Tips for Beginner Hikers

Hiking is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the scenery and have fun with friends. But it can also be challenging for those who are new to the activity. Here are some hiking tips for beginners:

Hiking For Beginners – The Basics

1) Start Small

Keep your hikes short until you find out how your body responds to hiking. You may want to start by walking around in a local park or go on an easy walk near home before going far from civilization. If this is your first time hiking, we recommend picking trails in line with your current fitness levels. Yes, hiking is a challenging way to get some exercise and get in shape, but you most likely won’t enjoy it and might give up on the activity if you choose the wrong trail. 

  • Try hiking up some gentle hills so that you’ll have a better workout but still enjoy an easier trail.
  • Choose hikes near waterfalls or along rivers where there will be plenty of opportunities for scenic views without too much incline. You can also find new routes through parks via waterways which may include shorter distances than other paths.

starting small

2) Stretching Before Hiking

As a beginner hiker, consider adding a few gentle stretches and exercises to your pre-hiking trip routine. While it may not seem like a big deal, your body will thank you for gently warming up and loosening the muscles that are typically used to walk.

  • Do some light stretches before hitting the trail using arm swings, neck rotations, trunk twists, and ankle or knee bends.
  • Try hiking with weights in both hands to build strength as well as get ready for any steep hills on your next hike.
  • After completing a strenuous hike try doing one last set of exercises including squats, lunges, pushups and crunches – all done slowly so they don’t tire you out too much!

stretching for hiking

3) Find Other Hikers

Hiking with someone who has experienced hiking before will make things easier for you because they know about safety concerns and what supplies you might need (like water). As a beginner hiker, having a couple of fellow hikers is a great way to enjoy the journey and learn from others. Hiking with other people helps reduce your chance of getting lost or taking unnecessary risks when navigating unknown territory.

group hiking

4) Take Breaks

Being outside for a long time can be strenuous. Take breaks to stay healthy and hydrated so you don’t get tired or dehydrated.

5) Stay On The Trail

Always follow the trail markers because they tell you where it is safe to walk, help identify any hazards along the way, and will keep you from getting lost. If there are no signs then make sure to look for clues like animal tracks or broken branches that might lead down an unsafe path.

6) Dress Appropriately & Bring The Right Stuff

Wear clothes appropriate for hiking: things made of natural fibers (like cotton), layered clothing with fabrics that wick away sweat, sturdy footwear suitable for walking over many miles without giving your feet blisters; hats protect against sunburns; etc..

You’ll want to get an appropriate daypack. If you’re just starting out, you can grab any old backpack you have lying around. However, once you’ve hit your first trail, there are a few features of a proper daypack that will be worth looking into.

You’ll also want to bring your own water, snacks and lunch for the day. You can’t always rely on being able to stop at a store or restaurant when you’re out in nature, so pack light! Finally, be sure to have an emergency plan with someone who knows where you are going just in case something goes wrong.

dress appropriately

7) Potential Fears Of Wildlife Encounters

As a beginner hiker, it’s normal to have some fears or doubts about being outside. Be it wild critters or getting lost, all of these things can hold someone back from making the most out of the experience . There are many ways you can tackle these fears and have a positively unforgettable day.

For example, be sure to bring your phone with the capability of getting service so that if anything bad happens you’ll know what direction to go in order to find help or reach out for assistance. Most importantly, just enjoy yourself! This is supposed to be fun after all – take time at each stop along the way and soak everything in around you.


Wildlife Encounters

Doing your research on the trail before you hit it will prepare you for any potential wildlife encounters. That said, stick to a popular route during a bustling time, like a weekend afternoon, so you aren’t totally alone, and keep these essential wildlife safety tips in mind:

  • Most wild critters avoid humans.
  • As you hit the trail, watch for critter tracks and droppings on the course so you can assess what types of animals might be near. 
  • If you come across wild critters, remain calm, don’t run! NEVER RUN from a wild animal- it screams prey. You could also fall and hurt yourself if you panic.
  • Let a local ranger know of your sighting.

Hiking Alone?

If you are planning on hiking solo, follow these few fast rules to stay safe on the trail:

  • Stick to a well-marked trail – don’t explore.
  • Monitor the weather and trail reports before you hit the trail.
  • Inform someone where you are going and when you’ll be back. 
  • Know your limits (physically & mentally) and trust your senses
  • Be prepared for the worst. 


Hiking can be intimidating if you’re a beginner, but it’s not that intricate, really. You don’t need any special skills to engage in such an activity. It’s an excellent way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, get sweat in, and recharge, and reconnect. We hope this guide helps make your hiking trip a safe and fun experience.

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