3 Essential Hiking Tips for Beginners

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It’s fall; a great time to try out some of those hikes that looked like an exercise in self-inflicted misery over the hot summer months. Do you have any destinations you’ve had a hankering to try? Was your interest “peaked” by any of those social media posts by friends who endured the misery of 90+ Fahrenheit temps for the perfect picture at the end of the trail? No matter where you end up hiking this fall, these hiking tips for beginners can make sure you get started on the right path… pun intended.

Whatever your fitness level may be, hiking is a great way to improve on it. Check your weather forecast and start planning your adventure, because there’s probably not a whole lot of time between now and skiing season to view the incredible color explosion that is autumn in the Rocky Mountains!

We’ve all heard the old cliché of the journey being more important than the destination, but when it comes to the joys of hiking, it is absolutely true. Choosing and completing a hike is just as much about enjoying each moment, each new scene, and making lasting memories, as it is about accomplishing what you set out to do.

Hiking Tip #1: Remember Your Skill Level

However, memories and scenery aside, while an easy hike can sometimes be a great break for everyone, choosing hikes that are consistently easier than your skill level can get boring. The same can be said of choosing hikes that are too strenuous. Overworking yourself while hiking is a great way to ensure that you’ll never want to hike again.

A great hiking tip to keep in mind is that if you actually want hiking to become a regular and enjoyable part of your life, choose manageable hikes that are a little bit challenging but have a point of interest – like a waterfall or natural “wonder” at the end. This will ensure that you are not only capable of completing the actual hiking, but that you are motivated by the visual reward at the end.

Hiking Tip #2: Understand the Logistics

When choosing a hiking path or trail, it is important to plan the logistics carefully. There are many great websites and blog posts full of hiking tips about interesting hiking trails, their skill and difficulty level, and sights to be had at the end of the path.

Another great hiking tip is that it’s always a good idea to search these for any information that can prepare you in a way as to make your hike a greater experience.

Here are a few things you may want to consider as you plan the details of your journey.

  • How long is the hike? If your hike will take more than a few hours, you may want to consider ramping up the outdoor experience by camping on the trail.
  • Are dogs allowed on the trail? If they are, maybe you should bring your furry friend along!
  • Where will you be? If you plan to hike alone, it is especially important to let someone know where your hike starts and ends so they can help track you down in an emergency.
  • Do you have enough supplies? Taking too many supplies on a short hike can make for serious work. But getting caught halfway through a long hike without food or water can also have serious consequences. Find the balance. Carry water appropriate to your needs and especially for warmer temperatures.
  • What is the weather like? Dressing appropriately can mean the difference between an exciting adventure and a torturous trek, so make your clothing decisions wisely. If you’re hiking in a canyon be especially sure that there is no possibility of rainfall and try to avoid areas prone to flash flooding. Summer is a better time to attempt these trails.

Hiking Tip #3: Be Flexible

Having a good plan in place is really important, but sometimes, unexpected things happen. If you run into any difficulties you hadn’t planned for, don’t be afraid to call off your hike or change your itinerary.

Paying attention to the environment you are in is a very important part of successful hiking. If you get lost or experience trouble, a great tip to know is to make sure to stay put and try to contact your friends or family.

Hiking is an exciting way to improve your fitness and get outdoors, so follow these tips and make the most of your next hike! Follow our blog for more useful tips. Check City also offers financial services to keep your budget in great shape!

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