You’ve decided you want to go hiking! That’s great news! Hiking is a wonderful way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. But before you head out on your first hike, there are some things you need to know. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of hiking, as well as tips and accessories that will make your hike more enjoyable. Let’s get started!
Hiking Tips and Accessories for Beginners:
Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. But before you hit the trails, it’s important to be prepared. Here are some hiking tips and accessories for beginners:
1. Pick the right trail:
Not all trails are created equal. Some have more difficult terrain than others. When you’re just starting out, it’s best to choose a trail that is mostly flat and has few obstacles. You can find information about the difficulty of a trail online or by talking to experienced hikers at your local outdoor shop.
2. Wear the right clothing:
Comfortable clothing that won’t chafe or rub you the wrong way. You’ll also want to wear layers in case the weather changes. Hiking boots are a must, and they should be broken in before you hit the trail.
3. Invest in some quality gear:
A good backpack, hiking poles, and a water bottle are essential when you hit the trails. Hiking boots are also key – make sure to get fitted and pick a pair that’s comfortable and will support your ankles. You might also want to invest in some quick-dry clothes and a rain jacket, just in case the weather takes a turn.
4. Invest in a good pair of hiking shoes or boots.
Your shoes are probably the most important part of your hiking gear. A good pair of hiking shoes will protect your feet from the elements and from injuries. They should be comfortable and provide good support.
There are many different types of hiking shoes on the market, so it’s important to do some research to find the right pair for you.
Some things to consider when choosing hiking shoes:
- The type of terrain you’ll be hiking on
- The climate you’ll be hiking in
- Your own personal preferences
There are three main types of hiking shoes:
- Hiking boots: These are the most sturdy and supportive option. They’re great for hiking in rough terrain or in cold weather.
- Hiking shoes: These are a lighter and more breathable option than boots. They’re great for day hikes or hikes in warm weather.
- Trail running shoes: These are the lightest and most flexible option. They’re designed for speed and agility and are not as durable as boots or shoes.
No matter what type of hiking shoe you choose, make sure to break them in before you hit the trail. Wear them around the house and on short walks to get a feel for them. You don’t want to be stuck with a pair of shoes that are too uncomfortable to wear on a long hike.
5. A map and compass (or a GPS device)
You can’t get very far without a map and compass (or a handheld GPS device). A topographic map will help you plan your route, determine your current location, and find landmarks along the way.
A compass is an essential tool for orienting yourself on the map and keeping track of your progress. If you have a GPS device, it can be a helpful backup in case you lose your way.
Make sure you know how to use your map and compass (or GPS) before you go—take a class or practice in your backyard.
How to Use Map and Compass:
Using a map and compass together takes practice. But once you know how, they’re straightforward to use and provide an incredibly valuable skill set for backcountry navigation.
Here are the Basics to Using a Map and Compass:
- Start by orienting the map. Place the edge of the map parallel to and touching the edge of your compass, making sure the direction of travel arrow on the compass is pointing in the same direction as the map.
- Rotate the entire compass housing until the red needle points to north on the map. The orienting lines inside the glass will now be running east-west.
- Holding the compass and map in this position, turn your body until the red needle points the north in the real world. You are now oriented!
- To find your location, align the edge of the compass with a well-defined feature on the map (a road, stream, or ridgeline, for example). Make sure the direction of the travel arrow is pointing in the direction you want to go.
- Without moving the compass, slide the entire map until the edge of the compass is touching the feature you’re using for reference. Your location is now marked by where these two lines intersect.
- To find a specific destination, use the same process but reverse it: start with your location on the map and follow the steps above to find where you need to go.
Now that you know how to use a map and compass, there are a few other things to keep in mind when planning your hike. First, be sure to bring extra batteries for your electronic devices. A flashlight can also be helpful for nighttime hikes or unexpected delays. And finally, it’s always a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
6. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat:
Hiking in sunny weather can be beautiful, but it also means you need to take extra care of your skin. Make sure to put on sunscreen before you head out, and reapply it regularly throughout the day. sunglasses and a hat will help protect your face from sun exposure as well.
7. Water and snacks:
You’ll need to stay hydrated while you’re hiking, so bring along a water bottle or two. And since you’ll be burning a lot of calories, it’s also a good idea to pack some snacks to keep your energy levels up. Trail mix, fruit, and energy bars are all good options.
8. First aid kit:
Accidents may occur even if you take precautions. That is why having a first-aid kit with you on every excursion is always a good idea. Include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and anything else you might need in the event of an emergency.
Other Accessories you might need while Hiking:
- Hiking socks
- Fleece jacket or vest
- Rain jacket
- Hiking poles
With these basics in mind, you’re ready to hit the trail! Hiking is a great way to get outside, explore new places, and get some exercise. And with a little preparation, it can be safe and enjoyable for everyone. So get out there and enjoy the wilderness!
If you have any other questions regarding Hiking Tips or Accessories, feel free to leave a comment below and we would be happy to answer them! Happy Hiking!
Check out our other blog post: The Best Hiking Trails in the Gatlinburg. This guide will take you through some of the best hiking trails Gatlinburg has to offer!