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Hiking 101: 3 Essential Tips For First-Timers

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If you have a lot of friends who like to travel or go camping, chances are you’ve been invited to go hiking once or twice. It’s a fun activity for everyone, whether you’re the outdoor type or not. Hiking allows you to see beautiful sights firsthand and experience nature like no other. Most importantly, it helps you disconnect from devices like your phone or laptop and connect with friends in a great way.

If you are planning your first hiking trip, here are 3 important tips for beginners:

Choose an easy way

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Like any other sport or outdoor activity, hiking can be done at different levels of difficulty. It all depends on which path you choose, which should be suitable for your level. As a beginner, choose one that suits your fitness level. As you start to get the hang of it, you may choose to do more difficult trails in the future. You should also do your part to condition yourself and prepare yourself mentally and physically for the journey. Practice on a nearby trail, walking as far as you can each time and resting when you get tired. If you don’t have a trail to exercise, the gym will do—try exercises like the elliptical and stair climber.

Get the basics

Since hiking is an outdoor activity, be prepared for the great outdoors when it comes to clothing and gear. The most important is the footwear you will be using. A good quality pair of wellies would suffice (depending on the trail) but it is recommended that you invest in a good pair of walking shoes/boots that provide ankle support and are preferably waterproof. It’s important to break these shoes in before your hike to avoid blisters. But bring some blister plasters just in case.

Eat well and stay hydrated

You will need a lot of energy on your journey. Be sure to eat a good, solid meal beforehand and pack snacks (preferably light ones, ones high in natural sugars and healthy fats). Dried fruits and nuts are highly recommended. Stay hydrated too, so don’t forget your water bottle!

Remember that hiking is both a mental and physical activity, so you should condition these two aspects before your trip. If it seems difficult, just remember that what you will see at the end of your trek will be worth it all.

Thanks to Daniel J. Smith

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