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So you’re new to hiking and everyone else is either doing the half dome in Yosemite, hiking the Appalachian trail, or preparing for the Himalayas.

All you want to do is get over that 1st mile. Add an elevation with a minimum of at least 300 feet and you feel it in your legs. You’re trying to catch your breath and you curse yourself for not staying in the comfort of your home instead.

This hiking business isn’t really as fun as it’s supposed to be. But everyone else makes it look so easy on instagram.

Seriously.

But why do people hike? There are many different reasons – whether it’s the views, getting some exercise or simply being one with nature.

Well, whatever your reason is to start hiking here are a couple of tips to get you started.

1. Find an easy trail (between 1 to 2 miles). It’s a hike, not a marathon. There’s no need to push yourself to the limit on the first couple of hikes. Do some research on the hiking trails in your area. If they have a map on their website, print it out or download it to your smartphone.

2. Once you’ve found the trail always check the weather before you go and dress accordingly. Think more like sporty gear made of synthetic materials that will keep you dry and definitely not denim jeans.

3.  Bring a friend and inform someone where you’ll be hiking. In case of emergency, they’ll know where to find you. It’s always better to hike with someone.

4. Bring a compass.

5. Bring a match or a lighter.

6. Bring food. (Crackers, trailmix, etc.)

7. Bring extra clothing, especially socks, you never know if you need to cross a stream or something. Keeping your feet dry is essential.

8. Bring water with you. Always. At least 1 liter of water per mile. Drink water before you start a hike. Here are a few options for hydration.

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A hydration pack makes it convenient instead of lugging a water bottle.

Or if you prefer water bottle. The bag below has space to carry a water bottle. You could also just put a water bottle in your backpack.

 

9. Wear a baseball cap or UV protecting Sun Hat.

10.  Wear good hiking shoes. If you don’t have one yet running shoes should be more than sufficient especially for easy trails. But if you’re willing to invest in good hiking shoes. I highly recommend Merrell hiking shoes/boots. They are comfortable and the traction is amazing.

                                                                        

11. Bring a first aid kit with you. It’s the outdoors and accidents do happen.

12. Bring a swiss knife. You never know when you’ll need it especially when hiking.

13. Make sure your phone is fully charged before a hike and keep it in low battery mode.

Hopefully, this list helps you in your first couple of hikes that are 1-2 miles in length. Please don’t hesitate to comment below or ask questions. Feel free to share your first hiking experiences as well.