Becoming a hiker can be one of the most rewarding decisions of your life. All that time spent outdoors, the moving your body will get, and the breathtaking views atop hills and mountains cannot be dismissed.
If you have the hiker’s bug, then you need to make sure you know what to expect and how to prepare for your first-ever hike.
You should tag along with friends who are more experienced, but you’ll want to brag about your first-time knowledge, so here’s a checklist of the basics you’ll need.
Planning is the single most important step in your hikes. You need to know where you’re going, how long it’ll take you, what the weather will be like, and, let’s be honest, you will also need to plan the best places to visit on your hike. Some great spots within America include the countless routes within Yellowstone National Park as well as the famous Grand Canyon. When planning a trip to the latter, make sure to learn of the things to see when visiting the grand canyon so that it’s the best trip possible.
A sturdy, lightweight backpack makes the difference when hiking for hours or days, so choosing the right one for you and the type of hike you’re going on is the second most important step to a successful hike.
Using a map or GPS device is important, especially when hiking in areas you don’t know well and aren’t visited very frequently. Make sure you’ll be safe and bring one with you.
Sunscreen and lip balm
Weather changes in a blink of an eye when you’re going up a mountain, so wear sunscreen and lip balm to protect your skin against the harsh conditions and bring them with you to reapply as needed.
You never expect to need one until you do, and you will in your hike. A utility knife doesn’t weigh much, and you can keep it easily in a pocket. Therefore you should better take one with you every time you go hiking.
First aid kit
This item shouldn’t come as a surprise, even as a novice hiker. It’s easy to trip and fall when walking on uneven paths, and certain kits come with everything you could possibly imagine and need when things go awry. Better to be safe than sorry!
Food and water
Depending on how long your hike will be, a certain number of foods may be required. Food high in protein and carbs should be privileged to keep you going for several hours; plus, remember to pack utensils if you pack meals like rice or pasta as your hands might not be the cleanest. Bringing water with you is essential as you don’t want to run out. The rule of thumb is 16 oz. per hour, but adjusting is required depending on the weather.
Layers, layers and more layers. Think of how you’d dress up for a hot day and then add layers to it so you’ll be ready for a windy winter day. Your clothes should breathe and allow fluidity in movement; your shoes need to be comfortable and the right size – ask for help when choosing them.
Above all, don’t sweat it!
Your first hike will be great because you’re already taking the precautions of thinking ahead and looking it up before you embark on your first one. You’re ready now!