Hiking is an excellent way for individuals to improve their overall physical and mental health. Its benefits range from improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety and stress levels to getting a chance to interact with other people and make new friends. Although the activity has numerous benefits, it’s important to mention that it can be pretty dangerous if a person is not well equipped and prepared. For a beginner, the best thing to do would be to go hiking in a group and start with short trails with minimal elevation gain. The following tips will come in handy for a beginner.
The kind of clothes a person puts on will negatively or positively impact their hiking experience. Therefore, one should ensure that their shoes are comfortable, well-fitting, and with a good grip. Shoes that are too tight limit the flow of blood, which in turn cause a person’s feet to swell. On the other hand, if a person puts on shoes that are a size big, they are most likely going to develop blisters. The best hiking clothes for the summer season are made from breathable wicking materials, while warm, waterproof, and windproof clothing is advisable during the winter period.
If a person is going hiking alone or with a group of people they don’t individually know, informing their friends or family of their hiking location could save their life. At times accidents happen when hiking, and if someone knows the person’s location, it increases their chances of being found and rescued.
Pack an Emergency Kit
As mentioned earlier, anything can happen when hiking, and a person needs to be prepared. Some things a person should include in their emergency kit are pain-relief medication, bandages or medical tape, insect sting medication, and instructions on how to use any medication/items in the kit.
Food and Water
Hydrating is essential when hiking. Therefore, one should ensure that they carry clean drinking water to avoid the temptation of drinking water from contaminated sources. Again, they should bring some snacks for when they are hungry. If a person chooses to carry perishables, they should ensure that the snack is stored in a cooler.
Other recommendations for anyone going hiking for the first time are carrying a map, starting early in the day, and watching their feet. Things like slipping on a rock or stepping on a poisonous wild animal can have fatal consequences.