Have you always liked the idea of hiking but felt this pastime is a little outside of your comfort zone? A fun physical activity that gets you out in the great outdoors and gets your blood pumping, hiking is great fun for people of all ages and fitness abilities.
If you are new to hiking and are worried about getting started, the below top tips are just what you need. Read on to find out exactly what you need to do to get ready for your first hiking experience, including all the equipment and supplies you should invest in.
- Plan your first hike
If you want your first hiking trip to be a success, it can be a good idea to take the time to plan what type of hike you want to try. There are several different types of hikes for you to choose from, including day hikes, multi-day hikes, treks, loop hikes and section hiking.
Short day hikes are arguably the best choice for beginners and will allow you to build up your confidence gradually as you get used to this exciting new hobby.
- Find the right hiking trail
There are so many stunning hiking locations to choose from in Devon and the UK, so it can be hard to know which one to go for as a beginner. Some factors that you should consider include the hike distance, the elevation gain, the time needed to complete the hike and its overall difficulty.
Again, if you are new to hiking, you may prefer to choose a location closer to home so that you can invite friends and family and be able to return home much more easily and quickly at the end of the day’s adventure.
- Enlist a trail buddy
Hiking on your own is not a good idea for beginners, as there is safety in numbers. Furthermore, you are likely to find the experience a lot more enjoyable if you hike with one or several other people who share your passion for adventure.
Ask family and friends if they would like to try hiking with you, or alternatively, you could join a local hiking group.
- Invest in the proper clothing
Depending on the time of year that you plan to go hiking and where you are going, there are several hiking essentials that you need to invest in.
A good pair of men’s or women’s walking boots or shoes that fit comfortably and have good grip are a must, as is a waterproof jacket or insulated jacket if temperatures are low. Thick socks and gloves are also a good idea, even in milder conditions, as well as a cap or wide-brimmed hat to protect your face from the sun.
- Check weather conditions
You should always check the local weather forecast before you set out on a hike, whether you are alone or in a group. Don’t rely on national forecasts, as regional ones are more accurate.
You can download a local weather app and easily check what the conditions are going to be like so that you can avoid your first-ever hike being during a particularly nasty storm!
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors lifestyle that we have here in Devon. If hiking sounds a bit too much, you can also enjoy a simple walk around our gorgeous county.
Check out our guide to spring walks in Devon.