A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking
Hiking – one of the few sports out there that can be done by nearly any able-bodied human (or dog).
Broken down, it’s really just walking in nature, but to so many it is much more than that. It is soul-searching and life-renewing. It is discovery and challenge and hope. And, to many, it can be a bit intimidating!
To a beginner just trying to get out there for the first time, there’s a lot to think about: gear, food/water, trail, potential dangers, etc. But, in most cases, the benefits far outweigh the hassles and risks.
To start on a positive note, here’s just a few of the benefits of hiking:
- Increased fitness levels
- More time in nature and outdoors
- Unplugged time for soul searching
- Discovering and exploring new areas
- An easy way to get out with just about anyone
- You pick the pace, the difficulty, and the view – your body ALWAYS benefits from the hike!
While for most hikes, the gear you actually need is minimal, here are a few of my suggestions of things not to forget:
- Sturdy shoes (or boots)
- Comfortable clothing that you can move in (I love my Compass Capris for this)
- Extra layers just in case
- Some high-energy snacks
- A backpack to carry everything
And some quick tips to just get out and GO!
- PLAN – know which trail you are going to try and what to expect. Check online, ask at a Forest Service office and/or check out a local hiking book.
- BE AWARE – know if there are snakes, bears, or other wildlife to watch for. Know what to do and how to respect them. Incidents usually happen because of a lack of general awareness.
- BRING A FRIEND – It makes the adventure more fun AND is usually safer.
- UP YOUR ADVENTURE, not your stress. Don’t worry about going tons of miles or pushing yourself hard right away – ease into it and enjoy it!
My Favorite Hiking Pieces from Stonewear:
- Compass Capri – super soft, super stretchy, but stay where they should and keep me comfortable! They also happen to be very durable and travel extremely well. I’m a shortie, so they hit me more like “ankle pants”, but I wear them hiking all the time! They also have the perfect zippered side pocket that fits my smartphone.
- Nomad Capri – quick-drying, a bit of stretch for ultimate comfort, and great zippered security pocket on the leg. I also like how they fit a little higher on my waist so don’t bunch under my pack and stay put.
- Shimmy Tee – super soft, wicking, and seems to repel dirt better than many soft shirts. Great for when I am hiking hard!
Sometimes its easy to just NOT get out and go, even when you know all of the above. We all need a little motivation sometimes. This year I’ve teamed up with fellow outdoor women and blogger, Rebecca of Hike Like a Woman, to pump up the fun (and push out the door) with Hike 2015.
This 9 week virtual hiking event running all of June and July is for men, women, children and dogs. The purpose is to build community, get out and hike, and have some extra fun doing it.
Every Monday evening we’ll post a surprise challenge hike for the next week on our blogs and via our social media channels.
Complete the challenge hike during the week, share your photo and you’ll be entered to win cool prizes (and we have tons of them, including some of my favorite hiking pants from Stonewear, of course!)
You can participate in just 1 challenge or all 9 challenges, the point is just to get out there, get hiking and have fun! And yes, it’s absolutely FREE.
If you aren’t on social media but still want a chance to participate just shoot either one of us an email with your photo submission. The only thing we ask is for your permission to use your photo on our websites &/or social media sites.