How To Prepare For A First Time Hike

Hiking is a very intense activity that requires both your body and mind to be in shape. You do not have to go up to Mt. Kenya or Longonot for you to be qualified as a hiker. You could just be scaling a local hill behind your home. Either way, you should always be fully prepared to take on the challenge with as little hiccups as possible. Below are some ways to prepare yourself for your first hike.

Physical preparation

Your legs, back and heart will take the hardest hits when camping. Therefore, preparing them beforehand is vital. You can choose to do this through simple short exercises such as leg ups, sit-ups and planks. Doing stretching activities also help in reducing the occurrences of muscle pulls and cramps. You can also choose to do daily walks for a week before the actual hike so as to get your body in tune with what lies ahead. Of course, you can still hike without doing these preparations but it is going to be way harder and painful in the end.

Breathing exercises

When hiking, you will require a lot of oxygen because your heart will be beating at higher rates than usual. You should try and gain a rhythm and style of breathing that will work best for you during the hike. Most hikers advise people to take short breaths via the nose and expel them through the mouth. This way, your lungs get more expansion space and therefore go through less strain.

Mental preparation

Hiking is a mental activity as much as it is a physical one. You have to get your mind ready for the hike, especially if it a big one. Simple ways of relaxing the mind include meditating, yoga, reading about hiking, watching videos and just dwelling on the positive thoughts of hiking. The more information you have about hiking the easier and better it will be for you. You should also remember that you do not have to conquer the climb the first time. You can always turn back whenever you feel it is too much.

Having a partner or guide

You should never go hiking for the first time alone. There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you are alone making the situation more complicated. Even if you are a solo traveller, hiking can be dangerous and you should always have an experienced person with you. On top of that, have people know where you are so that they can check up on you and raise an alarm if something goes wrong.

Have the essentials

Hiking has specific requirements that will determine its success or failure. You should have all of them before starting your hike especially because there is rarely any supply store on hills or mountains. Some of the essentials include:

  • Navigation equipment
  • The right shoes
  • The right clothing
  • Backpack
  • Camping gear if necessary
  • First aid kit
  • Enough water
  • Energy bars
  • Ropes