Hiking Essentials for Beginners, a Quick Checklist

Hiking is a great way to explore your own backyard, in the sense that it allows you to take in some of the most picturesque and unforgettable views. Hiking is also a form of low-key exercise and prevents issues such as arthritis, and mental health.

When heading in to the unknown, you will experience every sense of this word. Unlike paths or parks, the terrain is unpredictable, but that is what makes it fun. When beginning to hike, it is most important to work from small to big, and also to take in to account your current fitness levels. Below are some tips to help you get on your way and exploring in no time.

1. Choose the correct path for your current fitness levels and hiking experience – As beginners, we are not sure what type of terrain, or how long or high our bodies can go. Walking on a paved pathway or in a park, or even on a treadmill is no-where near the experience of hiking. Terrain plays a vital role in how far you can go when starting out, so it is important to take this in to consideration when choosing a path.

2. Get to know the route –Being able to somewhat visualise the path you have chosen it very important, as it will not only help you not get lost, it will enable you to enjoy the panoramic views much more than if you have-to keep glancing at a map. Pre-determining an appropriate route will also benefit as you can see if there is a place to set up camp and have some lunch.

3. Always check the weather – In the days before you set off, as well as when as you are at the starting line, it is important to check the weather in order to dress appropriately, and make any changes to your route if need be.

4. Hiking clothes – A hiking hat and hiking shorts are two of the most important assets when hiking anywhere. They will help protect you from the harsh elements, and also allow you to move freely if moving between a tight space.

5. Notify others of your whereabouts – This is the single most important element of hiking. Either travel with a partner or in a group, but if you must hike alone, you need to tell a friend or family member where will you be and when. This will help in the case that, god forbid, you go missing or are injured for one reason or another.

6. Take a backpack – This backpack needs to include the 10 essentials for hiking, wherever you are.

  • Navigation equipment – Sun screen, hat and sunglasses -Extra clothing
  • Lights or a flashlight – First-aid equipment – Small snacks
  • Fire making equipment – Water supply – Tent or any other shelter

If you follow these simple 6 steps in the lead up and during your hike, you will have an amazing time, creating unforgettable memories along the way and what better way to explore the world around you than seeing every detail on foot!