Hiking tips for beginners
During the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, many people have rediscovered the joys of a good walk. Faced with the prospect of nowhere to go but the great outdoors, councils have reported a surge in walkers and cyclists.
If you are still finding your feet as a hiker, what are the best tips for beginners?
Don’t overdo it
If you are new to hiking, try to build up your hikes gradually rather than overdoing it the first few times. Choose hikes of less than five miles to begin with, familiarising yourself with the route beforehand. You can start to increase the length of your hikes over time and begin to include more challenging terrains.
Have the right equipment
You don’t need to spend a fortune on equipment, but there are a few essential items you will need to stay safe and comfortable. Firstly, invest in good-quality wicking clothing that won’t chafe or become heavy. Layering thin items of clothing is a good idea, as you can remove or add layers as needed. A comfortable pair of walking trainers or boots is also a must, but be sure to wear them in before your first big hike. Invest in a good hiking backpack Ireland that is easy and comfortable to wear and ensure it contains plenty of water, energy-boosting snacks, extra layers, and a basic medical kit.
Understand common etiquette
You will pick up a lot of the common ways of the hiker as you go along; however, amongst the most useful things for a beginner to know are the correct rights of way (a hiker going uphill has the right of way, and a hiker should usually allow bikers and horses to pass). Another golden rule is to always take your litter away with you. A common phrase in the countryside is ‘take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but memories’, so try to stick to this where possible and take your litter away with you in your hiking backpack Ireland.
Telling someone where you are and how long you are expected to be gone is a hiking tip that could save your life in the unlikely – but not impossible – event of an accident or getting lost. GPS location on your phone can also be a useful tool; however, don’t rely on this solely, as a signal is not always available in remote hiking spots.