Getting Started In Hiking
Ever dreamed of hiking but do not exactly know where to start? Dont worry. You are not alone. You are one of the many who have chosen to embark in the process of staying fit by means of hiking. But good hikers haven't reached that level literally and figuratively overnight. They were also briefed on some basic things every hiker must know. Be well guided by the tips well be giving you to make your hiking experience an enjoying and memorable endeavor.
1. Know thy backpack as well you know thyself
If you happen to be an impulsive person who believes too much in gut feel, this is the last place to exercise those well-honed instincts. Hiking requires a strategy and background knowledge to make sure you can still go home in one piece after your initial adventure. Don't rely on pure instinct. Verify everything.
2. Read books and good websites
Reading on hiking can definitely increase your level of sense of security for the activity itself. If you are filled with apprehension, orienting yourself early on will help you reduce pitfalls caused by sheer ignorance of things. You may check out some recommended titles from your nearest bookstore.
3. Shape up or shoo
Hiking can require some extra physical endurance. It is not called an adventure for nothing. You will have to have what it takes physically to be able to survive and enjoy the entire hiking experience. Of course, you can not enjoy your hiking if you are too busy complaining of your aching glutes and limbs for the entire part of the trips. A note of caution, though.
The entire body must be in shape. Some people commit the mistake of isolating the legs as the only part that needs to be exercised in hiking. This is highly unbalanced and wrong. The entire body is considered a unit and soon-to-be avenue to achieving your hiking goals. Make sure it is well-fed, well-exercised and conditioned for hiking or whatever activity
you are subjecting it to, for that matter.
You can never establish a consistent hiking activity if you dont have your hiking buddy. No friend shares your interest in hiking? No problem! You can search away at various clubs who are more than happy to support your newfound outdoorsy attitude. There are so many people wanting new comrades in their outdoor adventures, and with their experience, you would not mind hanging out with them as well. Besides, if you get any
problems while hiking, they would most probably know how to tackle them since they are already advanced than you are. Also, it is also a good avenue for you to meet some people who have also just picked up the hobby and it would be so much fun looking goofy with the pros on your first time when you are not alone in the spotlight.
5. Don't underestimate your backpack weight
You may think you have already packed light and realize after a few meters in the steep hike that you can no longer go on and you should have left some of your stuff home. Pack light, but also anticipate the distance you are going to travel and how its going to change your concept of heaviness and lightness midway during the trip. Condition yourself so that you would not find yourself frustrated and quitting on your first try.
6. Watch your back
A wrong way of hurling your heavy loads on your back may make you lose more than your energy. If you want to keep your spine intact way beyond that hiking experience, make sure you carry your bags properly. Balance the weights between your shoulders and really be very attuned to your body if its already crying out for a much-needed break.
7. Be considerate
Most likely you are not going to embark on a maiden journey on your own. In the case of traveling with an entire company, make it as hassle-free to you and them as possible by not letting the small things get to you. Understand that everybody may be getting a bit cranky after a few hours of hiking, especially among newbies. To be sensitive to other peoples needs is not just an unwritten social obligation outside hiking. It will really help lessen your emotional and mental load and will help
you concentrate more on your hiking and on the lovely scenery presented by the terrain.
8. Plan well and inform your loved-ones
No one would want to disappear in the middle of nowhere and having no one know where to find you. Should anything happen, make sure you have a support system who will help locate you and rescue you. Planning well, though, will actually help you familiarize yourself with what you are doing and is less likely to lead you to something harmful. Nonetheless, favor comes to the prepared.
9. Know your must-haves before you leave. Also, don't leave without any of them.
10. Feel your body
Know your pace and know when it starts to need some extra attention. You never know how it would adjust to your first activity. A first aid kit would just be handy and worth the extra pounds weight in your backpack.
By Peter Sterling
www.WillhiteWeb.com: Your online resource for hiking, climbing and travel
Emerald Ridge, Mount Rainier National Park