10 Essential Tips for Beginner Hikers
Going hiking for the first time be a thrilling but daunting experience. However, as long as you have everything you need, from prescription safety glasses to a first-aid kit, you’re sure to be in for an adventure. Here are ten tips every beginner hiker should know.
1) Don’t Over-pack
You may assume that having more gear makes you more prepared for your hiking trip, but don’t forget that you have to carry whatever you bring with you. Most beginner hikes are under five hours, so you don’t need much.
2) Bring Enough Snacks and Water
With the extra space you’ll save taking only the necessities, bring along enough water and food to last you the whole trip. Consider carrying a full water bladder in your hiking pack along with an extra water bottle for longer trips. You can bring along a water filtering device for emergencies.
3) Pack a Small First-Aid Kit
Accidents are common on hiking trips, which can result in small scrapes and cuts or larger injuries. Always carry a small first aid-kit with you to help handle small injuries until you get back home.
4) Dress in Layers
If you’re starting a hike early in the morning and the weather is brisk, you’ll want to dress in warmer clothes with layers underneath as it gets hotter outside or you warm up from the exercise. In cold weather, you’ll want several layers you can take on and off as the temperature fluctuates.
5) Study the Trail
Whether you find a trail online or find a physical map, take time to familiarize yourself with the trail before embarking. Learn if there are any trail markers you should look out for, and consider going with a friend who has been on the trail before to help you navigate.
6) Start With a Beginner’s Trail
Even if you’re physically fit and feel you’re prepared to trek any mountain, start with an easy trail your first few times. Many people aren’t acclimated to the high elevations you may reach while hiking, and it can take time to learn the appropriate pace. Search for beginner trails that aren’t too long or filled with difficult terrain.
7) Wear Proper Eye Protection
Wearing sunglasses is necessary every time you hike, especially in sunny conditions. Always look for sturdy, UV-protection glasses to prevent damage from sun rays. If you typically wear corrective lenses, purchase a pair of tinted prescription safety glasses to keep your lenses from breaking if you fall and help prevent dust and debris from entering your eyes.
8) Reapply Sunscreen
No matter the weather outside, always put on sunscreen before you go on a hike. It should be SPF 30 or more. Bring a small bottle with you so you can reapply it at least every two hours.
9) Invest in Sturdy Hiking Shoes
A normal pair of tennis shoes, sneakers, or old flip flops simply won’t cut it when you’re hiking. In summer, you can consider a pair of hiking, waterproof sandals. Lighter hiking tennis shoes are often fine in the summer, spring, or fall. A taller pair of hiking snow boots with plenty of insulation is ideal for cold, winter days.
10) Tell Someone Where You’re Going
While most people go on hikes and return home safely, always tell someone where you’re going in case of an emergency. If an emergency happens that leaves you out on the trail, they will know where you are located and can get the appropriate help to find you.
Now that you know to take along prescription safety glasses and understand the importance of hiking with only the essentials, you can focus on the experience for your first hiking trip. Find the right eyewear for every activity at Safety Gear Pro. Happy hiking!