Hiking for beginners
It's the New Year..Let's go take a hike!
The call of big blue skies and fresh breezes makes the outdoors almost impossible to resist, and there's no time like the New year to start something new. As a novice, here are a few common pitfalls to avoid to make sure that your first hiking experience is not your last.
Wear the right gear
Hiking boots are the obvious choice for footwear as they have been specifically designed to support your feet in challenging terrain.
The Hi-Tec Altitude V Ultra I WP has been designed for hikers, featuring a waterproof leather upper for support and durability, and Dri-Tec waterproof, breathable membrane to keep your feet dry.
A good pair of socks is important, too – merino wool is best, as it won’t cause excess sweatiness or blistering.
Long trousers are a good idea if you’re going through a forested area but keep them lightweight and If possible, choose a pair that can easily transform into shorts so that heat doesn’t become an issue. First Ascent Utility trousers dry quickly should you happen to get the wet. Denim is a no-no.
A performance shirt that’s breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin is a must, as is a waterproof jacket, Mac-in-a-Sac Originals Jacket is a packaway waterproof jacket, known for it’s high technical performance and stylish colour combinations – and, of course, a hat is non-negotiable.
The Terra-firma tech hat has a wide brim, and lightweight material, and is perfect for warm conditions.
Not packing light
Food, clothing, gear, whatever the contents, beginner hikers tend to pack too many things. A trick is to handle each item in the backpack and consider how much it weighs. Multifunctional items, are first prize and minimalism is key. With 14 tools, the Leatherman Wingman is the ideal multitool.
Bruises, aches and pains are often the result of a backpack that hasn’t been sized right or adjusted to your body with weight in it. Get advice from in-store experts or experienced hikers.
Not considering your fitness levels
Assess your fitness level. If it’s your first time hitting the trail, it’s probably better to keep your hike on the short side, and to head out in a group. Keep in mind factors like altitude adjustment and your endurance level; don’t be shy to take breaks whenever necessary, and keep hydrated. Also, read up on the hike beforehand so that you know what to expect, and calculate how long you’ll need to complete it, allowing for extra time. If you really want to conquer the trail alone, it’s crucial to tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to be finished. Don’t get too carried away – as much as you enjoy your hike out, you’ll have to walk the same length back to the car when you’re feeling hot and tired.
Not checking the weather
Hiking is already a fairly unpredictable activity, so not being aware of the expected weather conditions on the trail could create unnecessary and sometimes dangerous challenges. Knowing what to expect will help you pack and dress accordingly. Always check the forecast.
Take a look at our Range of Hiking Gear to make sure that you don't miss a thing!