Planning to go on your first hike is exciting. Not only is it a physically rewarding activity, but it is also one that allows you to get outdoors, enjoy nature, and sample some incredible views.

Yet before you can start to enjoy those benefits, there is an important point you must think about: preparation. If you go hiking without the right level of preparation, you could quickly regret it.

To stop that from happening, below are key points to cover when getting ready for your first hike.

Build up your fitness

If you are out of shape and haven’t been engaging in regular physical activity, it is highly recommended you start to build up your fitness prior to hiking. You may think that it is ‘only a long walk’, but that certainly isn’t the case. Even a relatively short hike can bee too intense for those that don’t have the right level of fitness.

Due to this, it is wise to prepare physically at least one month before your planned hike. The more you build up this fitness, the less likely you will suffer from an injury of some sort.

Get the right gear

The right gear is imperative when it comes to hiking. This is not an activity you want to do while wearing jeans and a pair of trainers.

Speaking of trainers, the most essential piece of gear is your footwear. Specialist hiking footwear like LOWA men’s walking shoes helps in a big way. You gain the comfort, support, grip, and durability necessary to tackle rough terrains and long trails. Without this, you could suffer everything from painful blisters to a twisted ankle.

Other hiking gear to think about includes a suitable backpack and weather-appropriate clothing.

Don’t go too big

It’s your first hike. While you might have ambitions to conquer long, tricky routes, this is not something you should do straight away. It is recommended you stick to a route that is suggested for beginners. Keeping your ambitions in check can prevent you from biting off more than you can chew and getting into trouble.

Pack your essentials

There are certain essentials you need to throw into your backpack before you head off on your hike. A first-aid kit should be the first thing to include. While you don’t want to suffer any type of injury, you have to prepare for this possibility. A map and compass could be beneficial, although in this day and age, a power bank to keep your mobile phone charged is perhaps a better fit.

Also, don’t forget to pack plenty of food and water. Think about snacks that are healthy and provide an energy boost.

Stick to the guidelines

Once you have started to walk your chosen hiking trail, it is essential you don’t wander off the path. You must stick to the guidelines. Set trails will typically have some forms of guidance – from warning signs to arrows pointing in the right direction – and you need to stick to these to avoid any potentially dangerous situations.

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