Hiking for Beginners: Everything You Need To Know as a First-Time Hiker
Hiking is one of the most rewarding and challenging activities you can do in your life. It's an incredible way to get some exercise, explore new places, and take a break from everyday stressors. But for many, hiking can be daunting at first because it's hard to know what you should bring or how difficult the hike will be, especially for first time hikers.
So if you're looking for information on hiking that will help get you started as a beginner hiker, this post will cover the hiking essentials list that you need to get started with your first hike.
The Hiking Essentials List for First Time Hikers
Here is the list of 7 Essentials of Hiking that you should buy before you go hiking for the first time:
- Hiking Shoes
- Hiking Apparel
- Hiking Backpacks
- Outdoor Sunglasses
- Safety Helmets
- Medical Kit, First Aid
- Additional Hiking Gear
These essentials are an important part of your first time hiker guide that can help you make your adventure easy and enjoyable. Let’s go through each of these in detail.
1. Hiking Shoes
Even if you don’t know anything about hiking at all, having special shoes for hiking should still be in your mind while you plan for it. Yes, a pair of hiking shoes is a must-have item you should take with you as a hiker of any experience level.
There are several options available in the market that you can look for when it comes to buying hiking shoes.
Recommendation for Hiking Shoes:
At La Sportiva, there is a range of hiking shoe suggestions that all have features that will help make your hiking comfortable.
2. Hiking Apparel
The next important thing is that your apparel must support your hiking needs. From short-sleeve to long-sleeve shirts and brief boxer shorts to socks, you must grab the right kind for an amazing hiking experience. One of the important tips for first time hikers is to choose UV-protected apparel because you’re most likely going to have sun exposure for a long time.
Recommendation for Hiking Apparel:
You can get the most suitable apparel at Smartwool where you have a variety of hiking apparel at affordable prices.
3. Hiking Backpacks
While you can wear hiking shoes, apparel, sunglasses, and more, you still have a lot of important stuff you need to carry along. And for that, you need to buy a hiking backpack that can make it easier by simply putting everything in it.
Buying a hiking backpack is an interesting task because this hiking essential has a lot of features that may excite you.
Recommendation for Hiking Backpacks:
At Deuter, there are backpacks with several features and you can choose one that’s best-suited for your adventure. Here are some recommended backpacks that you may consider for your first hiking adventure:
4. Outdoor Sunglasses
It's understood that it’s going to be bright outside while you hike, and rather than to keep squinting your eyes, you must wear sunglasses. It helps to reduce eyestrain and shields your eyes from stroking sunlight & UV rays, flying debris, rain, or wind.
Choosing sunglasses might seem an easy task to you, but when you have to get them for hiking, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Tips for First Time Hikers for Choosing Sunglasses
The following tips will help you choose sunglasses, especially for hiking purposes.
- Comfort is Key
- Ensure Durability
- Choose Polarized Lenses
- Pay Attention to UV Ratings
- Select Lightweight Frames
- Go for Scratch Resistant
Recommendation for Hiking Sunglasses:
Spy Optics carries a variety of sunglasses in different colors, styles, and prices. We recommend you consider a few things like your face shape, skin tone, and hair color to select the best sunglasses to suit you the best.
5. Safety Helmets
Hiking is definitely a fun activity but you have to ensure that you play safe during this venture. But no matter how much you try, you may face adversity. And for that, you must protect yourself with safety gear and this is one of the most important tips for first time hikers.
It’s highly recommended for first time hikers to wear a safety helmet while they hike. Since it just takes a moment to slip and while you might wear other safety gear, a helmet is very important to protect your head.
Recommendation for Hiking Safety Helmets:
Skuxs offers numerous products that can help you make your first hiking experience safe and memorable. They offer Giro safety helmets in different shapes, sizes, and colors to cater to your hiking needs.
6. Medical Kit, First Aid
Despite all the precautions and safety equipment, you still can’t be sure to avoid any mishaps. So just in case, it’s better to keep a first aid kit with you in your hiking bag.
It’s a small thing but can be extremely useful in case of an emergency especially for those of you who are first time hikers.
As there are commonly no health care providers around during your hike, you have to take care of yourself if something wrong happens.
Your kit must include antiseptic wipes, sterile dressings, antibiotic ointments, aspirin, ibrufen, butterfly bandages, and other multi-use items.
Recommendation for Hiking Safety Helmets:
If you want to buy an ultralight and compact first aid kit with all the essentials, we recommend Adventure Medical, as their kits are waterproof and are made to treat common injuries.
7. Other Hiking Gear
Hiking is a time-taking activity during which you will require to rest and sit. And therefore you will need a slingback chair to take a break and relax.
Similarly, you also need a trekking pole and strapette to make this experience more comfortable.
Recommendation for Other Hiking Gear
Mountainsmith offers hiking gear that is extremely useful for you. It has a variety of products that you can choose from for your hiking essentials list.
FAQs for First Time Hikers:
How do I prepare for my first hike?
There are several things you must take into consideration while you prepare for your first hike.
- Choose the track that goes with your fitness level
- Check the weather
- File a trip report to someone and mention your exact location
- Get everything in the hiking essentials list mentioned above
- Buy products keeping function in mind, rather than fashion
- Eat healthy, energizing food before you go
What is the best time of day to go hiking?
It’s one of the most useful tips for first time hikers to go hiking early in the morning because the temperature is usually cooler at that time. Also, you get more time to hike and explore without any hurry of coming back before the evening. But if you get a little late for the morning, it’s better to go in the late afternoon to avoid the scorching sun that you will otherwise catch at noon.
What to wear while hiking?
The basic wearables that first time hikers will need include a polyester or nylon shirt, pants, sunglasses, helmet/hat. If the weather is cold, you would need a puffy vest or jacket, warm hat, scarf, and gloves.