20 Must Know Hiking Tips for Beginners

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Hiking Tips for Beginners

These 20 must know hiking tips for beginners ensure that you have a fun beginning to your hiking experience! When you take a hike, you want to plan well and pack what you need to ensure you have a fun hike.

You also want to think about your safety. Some of these hiking tips will help you return safely, and everyone wants that!. 

Prepare for your hike, and be safe.



20 Must Know Hiking Tips for Beginners
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  • Choose the right trail.
    • If you are hiking with family or friends, plan your outdoor adventure together. This is a fun way to have everyone involved.  When you all decide what to do when you hike, everyone is more interested and has more fun.
  • Find trails you can all manage if you are with a group.
    • If children are hiking, let an adult hike with those children who can handle longer hikes but need a slower pace.

Packing (Generally)

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  • Before you go out for a day on the trail, check the weather! If you need to, it is important to layer your clothing.
    • If you leave early in the morning, most likely it will get hotter later in the day.
    • You want to dress warmly in the morning, and take off a layer or two in the afternoon.
  • National Weather Service – The National Weather Service is free, accurate, and ad free.
    • Use the site to check weather conditions. You can check by zip code or city/state.
    • Be sure that you use the new, modern version in the above link. This version works with desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
  • Wear comfortable, sturdy, waterproof or water resistant, boots or shoes.
  • Wear hiking socks.
    • You can easily overlook hiking socks’ importance as part of your hiking gear. A good pair of hiking socks can be a little expensive. Still, you want them, and you want a quality pair of socks!
  • Do NOT buy new boots or shoes right before a hike!
    • Allow some time to break in your boots or shoes. Breaking them in helps prevent blisters and makes your trip much more pleasant.
  • On a day hike, extra weight wears you down and reduces your agility on a rugged trail.
    • Pack as light as possible.
  • Also, it becomes cooler the higher you hike.
    • Every 1,000 feet you hike up, the temperature can cool 3 to 5 degrees. Pack extra layers so you can be warm if gets cooler.

Packing (Specifically)

20 Must Know Hiking Tips for Beginners
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  • Carry a lot of water even for short hikes. Three quarts (almost 3 liters) per day is often enough. How much water you bring depends on:
    • How far you hike
    • Your physical condition
    • The weather.
  • Pack snacks like fruit or trail mix.
    • Snacks are crucial for keeping your energy.
    • Bring bags for your garbage.
  • Take a travel size first aid kit in case of an emergency. Shop the Adventure Medical Mountain Series Medical Kit.
  • Bring sunglasses, a sun hat, and sunscreen.
  • Use a spray to repel bugs or other insects.
  • Pack a lightweight rain jacket so you can stay dry. Even if the weather report says sun, you still might have a rain shower!
  • Have an area map and phone numbers you might need to call. 
  • Check here for U.S. Forest Service – Maps
    • The U.S. Forest Service has a lot of maps. Maps include detailed, active, color maps. These maps show National Forest System roads and trails, The maps also show areas where you can use motor vehicles and nearby places you might want to visit.
    • Additional Forest Service maps include:
      • Forest visitor maps
      • A forest atlas
      • Wilderness maps
      • Topographic maps


Have fun when you hike, Also, know how to be safe. Take care of yourself and others on the trail.

Safety (In General)

  • Stay on marked trails.
    • If you are part of a group, let the slowest person set the pace. Hiking the slowest pace is especially vital if children are on the hike.
  • Leave your hike plan with a friend or family member. Let them know when you return.
  • Have an emergency plan before you start your trip.
    • If you hike with others, be sure they know what to do if they become lost or there is a medical emergency.
  • Give everyone a whistle to “stop and blow” if they become lost.
  • Take frequent rests or vary your pace to maintain your energy level.
  • Drink plenty of water, even on cool, wet days.
    • Never drink your entire water supply between refills.
  • Wear proper clothes that include sturdy broken in, comfy boots.
  • Be especially aware of what is around you so you see and do not surprise a snake.
    • If you see a snake, be sure it has room to move away from you.

Safety (Stay on Your Feet)

20 Must Know Hiking Tips for Beginners
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  • Consider using a hiking pole or walking stick.
  • Be aware of what is around you.
    • Plan your approach before hiking through risky areas.
    • Wet surfaces are a hazard and more so if it is a wet slope.
  • Think about what to do if you start to slide or fall so that you are prepared.
    • If you fall:
      • Avoid landing on your hands, elbows or knees. Landing on your side is safer.
      • If the slope is steep, and you know you are going to slide, lower your center of gravity by sitting down and sliding on your feet or bottom. This is safer.
  • If you slide while standing up:
    • Keep your weight over your feet, and bend your knees.
    • Do not lean back or forward while sliding.

Be responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you!

Conclusion – Hiking Tips For Beginners

Hiking is fun and healthy! For a fun hike, remember these hiking tips:

  • Plan carefully.
  • Pack the essentials you need.
  • Be safe.
  • Have a great time!
Featured Image Credit:
James McGill on Unsplash
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