New hikers will really enjoy the outdoors and improve their health. Hiking can provide a relaxing way to burn off stress in the quiet atmosphere of the woods. Hiking can also provide glimpses into natural flora and fauna that would be otherwise missed at a local walking track. Hiking is a skill that is best learned with hands on experience.
New hikers should realize that they have limits and there are little time constraints.New hikers should seek out a local hiking group or club to draw on the wisdom of experienced hikers. Groups are beneficial because the hikes are organized and the trip has been preplanned. Clubs will also help to motivate new hikers to actually get out and do it. Groups also will have a wide variety of experience levels and help to find a social hiking buddy or buddies with a simular experience level.
New hikers should use local parks to develop hiking skills. This would include the practice of planning hikes, building up muscular and cardio endurance, and as an outlet to field test new gear. Because the location is nearby and easily accessible, new hikers are more likely to be envoved in skill development.
New hikers need to use trial and error when selecting footwear. The most important point about footwear is a proper fit. Each hike will have different terrain and will require different types of footwear. Generally speaking, the longer hikes will require more durable footwear (http://www.thejoggersheel.com/best-hiking-boots-plantar-fasciitis/). Training hikes in local parks can be suitable for cross training sneakers. Rough and rocky hikes will require rugged boots to prevent injury to the hiker. Changing socks during a hike is also recommended to ensure good foot hygiene.
Staying hydrated is often overlooked by newbie hikers. Hydration breaks should be developed into the hiking plan. Hydration breaks allow new hikers to observe nature and take a small rest. New hikers should get into a habit of hydrating often and not gulp down large quantities at once. A good general rule is a quart of water to 2 hours hiking time. It is often too late to hydrate once signs of dehydration appear.
Knowing the terrain and having an adequate map will help new hikers adjust and implement their hiking plan. Maps can be useful for future hikes by making notes along the hike to indicate scenery, geographical features, and obstacles encountered on the trail. Hikers can build up quite a journal for regular trails and pass that knowledge along to other hikers.
It is best not to hike a backwoods trail alone. A new hiker should always share with a trusted person, a trail map, the planned route, and make some sort of communication with the person at the start, during, and at the end of the hike. In serious backwoods areas, a personal GPS locator device should be utilized. By no means should a new hiker or even an experienced one hike alone without someone else knowing the details of the hike. Being prepared, knowing personal limits, and perseverance are all keys to a newbie hiker’s success.