I only started hiking this month, this year. And I've only hiked twice for that matter. One is for leisure, and the other as a requirement for a subject. I dreaded this type of activity on those times. But thinking about it, hey, it wasn't too bad. I really thought about it and I came up with a reason on why I didn't really like it: because I came unprepared. Like any other activity or sport, one should come prepared when hiking.  I'm not a professional, just an amateur but here are my tips for beginners like me if you want to engage in the world of hiking!

 

Preparation No. 1: Attire

 

Be prepared from head to toe! Bring a cap for sunny days, or a rain coat for rainy days. If you'd like, bring an umbrella hat for both weathers! This is so you can just walk with your hands free. You should also wear comfortable clothing. Wear a t-shirt or sometimes, I see some hikers wear tight tops like rash guards. For your pants, there are hiking or trekking pants available, or for some, leggings are alright. Just make sure the clothes you're wearing cover all of your body to prevent insects or other animals from biting you or to prevent your bare skin from getting caught onto something. Also, don't take your shoes for granted. There are shoes for different sports and you should wear a pair that are for hiking, which has a strong grip. If the weather's not too nice, wear rain boots!

 

Preparation No. 2: Bag

 

Again, there are certain bags for hiking. Make sure your bag doesn't just focus its tension on your shoulders but on your lower part of the body too. This is so you won't get tired easily. Make sure your bag is also big enough to fit your belongings! One bag is enough. Avoid bringing more than one!

 

Preparation No. 3: What's in your bag?

 

So you've prepared your clothing and your bag, but what should you bring? If you're only hiking and will not be camping, go light! It's very tiresome to bring so much when you have to hike up and down the very same day. Bring an extra shirt and/or very light pants, and even a small towel. Also bring an insect repellent. A first-aid kit is also a must! Don't forget some snacks and lots of water! If you'll be camping overnight, a sleeping mat, bag, tent, or a hammock is a must. Of course this'll depend on the weather and how many you are. If you'll be camping alone (though I highly disagree with hiking and camping alone), a sleeping mat/bag or a hammock will do. But if you're in a group, bring a tent! Just make sure your tent is water resistant for when it rains. Don't forget your extra clothes! Again, bring lots of food and water. Chewing something on the way is very helpful especially a piece of gum, candy, or chocolate. You should also bring some money. You might be surprised, but there are people living in the mountains and some have stores. So if you accidentally forgot something, you can buy there!

 

Preparation No. 4: Buddy!

 

As I've said before, I do not encourage hiking alone. It's not safe! So have a buddy with you! Having a buddy will help you when accidents happen like physical injuries or loss of water or food. You are also an encouragement to each other when hiking gets really tough. It's also more enjoyable if you're with someone!

 

Preparation No. 5: Warm up!

 

Trust me, it's really painful when you hike without any warm up and wake up the next morning. Like it's really, really, really painful. Especially when you're a beginner like me. Every part of your body will ache. So before hiking, warm up your body! Stretch! Do this for like thirty-minutes or so. It's best to tell your body that, "Hey, you'll be exerting some effort today unlike the usual," using stretches.

 

Preparation No. 6: Rain check

 

Like literally, rain check. I haven't told the story of my second hike but holy cow, it was very, very difficult. Why? Because it kept raining, meaning the soil was very muddy, and everything is so slippery. If you think that it will rain, just don't go through with your plans. It's very dangerous. Do not risk your life just for the sake of this adventure that you can do in any other time. Now, if it was sunny and suddenly it poured hard, don't worry. Try to wait until it stops. Or if you prepared the things I said before (rain coat, rain boots, etc.), you'll be okay.

 

Preparation No. 7: Self

 

If you're an amateur, it'll be hard along the way. Fifteen minutes into the hike, you'll feel that you can push through with this anymore. You won't enjoy it. So before hiking, encourage yourself! Always say that you can do it and you won't give up no matter what!

These are some preparations that I personally would have done if I only knew how to before. How about you? What preparations do you do when you want to go hiking or any other activity?

 

This article was originally posted in LeKristaBlog.

Published by Krista Mission