So you have finally given nature a chance. Congratulations! Not everyone can take the wonders of mountain climbing and hiking. Not everyone appreciates the scent of the ground every morning when the wistful dew kisses the grass, and not everyone appreciates the climb to watch the sunrise a hundred meters above sea level. Some people prefer the homey view from their DIY pool fences or their balconies, and that is fine, too. Still, nothing beats the sunrise on top of a mountain.
Hiking is not everyone’s cup of tea as they think it is something dangerous, but so is smoking cigarettes at home. Sure, accidents can happen along the way, but that is why safety precautions and a guide are essential. Not until you have mastered the art of hiking and the local trail yourself can you climb on your own. There are still things that can happen even with Google Maps and Uber.
Whatever reason you might have for giving hiking a chance, you will never be wrong. Hiking improves both physical and mental health, not to mention the friends you will meet along the way. So to help you out, here are four important tips every hiking beginner should know.
You are literally climbing a mountain, and will you really want to bring extra baggage that will only add more to your gravitational persistence? The answer is no. You would like to bring only a few essential things for your adventure trip. These things are your sleeping bag, tent, utensils, flashlights, extra pair of clothes, slippers, and food & water.
If you are thinking of documenting the trip, it is better to use a GoPro instead of a professional DSLR, as the latter has more needed equipment to bring. Besides, the lenses add more weight to your camera bag more than the camera itself.
It will also help if you and your friends share the load. For example, one can bring the whole tent, another can bring in the camping supplies, and one more can be in charge of the food supply. This way, you guys do not need to scramble with one another, passing stuff and rummaging your bag for other supplies. It can always be tricky to put stuff back in once you have taken it out, so be careful.
Wear Light-colored and DriFit Clothes
Did you know that dark-colored clothes absorb more heat than lighter ones? Try not to wear black clothes, especially when your hike takes place during the day. You will be surprised that you are sweating more than the others, and it is because you are absorbing more UV rays than your friends who wore lighter ones. Additionally, you would not want to blend in the dark during nighttime. It can get pretty stressful to find you if you get lost without flashlights.
It is suggested to wear light-colored and DriFit clothes. You can also try ones that are made from nylon so that you can quickly dry them overnight. Remember there are times that you will encounter river crossing activities during the hike, and most of the time, people do camp nearby lakes to fish for dinner.
Wear the Appropriate Shoes
Here is one tricky part: when you are wearing the wrong shoes, it will affect your feet. Most beginners think that running shoes or sneakers are okay to wear in hiking mountains. Let us break it to you gently; you’re mistaken. Yes, you can wear your Nike running shoes to a trek, but your feet are not supported against rocks and other elements you will encounter. Moreover, running shoes and sneakers do not provide you with the grip you would need for slippery terrains. So you can kiss your Chucks goodbye for now and start investing in Merrell hiking sandals. You will not regret it.
Always Carry a Whistle
If you have seen James Cameron’s Titanic, you already know why. Bringing and carrying a whistle with you at all times is a must during any trip, but especially for hiking adventures. It will help you a lot in case you fall behind, take a wrong turn, or in short, get lost.
When buying a whistle, get a military-grade one, or even those types that basketball referees use in games. Do not just buy a cheap one from the nearest convenience store, or it is just as good as not having one.
Mountain climbing is not something you should do on a whim. Yes, it is cool and fun to do spontaneous things, but you still need to be prepared in this case. It is for your own safety.