You do not need to be an outdoor knife specialist or any hiking-guru to be able to make your way through the challenging terrain that you may encounter during your first hiking experience. The goal is to remember the essentials and forget the worries of the hustle and bustle of our busy lifestyles. With this in mind we have put together a short list of tips that will ensure that you make your first hiking experience one to remember:
Go with a Guide or an Experienced Friend
We need to draw attention to the fact that there are so many hiking-newbies that have no clue what to pack in their backpacks when they go on a hike, let alone any idea how to use any of the expensive gear that they have bought. It is recommended that you save yourself a lot of trouble and money and go with a professional guide to ensure that you do not lose your way.
If you are adamant that you want to try to navigate through the great outdoors without a paid guide, it is suggested that you go with a friend who is experienced and knows how to use navigation tools, such as a map, and take a GPS Device and satellite messenger with you. A good multi-tool or utility knife can also come in rather handy when braving the great outdoors.
Get Hiking Fit
We hope that we do not have to go too far into detail about why you should not opt for the 20-mile trail as your first-ever hiking trial. You should start small and build your fitness level up from there. You cannot expect your body to tackle wild terrain when it has only ever been used to smooth office floors and the adjustable gym treadmill.
Have a 6-month plan to build up a level of fitness to ensure that you do not overexert yourself or leave yourself prone to injury during your hike. It is recommended that you start small and start walking (and perhaps later running) in sand, as this will help you build the muscles that will protect your knees and ankles.
Work on core-strengthening exercises so that you can help your body gain balance on uneven surfaces and incorporate some resistance training into your workouts to enable yourself to gain a range of motion. Perhaps mention this goal to your fitness trainer (should you have one), so that you can work towards it.
Do Not Forget to Pack a Sense of Humor
You are not going to know precisely how to handle every situation, so remember your humility, as many people have made fools of themselves while travelling. Let us face it; if you have never hiked before, things may not go as planned. Give yourself the chance to be bad (or at least not perfect) at something first time around. People are not born with the ability to be great at hiking or any other kind of outdoor activity; it comes with time and practice.
Taking something like a hiking trial too seriously can set you up for unnecessary stress, and the whole point of the exercise is to blow off steam, so why create expectations? Allow room for spontaneity. The best way to approach your first hiking with an open mind and a curious spirit.