So maybe the outdoors isn’t for you or it is something you’ve never really gotten into, but your friend has invited you along to go hiking and you can’t refuse. Maybe you’re just more of a city person or are worried you’re out of shape. If this is the case, there are a few things you should check off of your list to make sure that you make the most of your time and hopefully enjoy it as well. Some of the main things you’ll want to consider are the difficulty of the hike you’re about to embark on and your hiking gear.
If you’re just getting introduced to the hiking world, you’ll want to make sure that your first hike is relatively easy in terms of terrain. A great tool to use are the ratings on Alltrails.com. The reviews can provide you with detailed information about the terrain, difficulty, length, and even current conditions of the trail. There is no right or wrong way to do a hike, so make sure you choose something you are comfortable with.
You also want to pay attention to the gear you are wearing because improper gear can lead to an uncomfortable journey and ultimately can deter you from wanting to embark on any other adventures. Hiking boots are great for traction, but if you are going shorter distances you should be able to get away with a sturdy pair of running shoes. If you do decide to splurge on some hiking boots, make sure you break them in before hitting the trails with them otherwise you can end up with some painful blisters. Depending on where you are going, the weather can shift pretty drastically throughout the day so make sure to check the weather in advance and bring a couple layers with you incase it cools off on your hike.
No matter the length of the hike, there are also some supplies you should always bring with you. I typically bring a backpack with me, but if you’re not going for too long of a hike you can get away with a fanny pack as well. I recommend also having a way to help you navigate the trail in the off chance that the path is not clearly marked. I download offline maps on my Alltrails app, but you can also bring a map with you just incase. Water is a must because even if it is cooler, exerting yourself on a hike can easily dehydrate you. I also recommend bringing some sunscreen and insect repellant for the hike. Like I said before, there’s no right or wrong way to hike and what is most important is that you are comfortable and enjoying yourself so do whatever you need to do to ensure that you continue to enjoy your hike. If you get tired, take a break and enjoy the scenery because that’s what it is ultimately all about! If you have any other suggestions for first time hikers or have any questions for me, drop them in the comment section below!