So you’ve decided to go on your first hike? Congratulations on making the right decision, because there’s a world of adventure and fun waiting for you.
To ensure that you fall in love with hiking and stay with this hobby for a long time, your first hike needs to go smoothly.
Here’s how to prepare for your first hike and come back home with nothing but amazing memories of nature:
Don’t let your first hike be a 3-day adventure to the highest summit of the country. Start small with an adventure that lasts a few hours only.
As a beginner, you’ll probably go slower and need more breaks until your muscles and lungs get used to the extra work.
You might also find it hard to move on new terrain. However, after only a few hikes, you’ll see a huge difference in your fitness and skill, and you’ll be able to join some of your more experienced friends.
Invest in a good backpack
Your backpack will be your best body throughout your hiking adventure. When choosing a backpack, pay attention to a few things: size, durability, style and comfort.
For a one-day hike, you need a backpack between 10 and 25 liters. For a multi-day adventure, you’ll need at least 35 liters of capacity.
It’s best to opt for a waterproof backpack that will keep your things dry in the rain. Something with wide straps and adjustable hip belts is the way to go because it will ensure comfort and distribution and keep you pain-free.
Pack food and water
Never go hiking without water, no matter how short your hike is supposed to be. Dehydration can hit quickly in nature and you might not be able to find water anywhere for miles.
If you’re going to err, err on the side of caution by bringing more water than you might need. With food, focus on nutritious foods that are dense in calories so you can easily and quickly replenish your energy.
Get the right clothes
If you choose to do your hike in your running or walking sneakers, prepare for a very bad time in nature.
These don’t offer the right support for your heel and ankle and can cause serious injuries if you’re not careful.
It’s best to invest in proper safety shoes which offer ultimate durability, stability and foot support. These are also comfortable for your toes, heel and ankle joints and will go well with your every hiking outfit.
You also need to have quality breathable pants and shirts, with an obligatory light jacket. If the rain hits you on your hike, you’ll be so happy to have a light protective layer to keep you dry and warm.
Study your first aid kit
All hikers know to pack a first aid kit in their backpacks, but how many of them know how to use it? Before you head into nature, make sure to read up on the content of your kit and learn how to use the things inside in case you get injured.
Your first aid kit should also be accompanied by a few basic meds like pain killers, antipyretics, etc. You can also throw in a fire starter kit just in case you’re forced to stay in nature overnight outside of your camp.
Bring a few safety things
A power bank is a great addition to your backpack because it will keep your phone charged for emergencies.
Next, pack a physical map and compass (and make sure to learn how to use them beforehand). If you run out of battery on your phone or lose GPS signal, you’ll be so glad to have a map and compass to take you back home.
Also, read a few things about the animals in the area and how to behave if you meet aggressive ones on the trail.
Take it slow
Don’t rush your adventure, because you’re risking injuring yourself or running out of energy too soon. It’s best to move at a pace that you find comfortable, and you will not only ensure your safety but also have time to enjoy every second of your time in nature.
The destination you’re heading to see will stay there forever, so you don’t have to rush to see it. With preparation like this, your first hike will be a prelude to many outdoor adventures in the future.
Make sure to always prioritize your safety and you’ll definitely fall in love with this healthy and fun hobby.
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