Hiking Tips for Beginners

Hiking is cool and extremely popular at the moment, with more and more novices taking to the mountains. Perhaps you’re already planning your first day tour of the Comeragh Mountains for your holiday? Here are some tips to get you started, because there are a number of things that beginners can get wrong.

Hiking has not just become cool, but is also leading to an increase in mountain rescues, although fortunately the number of fatal incidents is decreasing. Beginners often lack the experience on the mountain, so can get themselves into emergency situations more quickly. These usually only means exhaustion, not being able to move further forwards or backwards, or that someone has simply got lost. But the mobile phone is quickly pulled out to call for help, which leads to the increase in mountain rescues.

Hiking Tip #1 – Pick the Perfect Hike for You

There are plenty of incredible hiking trails around the world, suited to every level, so pick one that’s right for you. If it’s your first time on the trail, pick something manageable and you won’t regret it. You’ll have plenty of time to build yourself up to bigger and longer hikes if you choose to. 

Hiking Tip #2 – Plan Properly

When it comes to the outdoors, a little planning can really go a long way. These simple considerations will make a huge difference and give you more confidence along the trail:

  • What is the weather forecast? Could bad weather make the trail dangerous? 
  • Do you know the local area/familiar with the hiking trail? How are you going to navigate? How are you going to get there and back?
  • When is the best time to go? Do you want to go when it’s quiet or possibly busier?
  • What hiking clothes and outdoors gear do you need for this specific route.

Hiking Tip #3 – Take the Hiking Essentials

You don’t need lots of expensive hiking gear to get outside but there are certain things you should prioritise which will make your time on the trail safer and more enjoyable. 

Hiking essentials are small and lightweight but seriously invaluable; you should consider taking them on every hiking trip. There are also certain types of outdoors clothing you should put more emphasis on.

Hiking Tip #4 – Happy Feet Make a Happy Hiker

The comfort of your feet is paramount when you’re spending the day walking and trying to complete a hike with blisters on your feet is NOT an enjoyable experience! There are a few steps you can take to make sure they stay feeling tip-top. 

Hiking Tip #5 – Take the Right Food and Hydration

You gotta give your body the right food and hydration to enjoy your time outside. The average hiker burns 400-500 calories an hour so this means lots of snacks along the trail!

Hiking Tip #6 – Go Light and Pack Your Rucksack Properly

Try and pack as light as possible, the lighter your hiking rucksack the more enjoyable and less tiring your time will be. Just make sure to pack your hiking essentials, outdoor clothing appropriate for the climate and enough food and water. 

There are plenty of extras, like a good travel camera or maybe some binoculars, which are a top hiker’s choice but think twice about any unnecessary luxuries. 

Hiking Tip #7 – Take Care of Yourself

When you’re in the wild, there are certain precautions you should take. These hiking safety tips will help to keep you fit and healthy for plenty of trails to come.

  • Tell someone where you’re going and your hiking plans
  • Pick a sensible hike and prepare properly (Hiking Tips 1 & 2)
  • Make sure you take the hiking essentials, the right clothes and enough food and drink
  • Always keep a mobile with battery designated for emergencies
  • Have a backup way to navigate (map, GPS, phone app like Maps.me)
  • Take a first aid kit and know how to use its contents
  • Stick to the trail
  • Don’t approach wild animals, no matter how friendly they may seem
  • If the weather changes or a storm approaches, seek shelter or turn back
  • Pace yourself and don’t push your comfort zone
  • In case of an emergency, call the local mountain rescue