Here are some of the most useful trekking tips for beginners that can come in handy on your first trek! Keep reading to know more in detail.
Trekking is a great low-impact exercise. It has been shown in studies to have a variety of physical and mental advantages. Hiking is an outdoor exercise that has benefits beyond picturesque and enjoyable, from decreasing anxiety to avoiding osteoporosis.
Trekking, unlike treadmill or paved route walking, has additional, and sometimes unforeseen, factors. These variations, of course, are part of what makes it so entertaining! To make your first hikes a success, use the following trekking tips for beginners.
1. Plan your Route
This means choosing a moderately simple hiking route. Early hikes should focus on familiarizing yourself with long-distance, multi-day hiking. Concentrate on increasing your strength, familiarising yourself with your pack, and understanding what to bring.
- Choose a route with little elevation gain, that is, one that is relatively flat, so you don’t stress your body and mind by taking on anything too complicated.
- Don’t choose a route that takes you through harsh weather. Not only will this need potentially expensive equipment that you don’t have yet, but it will also stress you physically and psychologically in ways that you should maybe prepare for.
- Avoid rugged terrains, such as a rocky path or one with a lot of screens.
2. Choose your Season Carefully
Trekking frequently takes you through harsh environments, such as alpine mountains with snow and glaciers or deserts with ferocious winds and scorching heat. You’ll need to do a lot of study before deciding on a time of year to travel.
Winter isn’t always the most excellent time, but it all depends on where you are in the world. Spring may mean a dismal world of flies, midges, and other creatures in specific locations. Yes, research is necessary.
- First, select a season free of blizzards, dense fogs, and potential landslides caused by water-logged terrain. Such seasonal dangers may not only make your travel dangerous, but they may also cause authorities to close particular trails or parks, delaying your entire journey.
- Trekking frequently takes you to isolated locations with little or no mobile coverage, few to no people, and no amenities. If you get into any problem, there isn’t much support available. So be wise and pick a safe season to go out and only go out if the weather prediction is favorable.
3. Tell Your Family About your Trekking Plans
Someone outside of your trekking group must know when and where you’ll be trekking. Park officials frequently impose this on you, whether you want it or not, by requiring you to sign the park register. You are responsible for signing the mountain register at other times. Never, ever forget to do this, as that is how authorities determine whether someone is missing and dispatch a search team. It’s even more important to let someone know where you’re going if you’re hiking in uncharted territory. However, as a beginner, we do not advocate venturing into such territory. It’s best if you stay on a well-marked route in a well-managed park or reserve.
This links to the need to keep to the planned route and track. This isn’t your typical jog, so taking a detour down that exciting route to the left isn’t a brilliant idea.
4. Try Slackpacking before Trekking with a Rucksack
Slackpacking excursions should be your first few treks. This means you only carry a daypack and have the rest of your stuff transported by someone else. Carrying a large knapsack full of clothes, food, cooking gear, and camping supplies adds to the difficulty and danger of your journey. You want to ease into trekking rather than being slammed in the face with the practicality, rigor, and cost of doing it all alone.
Porters are a popular service along many trekking routes throughout the world. If a porter is available, we strongly advise you to use him. Porters not only relieve you of your burden, which is a massive benefit for a beginning trekker, but they are also an essential source of income in many areas.
5. Choose your Companions Carefully
Going on a journey with experienced friends or family members is a significant benefit since you can rely on them for advice on both preparation and execution. It would help if you did not embark on a journey with that uncle who believes that everything is a competition. If at all possible, surround yourself with individuals who will be supportive and patient with you.
If you decide to work with a firm, do your homework. Do they have prior experience conducting trekking tours? Is the hike leader first-aid certified? Before selecting a firm, it is a good idea to check independent evaluations. Let the organizer know if you’re a first-time trekker who would want extra help and advice both before and during the trek.
6. Make a List
Before embarking on a journey, every seasoned trekker has a checklist that they go over thoroughly. A to-do list and a packing list should both be included in a decent index. Checking on park permits and reading up the weather forecast will be on the to-do list. With time, you’ll add to and enhance this checklist, eventually creating your custom-tailored list.
7. Prepare your Body
Naturally, the more fit and powerful you are, the less difficult any journey will be. If this is your first multi-day trip, we strongly advise you to do some targeted physical preparation prior. Trekking entails more than simply physical endurance. Therefore the less physical difficulty you can decrease, the better. You’ll be able to concentrate on any other tasks at hand, as well as enjoy the experience.
