Walking in nature is not the only way to describe hiking. It is much more than this. This activity has different benefits to your mental and physical health depending on what your goal is. The love for nature is one of those reasons. It brings us peace when we are in contact with the outdoors. We can escape the busy and stressful lifestyle and reduce our anxiety. Also, let’s not forget the physical benefits. No matter how much you usually walk, it will keep you fit and manage conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis. If you want to take up hiking, you should start your preparation. There’s more to it than good walking shoes, so read the following steps before embarking on your first hike. 

Physical Preparation

It’s important to be aware of your fitness abilities. Understand your possibilities and plan a hike around that. It is far more enjoyable to hike at your own pace than stress your body on a long and exhausting route. Knowing your limits is crucial for your health and it keeps you motivated to do more next time. The best way to start is by walking around your neighborhood every day for a certain amount of time. A 10-minute walk will soon evolve into an hour-long walk. You can go by yourself if you prefer so. However, having a friend or partner with you makes a significant difference. They will cheer for you or even join you later on your hiking adventures.

Health and Safety

Hiking should be taken seriously because it carries many real risks. You want to go back home alive and well, which is why walking through nature requires a detailed plan. Modern life has estranged us from the wilderness so we need to get to know both plants and animals and how to behave in that environment. Also, bring enough food and water for the trip. You may estimate it would take a couple of hours but it can be prolonged due to various factors. Bring calorie-dense food and take a bite now and then. A first-aid kit is another essential if you or your hiking partner get injured. If you have a medical emergency and need to help someone immediately, it is always better to go prepared. You can save someone’s life by acquiring a legitimate certification in Basic Life Support (BLS). There may be no one around, so it is up to you to change the course of action.

Dress Appropriately

Game changers are the shoes. Think about the terrain you are going to explore and choose your footwear according to the hiking trails. Your hiking boots should provide support whether you are on flat terrain or rocks, wet or dry ground. Most importantly, never wear brand-new boots on a hike. They are not flexible enough and will cause blisters. When it comes to clothes, avoid denim and cotton. If you sweat, the material won’t dry so easily, making you uncomfortable or even cold in the evenings. Even though you may be expecting a sunny day and already have a hat and sunglasses on, rain can start pouring in a matter of seconds. That’s why you should always have a rain jacket with you. All in all, try to invest in high-quality hiking apparel because it will protect you from all weather conditions and will surely last long.

The Takeaway

Hiking can be an intimidating hobby at the beginning but it is an experience you won’t regret. As a beginner, you should think about preparing beforehand. Talk to people who already have a solid background in hiking and learn from their mistakes. Of course, it is inevitable to make errors of your own but it gets better after some time. It is a wonderful activity which will help you physically and mentally. Your mind will be clearer and stress lower. Also, it highlights the importance of wildlife and how we should be a part of it, not the ruler of it.