The basic equipment for beginner hiking includes a pair of shoes for temperate weather, which need to have a good rugged sole to give traction. Weather-wise, most beginning hiking should be done in good weather. For a novice hiker, bad weather can discourage you from any future hikes. It even discourages veteran hikers but we’ve learned to adapt. A simple day pack purchased from Walmart will hold everything you need such as; a basic first aid kit, snacks, a camera and a rain poncho for those storms that pop up especially during the summer months when humidity is high.
Wear light weight clothing in the summer and avoid cotton t-shirts as they take longer to dry. Wear light colored clothing, dark colors are a heat magnetic especially in the peak of the day.
Dos and Don’ts of Hiking
- Do stretch before you begin, in order to lower risk of muscle cramps and soreness.
- Do start hiking at a slower pace, with shorter trips and work your way up to a faster pace or longer trips.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before hiking. Every meals loaded with carbs will easily burn off and cause you to feel sluggish.
- Don’t burn yourself out on a long, grueling excursion if you are not fit for one.
- Do dress in layers, and shed layers or add them to keep the sweating to a minimum depending on environment and season.
- Don’t litter, keep the trail clean for the animals and other hikers who would like to enjoy that trail. Bring a plastic bag to keep your garbage in.
- Do research the environment you will be hiking in, distinguish the animals and plants that inhabit the area and take caution if they are dangerous.
- Don’t forget to bring an emergency kit; bring extra water, a cell phone, matches/lighter, and maybe a foil “space blanket” along with a poncho.
- Do drink plenty of water, especially during the summer months. Dehydration and muscle cramps can set in quick if you’re not drinking plenty of water.
- Do open your eyes, mind and spirit and enjoy the great outdoors at your leisure.
Hiking can be a leisurely level or be increased to a more advanced level in extreme terrains. Hiking’s versatility and satisfaction have great health benefits.