tips for hiking beginners

United States
March 3, 2007 10:23am CST
please share your tips for beginning hikers such as what sort of trails to try first or tips on how to start. this has been a causal interest of mine for the last year but i'd really like to step it up and increase my hiking endurance and experience. btw, if anyone has some good tips for trails in western pa or knows of biking trails i'd appreciate that info as well. thanks.
1 person likes this
8 responses
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
3 Mar 07
If I could give you one tip it would be...Break in your boots really well before your first hike. Wearign them around yuo house for a few days is not enough. I mean take some substantial walks, up and down hills in your new boots before a hike. Pay strict attention to "hot sopts". You'll notice when they start to happen...that's a place wehre a blister is coming so, stop and cover the spot with some "moleskin" beofre you get a blister. The more you break in your boots, the best this will happen on the trail. There is NOTHING worse that having aching blistered feet on your hike. My other piece of advice would be, don't wear cotton on any old weather hikes. Cotton is a deadly fabric when it comes to hiking. It holds moisture (like sweat) against you and can make you even more cold. In fact, in cold weater, you are better off naked than in wet cotton, it's that bad about stealing away body heat. Get non-cotton hiking clothes (the kind that wicks away moisture), including socks, shirts and pants. Don't forget lots of water and good snacks! One of my favorite parts of hiking is the snacks :-) Have fun!
• United States
5 Mar 07
That's good advice about the clothes. I've heard that wool is the best for hiking. The only problem I have is that some of those clothes are expensive and difficult to find. My situation is usually the hot weather, though, I rarely have to deal with cold.
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• United States
6 Mar 07
Thanks for the great advice. It's definitely something I will pay attention to.
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@nishie (27)
• Sri Lanka
5 Mar 07
I will advice u 2 join a local club in your area and start with experts who can give you practical advice.
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• United States
5 Mar 07
That's good advice, but how do you know we haven't?
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• United States
6 Mar 07
Yeah I've been thinking about doing that. I know there are some trails around my area and people that do like to hike. I just don't think they have any formal groups.
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• United States
5 Mar 07
Well, being as it is mostly desert where I hike, I would always tell people to always bring more water than you think you will need. If that's not possible, then bring water purification tablets or learn how to find and collect water. Another thing I would say is to always bring a sweater or jacket with you even if you think you won't need it.
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@CatNPK (461)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Any well-travelled trail is a good start. The best thing to do (other than the other tips above) is to get into shape before planning on a difficult or multiple-day hike. Take a lot of walks around your home area, working up to 5-10 miles hikes (this can even be along the road, just as long as you work your way up). You best hiking areas are just south in the Appalachian mountains, where there are many trails to choose from including of course the appalachian trail (hike or bike). See www.appalachiantrail.org for more info.
• United States
24 Mar 07
I do plan on completing major hikes like the Appalachian trail in the future. I posted this topic mainly to get advice for a beginner. I will check out the website though. Thanks.
• Philippines
14 Mar 07
my tips for beginners is to first learn the art of walking,then learn a minimal impact course which you can search in the net. basic thing you'll do is physical preparation and the best way is hiking itself! I suggest you start from from a low land average terrain then progress into a higher altitude trails.in that case you are already been acclimatize,which means you have somehow adjusted to the elevation.Tips from the minimal camping tips is always stay in the trail,maintain regular pacing,which means you have to put slow members in the middle and the strong members as trailman.pack all garbage"you can carry it with load,how much more if its empty"and lastly always try new teraain.In that way youll familiarize and honed your skills in the art of hiking.
• United States
23 Mar 07
Thanks for the tips. I don't think I'll be hiking any major trails for awhile but I will remember your advice when I do.
• Canada
12 Mar 07
1 Tell people where you are going and when to expect you back 2 Have a map of the area 3 Have a compass or GPS and know how to use them 4 First aid kit and matches in case you get lost 5 warm cloths wear layers 6 go with experienced peopel first few times or join club 7 If you get lost stop and make self visible for rescue. 8 Stick to marked trails for first few hikes 9 enjoy it it is awesome
• United States
23 Mar 07
Thanks for the great tips.
• United States
31 Mar 07
Absolutely always go as a group. Bring moleskin (this is wonderful for taking care of blisters), bug-spray, sunscreen, and extra shoelaces. A hat with a brim is great for keeping the sun off your face and neck. I always bring either kleenex or a handkerchief because my nose runs when I hike. I second the comments about lots of water and a good hiking stick. If you will be in an area with no bathrooms, bring a trowel so you can bury your waste. Carry a topography map of the area if you will be in a place with few people or poor trail markings. I am an avid hiker and try to go at least twice a month in the spring and summer. If you are ever in the Portland Oregon area send me a note and we can hike together!
@Penfencer (297)
• United States
12 Mar 07
I suggest getting a walking stick of some sort, even if you just pick one up at the start of your hike. Look for something sturdy, but a bit springy. You'd be surprised how much use you can get out of a good walking stick; it helps you establish a rhythm to your step, can be used to help climb up and down slopes, used to test the depth of streams, even to help ward off any curious critters that you might run across.