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Hiking 101: A Beginner's Guide to Conquering the Trails

Welcome fellow adventurer! So you've decided to embark on a hiking journey. Well, you're in for a treat. Hiking is not only a great way to connect with nature, but it's also fantastic exercise. It offers all the cardiovascular benefits of walking and the uneven terrain aids in strengthening the legs and core muscles, which ultimately helps your balance and stability. From big expeditions, to walking your dog up local trails, to solo or tandem hiking, this article will introduce you to clothing, gear, tips and tricks that will help you go the extra mile. Lace up your boots, grab your backpack, and let's hit the trails.

Choosing the Right Trail

First and foremost, to ensure you get started on the right foot, it's important to research your local trails so you can be well informed on what to expect when you're heading into the great outdoors. Since it's easy to overextend yourself on your first expedition, start by looking for well-marked, beginner-friendly paths. In your research, also make sure to consider what is most important to you about your hike. Ask yourself, Is it the views? The terrain? The foliage? Regardless of what ultimately speaks to you, don’t forget to take note of the hidden gems and breath taking scenery so you don't miss out on anything. 

Essential Tips For Gearing Up

No matter your level of physical fitness, its important to use gear that ensures comfort and support so you can return home feeling refreshed and tranquil, not sore. Consider the conditions of the trail you choose and apply your knowledge to find what's right for you.

- You can only go as far as your feet will let you, so it's important to focus on a boot that can withstand the elements while keeping you feeling lightweight, motivated and powerful.

- A resilient pair of pants will not only keep you safe, but help keep your money in your pockets for more awesome outdoor gear. Feeling confident in your pants is a must, so acknowledge your needs and choose a pair that can fit the bill without sacrificing comfort or utility.

-For hot summer days, a vest may treat you better for your hiking needs compared to a pullover sweatshirt. These options are situational, so keep comfort in focus while making your choice in gear. Mother Nature doesn't hold back for anyone so choose the appropriate outerwear that your environment calls for. 

- Protecting your head and eyes from the sun never runs out of style. Take in account the harm it can cause and what you can wear to prevent such damage. A baseball styled cap or bucket hat coupled with a sturdy pair of sunglasses will provide you with a comfortable and effective shield, blocking the suns harmful rays and keeping you marching forward.

Hydration and Nutrition

For lengthy days exploring the trails, staying hydrated and nourished is like the fuel for your engine. Still operating with a classic canteen? While this continues to serve as a traditional means of hydration, bladder packs offer a hands free, versatile, and convenient approach to staying hydrated. Granola bars and other nut-based snacks also serve to provide you with all the nutrients you'll need for the trails. A healthy supply of carbohydrates and sugars encourage prolonged energy so you don't miss a beat while traveling.

Leave No Trace Behind

With all things considered, hiking can truly open your eyes to the wonders and beauty of nature. Cleaning up after yourself and picking up residual trash is the least we can do to keep our environment happy and healthy, leaving no trace behind for fellow travelers. 

It's not just about reaching the destination, it's about the adventure itself. Embrace the challenges, laugh at the funny moments, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Refer back to this guide and share your knowledge with friends and family. Happy hiking my friend!

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