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Hiking Essentials for Beginners [Hiking 101 Tips]

Hiking is good for physical and mental health, so pack your stuff and go hiking. Here are 8 hiking essentials for beginners to ensure your have a wonderful trip.

By Cody | @Cody

Updated on Aug 05, 2019

Hiking has many benefits, ranging from physical exercise to mental health. Unless you are doing solo hiking, it also helps you build up a good relationship. Hiking involves some unexpected things, especially for long trail hiking. To get prepared, here are a few hiking essentials for beginners to ensure you have a good hiking experience without getting hurt.

Choose a Proper Trail

For a starter, you should pick a trail with less elevation or a clearer path. Elevation gain is an important factor that determines the hiking difficulty. If you are going to plan a one-day hike, which is recommended for beginners, you can figure a roughly 2 miles per hour pace. If a trail gains 1,000 feet, you should also add one hour to the estimated time. If you have to go hike in hot weather, which is not recommended for beginners, choose the high and wet places, where has lots of shades. 

>> Check the 5 best hikes in Arches National Park

Keep the Pace

The first hiking skill that hiking beginners need to know is to always maintain a certain pace. The first 5-10 minutes of hiking can be reserved for warm-up time, and it is advisable to start slow and adjust the pace gradually if needed. At first, it may seem painful because when you was with a group of people but others would always go really fast. If you keep it slow, you will find it is way more enjoyable. Otherwise, you may get hurt for beginners.

Backpack for Hiking Beginners

When choosing a backpack, you should consider capacity, durability, and water resistant. If you only go for one day hike, then you just need to pack sunscreen, extra clothing in case it get cold, first-aid kit, map and compass, extra water and food.

Backpack for Hiking Beginners 

If you miss the time and have to stay on the trail for the night, you should also bring headlamp or flashlight, tent, sleeping bag, fire source unless you know how to make a fire in the wild. When spending the night on the trail, you should also consider bugs management, especially for summer hiking.   

>> Get more details on how to pack a backpack for camping.

Let Someone Know Where You Are Going

before you go for a hike, it is important to let someone close to you know where and when you are going, especially, if you go solo hiking. In case you do not return on the estimated time, they will start searching for you or call the police. When you are in a group, you should carry an emergency device like a handheld GPS tracker, which allows you to send SOS alert to others in the group when needed. GoFindMe GPS tracker should be a nice choice for that.

Navigation and Communication Device

Normally, you need maps and compass to lead your way to avoid getting lost on the trail. Of course, you need to know how to use the map. A better choice would be GoFindMe GPS tracker that includes offline maps and allows you to communicate with other GoFindMe users without cell service.

Navigation and Communication Device

You can share or check other’s real-time location when you are separated. You can also setup Geofence for your loved ones to make sure they stay in the safe zone. If you are hiking with your dog, you can also attach this device to your dog.

GoFindMe GPS Tracker Real-Time Tracking for Outdoors and Families
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Water or Water Filter

Generally, you should pack two liters or so of water, which is ideal to take on any hike. If you know that there are water sources on the trail, just bring purification tablets or a water filtration method instead of carrying two liters of water for an entire day’s trip. Obviously, little pills weigh less weight than the huge water bottle. Another pro tip is to drink at least one liter of water the night before the hiking day to delay any thirst or dehydration that might come for the next day.

Hiking Clothes and Shoes

Do to wear a cotton shirt. When you sweat, the water and moisture are not going to go away from your cotton cloths. If for some reason the wind picks up or the temperature drops, you will be stuck in a cold wet t-shirt. Therefore, get a synthetic shirt or a special workout shirt that you have for hiking. If you want to protect your skin from the sun, try long sleeve shirt and long pants with a looser fitting lightweight material.  

Hiking Clothes and Shoes

It is very important to wear comfortable shoes because you don’t want to get blisters. Once you get blisters, your day is ruined. The grip of your shoes can be important depending on where you're going. As you know, some summer shoes are unsafe to wear on certain terrain.

Here are some good women’s waterproof hiking boots.

Know How to Handle Emergency

1. Sprain: If you think you have sprained your ankle, stop the activity immediately. wrap it with a cold damp cloth and fix it with tape. If you have ice, add it to the injured spot. If you feel severe pain in the foot and you can't stand or experience swelling after the injury, it may be a fracture, and you should get medical help immediately. 

2, Heat stroke: long-term hiking under the heat is the most likely to cause heatstroke. If you feel dizzy, headache, nausea, limb weakness, you should rest as soon as possible in a cool and ventilated place. Open the neckline, pull high sleeves, drink plenty of water or electrolyte drinks, and take heatstroke medicine if you have it. 

3, Dehydration: Drink a small amount of water several times and eat something sweet and salty. Don’t drink too much water at one time, which will increase the burden on the heart. Sports drinks are good but you should avoid drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, tea, and sodas. 

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