Everyone wants a break from their normal hectic schedule. Our mind needs a bit of rest after countless days of constant work. There should be a break from the daily routine just to check in with yourself. Holidays are essential to have enjoyment and relaxation of mind and body. Since a break from ordinary routine is of great importance for adults, children also have the right to have more fun after having the same hectic schooling routine. If you are planning to do hiking this season, then this hiking for beginners guide will surely answer all your doubtful questions.
So, let’s get started with some most frequently asked questions!
What is hiking and how many types of hiking are there?
Walking is a relatively challenging activity that usually includes walking along long distances on roads. The length of the activity ranges from brief half-day programs to longer itineraries lasting more than 20 days. It’s normally an activity that includes a variety of groups.
Hiking and trekking are two words that are sometimes used interchangeably. The difference is typically the length of the particular activity. Hiking is used to describe shorter programs, while trekking is used to describe longer programs lasting more than a week.
Types of Hiking
There are different types of hiking based on the level of difficulty and duration. We are discussing basic two types for hiking for beginners:
1. Short hikes
As the name suggests, short hikes are for a short duration typically from 12 hours to 1 day. This type of hiking is good for those people who want to have an instant adventure and do not want to be more tired and surf their energy.
2. Long Hikes
Some hiking trips take 12 days, covering hundreds of kilometers of distance in this duration. This type of hiking includes full-day hiking and then spending the nights in tents, camps, or mountain huts. It is suitable for those people who want to have a trip for one to two weeks.
All of the types of hiking provide opportunities to explore more new sights, hence gaining a more natural and cultural experience.
Why do people love Hiking?
Hiking is one of the most common outdoor activities in the world. It is one of the main activities focused on various other activities, including hiking, backpacking, or climbing. There’s so much more you can do when you go hiking. It is determined by your interests, budget, location, and other factors. Here are a few of the key reasons why people all over the world enjoy hiking:
Hiking is a common pastime among many people. Every morning, you can see a steady stream of hikers along the trail on your local mountain. There’s something special about being on the trail, feeling the wind brush against your skin and the sun beating down on your back that keeps hikers coming back for more.
Interesting Fact: Do you know that Bears are ultimately hiking all their lives?
First Time Hikers Normal Issues
Hiking seems to be a lot of fun but if you are a beginner and hiking for the first time, you may face some issues during or after the hiking trip. Hiking for beginners may be difficult at first (for some), but repetition is everything.
Let’s find out what common issues you can face or experience if you are hiking for the first time:
- Dehydration is the most common issue you can face during your hike. It’s not enough to just drink on your waters, but you have to make sure that you have drunk enough before and when you end your journey. You sweat a lot more than usual when you walk up the gradient or go on the sun, and if you lose more than you do, the balance of the salt concentration in your body is disturbed which in turn affects body function. You will feel dizzy and cannot focus on the hike and you may feel tired.
- Foot pain is a serious issue for hikers that can slow you down. Blisters are the most prevalent foot issue. It is too quick to get a blister if you’re on your feet all day on all kinds of ground, and that can ruin your walk. Blisters take days to end and you can’t do anything if you have one. You can only continue to rub the same place and be in some kind of pain if you continue to walk in the same shoes. It will be a real aid by wearing fitting footwear and comfortable socks made of a material that draws sweat away from your feet.
- Fatigue occurs when you are physically and mentally fatigued, which is easy if you walk and wear a backpack for a long day. The easiest way to avoid fatigue is to ensure you have a proper night’s sleep before you go down on a major hike. Your body requires the rest to have the energy to walk physically. Food and drink are also of great importance, you will need to eat big calorie-dense food to give your body strength to yourself. You must drink liters of water during your hike, this way you can avoid fatigue.
- Acute Mountain Sickness can be another major issue you can face during your first hike. It occurs when the body is unable to adapt to the elevated oxygen level. The higher the lower the oxygen, the worse the sensation. Your body feels like it is giving up, which can make you feel completely rotten with the symptoms of nausea, headache, respiration, and sleep deprivation. To avoid altitude sickness, it is best to ascend slowly so your body can acclimate and adapt to the new environment. The best thing to do if you think you have this problem is to quit climbing for 24-48 hours immediately. When you’re on a walk, this is discouraging, but pushing on can just make you feel worse.
Benefits of Hiking
Psychiatrists suggest people frequently go on holiday trips to keep the mind fresh and sharp. This is the reason so many of us plan different local or international trips just for recreation. Let’s know how Hiking is beneficial for our wellbeing:
• Hiking is an excellent way to spend a good day!
Hiking can be a wonderful way for family, friends, or even a beloved to have a wonderful time. Many of us are still on the move in today’s rapidly developing world and cannot spend time in quality with our families. A walk can turn into a family picnic, a day out with friends, or even a lovely meetup of lovebirds!