8. Go on Some Preparation Trek
Trekking necessitates physical strength and endurance. The most significant physical preparation for trekking is to hike, which is precisely what you’ll be doing on the journey. You’ll be doing yourself a lot of good if you can get in some practice hikes before your travel.
As much as possible, simulate the terrain you’ll encounter on the journey during your prep walks. Also, aim to walk for the same time as you would on a typical trek day.
9. Practice your Backpack
Your training treks should try to replicate the hiking conditions as closely as possible. Wearing the backpack, you’ll be using on the journey is one example of this. Better still, stuff the bag with the goods you’ll need for the trip. This way, you’ll not only become acclimated to the weight of it all, but you’ll also be able to determine what’s superfluous and what you’re missing swiftly. You’ll also be able to see if your backpack is comfy and appropriate for the job.
Choose a rucksack or backpack with broad shoulder straps to effectively disperse your weight. As you journey, you don’t want thin straps poking into your shoulders. Padded hip belts are also recommended, especially while carrying a backpack. These are essential because they allow you to take part of your weight on your hips. Aside from the main bin, we propose a pack with numerous sections. This makes it simple to store and locate items. Polyester or extremely tough nylon are good choices for the pack’s materials. Look for a pack with a netting back panel, which enables your body heat to escape.
10. Practice your Trek in your Hiking Boots
You should also practice in the boots and socks you’ll be wearing on the hike. It’s all about making sure everything is comfy and appropriate. Finding out that your sock seam is uncomfortable or that your boots are sponges on a low-stakes trip, for example, is vastly preferable to finding out on the trail when there’s nothing you can do.
If you’re in the market for new boots, some tips on how to get the perfect fit are in order. Slip your feet into the boots after putting on your hiking socks. Push your feet forward as far as they will go, leaving the laces unfastened. Then, between your heel and the rear of the boot, place your index finger. You want your finger to be snugly inserted (too much space and the shoe is too big, too little space, and the shoe is too small). Also, because around 60% of people have different-sized feet, it’s a good idea to try on both the left and proper boots.
11. Boots VS Shoes
Hiking boots are typically preferable to hiking shoes because they provide more excellent ankle support, have a thicker thread, and are made of more durable material. However, depending on the terrain you’ll be traveling across, hiking shoes may suffice. When it comes to socks, make sure you have ones that are warm enough for the environment you’ll be hiking in. To assist in minimizing the possibilities of blistering, try wearing sock liners or two pairs of socks simultaneously. As said in Tip #10, you should wear both socks and shoes that you are familiar with for lengthy walks. Before the two of you embark on a hike, it’s a good idea to break in your hiking shoes by walking 100 kilometers in them.
12. Carry Gaiters
A gaiter is a lower leg covering that stretches from the top of your shoes to just below your knee. They may be constructed of a variety of textiles, but a waterproof gaiter is a common choice. Wearing gaiters on a hike offers several advantages, including:
- Maintaining the cleanliness of your socks and shoes by avoiding the accumulation of dirt and tiny stones
- Water and soil are kept at bay (if waterproof)
- Safeguarding you from thorns, serrated plants, and other nastiness that might cause wounds and rashes.
- Keeping you safe from snake bites.
13. Carry your Waterproof Gears
We’ve already mentioned waterproof gaiters, but no trekker should leave home without a rain jacket, waterproof overpants, and a backpack cover. A rain garment that also functions as a windbreaker can be pretty helpful. You may also get a waterproof backpack. Your hiking footwear should, ideally, be waterproof as well. If not, at the very least, make sure they’re water-resistant.
14. Wear Layers
When hiking, it’s best to layer your clothing. This is partially for warmth and comfort and partly to allow you to remove or add layers as needed. These are the layers you’ll need:
- a coating on the inside (think thermal long-sleeved vest and leggings)
- a layer in the center (this would be your shorts and shorts or trousers)
- A protective coating on the outside (like a fleece jacket, beanie, and gloves)
- A waterproof layer
The details of your layers will be determined by the climate in which you will be traveling. Naturally, the clothing needs for a cold mountain journey differ significantly from those for a mild seaside excursion.
15. Carry Lights
Whether you or a porter will carry most of your possessions, you should keep things to a minimum and pack light. Don’t scrimp on basics, but understand that you won’t be changing your clothes every day. Certain items, such as a fleece jacket, may get heavy use and become stinky by the end of the journey; don’t worry, everyone stinks. Medication, hygiene, and high-energy foods are examples of other essential goods.
With these trekking tips for beginners, your trekking journey is set to go as planned and you’ll have endless fun!