Here are some great, simple beginner hiking tips. These tips will help new hikers be more comfortable and enjoy their outings more.
Over the years that I’ve been hiking I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I practice these tips whenever I go hiking by myself or with my family. Despite my best efforts I can’t get my kids to practice all of these yet (such as putting on their sweater when we stop hiking). I just wanted to list off these beginner hiking tips here to help new hikers be more comfortable while hiking.
7 Beginner Hiking Tips
Start Hiking Early – Getting off to an early start will accomplish a lot of different things. It will help you avoid hiking during the heat of day, so you won’t be too hot.
It is also important to stay off mountain peaks any time after mid-day in the Rockies as thunderstorms are common in afternoons.
Best of all, an early start means that you can hike farther or you will be home sooner to relax and feel good.
Remove Layers Before You Sweat – This is another trick to hiking that my kids don’t get yet. As you start hiking you will warm up and you will need to take off some layers of clothes. A way to avoid this is to simply take off that outer layer or sweater before you being hiking.
I recently read a blog post someone wrote about this where they said, ‘be bold and start cold.’ That sums it up. If you start cold, it may be uncomfortable for about 10 minutes, but you will warm up soon and be happy you are not overdressed.
Wear Quick Dry Clothing – As you hike you may get sweaty or if it is a rainy day wet. If you wear cotton or something that doesn’t dry quickly it will simply stay wet and not dry off. On the other hand, quick dry clothing will dry fast and help keep you from getting and staying cold.
Layer Up When Stopping – When You take a break, put on warmer clothes before you get cold and need them. If you are hiking on a cold or cool day then odds are you took off your sweater while you were hiking. When hiking your body heats up because it is working. Then when you stop to take a break your body cools off.
The trick, which I have a hard time getting my kids to do, is to put on your sweater as soon as you stop and before you get cold. If you put it on right away you can keep away the cold. But, if you wait until you are already cold it is harder to warm up and you will likely stay cold.
Leave No Trace – This is one of the old, classic mottos for hiking. The goal is to leave no trace that you have been there. This will make it more enjoyable for the next people that come and will also protect the natural world you are visiting. The idea is not to leave any of your trash or go smashing up branches or shrubs.
Walk At A Comfortable Pace – Don’t go too fast as you will just tire yourself out quickly. Kids have a tendency to run and go super fast, but that will simply cause them to get tired fast.
Save Some Energy For The Return Hike – Most hikes are one way to get somewhere and then the same distance to return to the trailhead. These are called out and backs. If you are doing an out and back hike remember to save enough energy for the return trip. Don’t wear yourself out completely on the way there so you have zero energy to make it back.