The pleasure of hiking is infinite no matter who you want to share with.
• Hiking itself is Meditation
Some people go on hiking to find peace within themselves. It is a way for many to leave their hustle and bustle and every day to have some recreation. Going on an outdoor adventure is lots of fun and is considered mental therapy or meditation. Therefore hiking is a great way to invest time in yourself and to enjoy the beauty of nature.
• Hiking is a way of observing nature closely
Hiking can be one of the easiest ways to enjoy the splendor of nature. The lush countryside can be walked along and you can wonder at the majesty of the still waters or the playful river cascades. The sensation in this world is everything and by going to hike, you can get chances of observing the mesmerizing beauty and sights of nature.
• Hiking is indeed a great sport.
Apart from the aforementioned perks, hiking is indeed an amusing activity to practice!
Instead of running the treadmill in the gym or at home, more people opt to hike and work out. It’s a smart way to keep yourself fit and dedicated. Normally people are bored of traditional exercises, but hiking is one of the easiest outdoor experiences to integrate nature’s advantages into your overall wellbeing.
Do you want to become more flexible? Read Guide On Being More Flexible: 19+ Tips, Benefits, and How Long It Takes?
Tips for Hikers
Hiking is undoubtedly an adventurous experience which you can’t forget for a long time. Along with several physical benefits, hiking provides mental wellness and peace as well. People who are used to hiking for a long time are aware of so many facts that need to be considered before going on a hike. But if you are a beginner and you have no idea what to do and what not to do before hiking, don’t worry we are here to let you aware of everything necessary.
Following are some great tips that you must follow if you are a beginner. So, here we are with those tips:
- Analyze fitness level: It is best to start slowly if you are new to hiking. You want to have a fun experience, so it’s important to choose a path you can follow and take time to make challenging paths. Remember to think about the level of fitness of friends and family with whom you decide to hike.
- Pack some extra food: Everyone want their hiking experience to be wonderful and memorable but most importantly “Adventurous”. But how would it feel if you are walking on an empty stomach? That would not give you happiness while hiking. So, it is always recommended to pack some extra food, healthy snacks with yourself and eat from time to time. If your tummy remains full, you’ll be able to enjoy your hike throughout.
- Don’t forget the Raincoats: The weather often proves the forecast wrong no matter how much you prepare yourself before going on a hike. A sudden storm or a rain shower can always be predicted, however, you should be ready for such surprises. To overcome this problem, bring a lightweight raincoat or dress in layers so that you can easily adapt to temperature changes.
- A first Aid Kit is essential: Some hiking trails may be quite rocky and dangerous and there could be more chances of you getting injured even if you stay conscious. Therefore it is really important to carry a first-aid box with you because you might need it just in case.
- Leave no traces: This is one of the most important tips that you must follow even if you are skipping other tips. During your climbing experience, try to avoid creating a mess on the trail. Do not leave traces of food like wrappers, fruit peels, tissue papers, etc. This could make trouble for other people and might cause an accident. Keep the trail tidy while you’re on the hike.
- Do this if your hands swell: Raise your hands if they swell when hiking. Hold on to your pack’s shoulder strap for a few moments and see if that helps. Use trek poles to raise your hands and keep your muscles working.
- Make sure to do this before going on a trail: On the trail, bring a photo ID, insurance card, and credit card. Taking digital images of your notes and emailing them to yourself before a long trip may be useful if they are lost or stolen. Access to a copy of the document can help in having replacements more quickly.
Best Hiking Backpack
Till now, we have considered several important points regarding your first hiking trip. Another thing that must be considered is the backpack you should choose for hiking. A hiking backpack must be compact, easy to carry, must be spacious enough, have multiple pockets including hidden pockets and most importantly a backpack should be economical. So, you might be wondering which backpack could have all these traits. Let’s check out Osprey Atmos Ag 65!
The Atmos AG 65 is the most suitable, waterproof, and comfortable pack ever made for standard rucksacks up to a week or more. The revolutionary Antigravity suspension makes you feel like you are weighing less and you’re wrapping around your body effortlessly. The Atmos AG 65 is still the top contender for easy-to-use stretch mesh side pockets, Stow-on-the-Go walk pole attachments, and Flap Jackets for lidless use. Also, provide a lifetime guarantee.
What else you should wish for?
Get your Hiking Backpack here:
In a nutshell
In your extremely busy and hectic routine, hiking is surely an activity worth considering to get mental peace and refreshment. It is recommended to go for a hike once in 15 days to keep yourself active and healthy both mentally and physically. Hope you find this Hiking guide useful and you’ve probably got your confusions cleared by the end of the guide.