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Hiking For Beginners
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Hiking for Beginners

One of the great things about hiking is that even if you have never gone hiking before, it really only takes a little preparation and you can enjoy it too. Hiking for beginners is really all about planning and using a little thought and common sense.

There are many reasons why people want to go hiking. For instance if you really enjoy the outdoors then what better way to enjoy nature than to get away from the city and into the wilderness where the silence is golden and the scenery is spectacular. It is the best stress reliever I know. It is also a great way to get some exercise and fresh air with your family without it costing you much money. Hiking for beginners does not require a lot of expensive equipment. As a beginner you don’t want to go on a hike that is more than about 5 miles or about an hour or two of hiking time. For your first hike you only need to take a good comfortable pair of walking or hiking shoes, layered clothing appropriate for the weather conditions, including a rain jacket and a few other essentials such as a hat, a water bottle, some snacks such as trail mix and your camera.

Hiking for beginners is not for someone who wants to go hiking in the back country on a grueling multi-day hike. If that is your goal then great, but slow down! One of the biggest mistakes beginner hikers make is to choose a hike that is way more than they can handle. A bad experience can turn someone off of hiking forever and this is not the way it has to be. It is best to start off on a trail that does not have too much elevation because going up and down hills can be hard. Start off on an easy level hike and you can graduate to more difficult hikes as you gain experience and get into better physical condition.

Start off hiking on a trail near your home that is popular for day hikers and is well marked. Take a map of the park with a trail description. Follow the signs and you won’t get lost. Trails are either an out and back or a loop. Out and back trails go straight to a destination like a viewpoint or a waterfall. A loop trail takes you around in a loop so you don’t see the same terrain twice but take you back to where you started. Some parks rate their trails in terms of difficulty so choose one that is rated easy. The trail description will also tell you how long the trail is in distance and in time so choose wisely the first time out.

It is never a good idea to hike alone so always go with someone especially when you are a beginner. If you are unsure whether you have lost your way or not you can just ask another hiker you come across on the trail (remember that your first hikes should be on popular trails where you will encounter lots of other hikers). Keep in mind that the popular trails are always very easy to follow because they are well worn and well-marked.

If you follow these simple tips on hiking for beginners you can get started easily and without worry. You will soon find that you want to start hiking regularly. You will graduate to longer and more difficult hikes and even an all day hike. Before progressing, make sure you find out all the essentials you will need for your all day hike as it does require that you take more equipment and supplies. You never want to go out unprepared.

I hope this article has helped to motivate you to get out and experience the great outdoors. With a little thought, planning and common sense you can enjoy hiking too. See you out on the trail.

Street Talk

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