How to Get Started Hiking!
“All of the paths you take in life make sure some are dirt”
― John Muir
Have you wanted to get started hiking, but aren’t sure how to do so, or where to begin? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Below is some information on how to get started hiking! Because everyone can enjoy the great outdoors and all the beauty that Mother Earth has to offer.
Do a Little Research
Open your internet browser and google the closest hiking trails to where you are. You’d be surprised just how many trails are able to be hiked that are closer to you than you think. For many people, the reason they don’t go hiking is because they think they have to drive 4 hours to get to a decent hiking trail. When in reality, there was one close by, they just never tried to look for it. By searching for trails that are closer to home, you’re more likely to go than if they were further away. By taking the time to research your own area a bit, you’ll find what trails you can do, and maybe even some trails that you can make it your goal to accomplish.
First and foremost, go outside. There is an entire world out there to be explored! You don’t have to start hiking with a trail like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. You can start small, with the trail at your local park. Go one night a week, then increase that to a few nights a week. Test the different routes. This is also a good place to practice your footing, as well as your physical endurance. And then once you feel that you’ve accomplished that trail, you can advance to the next trail. You can also begin doing small hikes on the weekends to practice and build up muscle. You can also use this time as an opportunity to test out any new hiking gear you’ve acquired to make sure it’s comfortable. Just get started hiking!
Get Some Good Gear
When getting started in hiking, it’s important to make sure you have adequate gear that will hold up on your new ventures. In my book, good gear entails good hiking boots, a reliable and durable hiking backpack, and a good hat to protect you from the sun.
When looking for the right hiking boot, you want a good, durable boot that has good grip, supports your ankles, fits comfortable, and is built to take on some rocks. You can find a decent hiking boot for a reasonable price. Although, you do get what you pay for, so looking for a boot within your range is my recommendation.
As for a backpack for hiking, when researching what you are looking for, make sure you get something that is comfortable for you even with some weight in it. Check that the backpack can be adjusted to fit your body, from the hip and shoulder belts, down to the padding. You may have to wear the backpack a few times so it forms to your own body.
As for a hat, choose whichever hat is most comfortable, and works best for you. Ball caps do a good job, but they fail to cover your neck. However, there are plenty of sun hat varieties that can be found at your local outdoor recreation store.
Join a Hiking Club or Group
The best way to improve your hiking is to watch other people who hike, and take after them. What better way to do that then joining a hiking club or group. There are so many ways to join a hiking club, thanks to the internet and social media. There are group pages specifically for hiking that can be found on Facebook if you search Hiking Groups.
Another great internet website is Meetup.com. Where people can find local great way to start hiking, and to keep yourself motivated to keep hiking. The experience of going hiking with a group of people is fun and motivating! Not to mention, if you accompany someone who knows the trail better than you, or is more experienced, then you could learn from them.
Find the Perfect Hike and Make It Your Goal
When you first start hiking, it’s important to gauge your body, to figure out what it can and can’t handle. Especially since you’re a newbie to the hiking world, you’re not sure where to begin. When searching for the perfect hike, you have to take into consideration the type of terrain, elevation and distance of the hike. These are the key factors you will want to pay attention to when trying to find the right hike.So, google the best hikes around the country, or in the next state over, or the next city over and find a trail that you would die to hike. “You can every stop back by MyOutOfOffice later to find my recomendations.” Make that trail your goal. Then every other hike done prior to that one will be in preparation for this!
Enjoy the Hike
Don’t worry so much about completing the hike first that you forget to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the trail. Hiking isn’t competitive, so don’t feel that you have to go at a faster pace than you feel comfortable with. Find your own rhythm and flow while hiking, and enjoy the fact that you’re hiking and getting to experience Mother Nature in all her beauty.
Remembering to slow down and live in the moment is easier said than done. But it’s worth a shot to give you the most memorable and enjoyable hike.
There are a lot of great ways to get started hiking. And once you’ve had a taste of the freedom of the beautiful outdoors, you’ll never be able to keep off the trails.
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