If your New Year’s resolution was to get in better shape or want a new hobby, you might take up hiking. This form of exercise is not only beneficial; it virtually always leads to being surrounded by beauty and seeing areas you were unlikely to visit otherwise.
1. First & Foremost
Of course, one of your most essential purchases for this new venture is a backpack like the 45L Backpack Elite from WOLFpac. There are several essentials that every hiker needs to have on hand, and a good backpack will help ensure that you have room for everything.
Planning your new adventure during nice weather is the number one way to ensure that your first hiking experience is good. Poor weather cause accidents and can make simply a hike just plain miserable. If you plan to hike, no matter what the weather is, you should always check the forecast to ensure that you get prepared with the gear you need to stay dry, warm, and safe.
Check the park or trail’s website or the relevant regional or governmental site before heading out. Are there any trails blocked or closed because of weather or maintenance? Are there wild animals or poisonous plants that you should know about?
Being prepared doesn’t just mean having a backpack and the right gear. For example, if you plan to hike during a season where bugs mainly thrive, have a plan of action to keep pests away.
3. Gear Up
Leave the flip-flops at home and get proper shoes and other quality attire from Road Runner Sports. Failing to wear proper gear can not only make you uncomfortable but can also lead to injury. And don’t forget to focus on one of the most important pieces of attire — your shoes and socks. Blisters will ruin an otherwise perfect hike.
You need to make sure you have an old fashion paper map. You never know whether your cellphone or GPS will have a signal and you could end up hopelessly lost without proper guidance.
Thus, this doesn’t mean that you should leave your phone at home or in the car. Instead, make sure that it’s fully charged and safely secured in a waterproof case to take photos of your adventures and that you have access to help in an emergency.
Other gear you need to pack:
- Compass and maps
- Plenty of water – enough for you to have a full liter every 2 hours.
- Healthy Food and snacks- stuff that doesn’t need refrigeration, such as jerky, dried fruit, trail mix, energy bars, etc.
- First-aid kit
- Matches or a fire-starter
- Flashlight and batteries
- A Victorinox Swiss Army knife or multi-purpose tool
4. Don’t Go, Solo
When starting with your new hobby, you should always go with at least a friend or two. It’s ok to enjoy solo-hiking once you have a bit of experience under your belt, but as a novice, go in a small group so that they can assist in case of any injuries. Plus, you’re liable to have more fun when hiking with a couple of close friends.
Hiking can be a very fulfilling hobby/workout, and there’s a good chance that you’ll become somewhat of an enthusiast once you get started. First, however, make sure you have the right equipment and supplies, and as with just about anything new, having a checklist is an excellent way to ensure that you don’t overlook or forget anything.
Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors on your fitness journey.