlight
    • Fire starter
    • Basic medical kit
  6. Make sure you bring a map. Most state and national parks will have a map of all the trails that you can pick up for free. Some trails will not be marked as well you anticipate and a map will be critical for finding your way.
  7. Do a little research before you head out. Know the terrain and environment before you get to the trail head. By doing your research you will also know what you should wear and what you should pack. Do you need a rain jacket and water proof shoes or should you leave the jacket at home because the temperature will be scorching hot?
  8. Don’t feed the animals. You may think it’s fine to feed the animals, but remember these are not your neighborhood cats and dogs, these are wild animals. Have you ever tried to give an eager dog a treat and it accidentally got your finger? Wild animals are no different. And wild animals are more likely to carry diseases that can be carried to humans.
  9. Stay on the path. The paths were created for a reason, to keep people on safe terrain. Don’t become to adventures and try to blaze your own trail. Some parks can actually enforce fines if they find you outside of a designated trail.
  10. Respect the trails. Follow the rules and guidelines provided by the park you are visiting. Don’t litter, don’t remove other natural items or be overly noisy when hiking. Use this time to enjoy your surroundings, letting Mother Nature speak to your senses and spirit.

Happy Adventuring!

Leave a Reply