Get Outside: A Beginners Guide to Hiking

Getting outside and hiking is not only wonderful for your physical and mental health, but it’s a great way to explore nature. Like many people, hiking is something I turn to for exercise, socializing with friends and exploring this beautiful world we live in. There’s definitely something special about relying on your own two feet to get you from A to B.

If you’re new to hiking, this guide covers all the basics, including how to plan, prepare and gear-up for your first hike. Already enjoy hiking? Well you may just find some new trail tips or gear inspiration. Let’s do this!

A Beginners Guide to Hiking

In collaboration with Backcountry.com

For 15% off your first order, use code RENEE15  (offer expires December 31, 2018)

Find a partner (or go solo)

It’s totally possible to go hiking solo, but most beginners enjoy hiking with a partner for company and safety. I personally enjoy hiking with my husband and friends, but it’s nice every now and again to go on a solo adventure.

There are numerous ways to find buddies to hike with. You can post on your personal social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to see if anyone you know also shares the same interest.

You could consider joining hiking related groups on Facebook. I am a member of some pacific northwest women’s hiking Facebook groups such as Seattle Outdoor Women Meetups, Girls Who Hike WA, Mtn Chicks PNW, and Women Who Hike Washington. Plus some unisex groups like Washington Hikers & Climbers, and Hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

When I first moved to America I found numerous hiking partners via Meetup groups in my local area. I never had any bad experiences, but always use common sense when meeting up with strangers.

If you are planning to hike solo, be sure to tell someone your plans before heading off and take a means of communication in case you run into any problems (more on this below).

Plan your hike

It’s important to always know where you are going, how to get there and how to get home safely.

First step: decide on your hike. Websites such as The Outbound and All Trails are great resources for choosing hikes in your local area or planning a hiking trip further away. Be sure to factor in distance, elevation, conditions and your time when choosing a hike. Start with easier trails and advance to longer day-hikes (and even overnighters) when you are more experienced.

Second step: don’t get lost! Having basic navigation skills will really help you out on the trail. I personally love using apps such as Gaia GPS to ensure I know where I am going, but physical maps and a compass also do the trick (if you know how to properly use them)

Third step: have a means of flagging down help if you do find yourself lost. Research whether you will have phone service on the hike, and if not I would consider taking a tracking/SOS device such as the Garmin InReach (spoken more about below).

What to wear

Comfort is key. I’ve seen people hike in all sorts of get-ups and different things work for different people. The trick is to find what you feel comfortable exercising in, and making sure you are safe in the outdoors. In case you missed it, Backcountry.com has kindly offered my readers 15% off their first order! Use code RENEE15 (offer expires December 31, 2018) *some exclusions apply*

Shoes

Some people love hiking in heavy-duty boots whereas others prefer something lightweight and minimalistic. My go-to hiking shoes are the KEEN Leather Terradora’s and the Danner Mountain Light Boot (I have also own the Danner Mountain Pass boots and find them great for hiking and traveling). I’ve also used the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots in the past and would highly recommend them. I personally prefer waterproof styles to keep my feet dry when out exploring.

Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Camping-6) Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Camping-6) Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Socks

Don’t overlook the importance of having socks that fit correctly and are comfortable to wear for a long time. Over the years I have found that Darn ToughSmartwool, and Icebreaker are the most durable, least smelly and most comfortable hiking socks.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Pants

On the trail I personally prefer to wear hiking pants or full-length workout leggings. Covering my legs means less scratches, protection from sunburn and a lower chance of getting any pesky tics/leaches decide to hitch a ride. In saying that, loads of people enjoy hiking in shorts or convertible pants. Check out my favorite hiking pants by Arc’teryx here, and my favorite leggings here.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Shirt

Similar to above, I often prefer to hike in longer-sleeve light-weight base layers (these Patagonia ones are my favorite). I personally hate wearing sunscreen so this is a great way to protect myself from the sun whilst avoiding having to carry and re-apply sunscreen.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Fleece

A fleece layer is perfect for when it’s a little chilly out but it’s not quite cool enough to hike in your insulated jacket. I often wear my Patagonia R1 fleece hiking, especially during early morning and close to sunset when the temperatures drop. My husband and I both also love our Arc’teryx Atom LT jackets for hiking and traveling (super versatile layers which have lasted us for over 3 years now!)

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Jacket

There are a few types of jackets that hikers typically reach for: a rain jacket, down jacket, and a wind jacket. You certainly don’t need to own all three of these but I would always recommend having some sort of insulation/protection layer that is suited to your hiking climate.

My all-time favorite lightweight down jacket is the Arc’teryx Cerium LT (an investment but SO worth it for such a feather-light warm jacket in my opinion), I pretty much take it everywhere I go. I have also recently been loving the Patagonia Down Sweater in Maraschino (plus, it looks great in photos!)

For protection from the rain my go-to jacket is the Fjallraven Abisko Eco-Shell, but I also like the Patagonia Torrentshell.

You might be wondering why I would own a wind jacket as well as the above…? The reason is that often the wind chill makes hiking less enjoyable, but it’s just too sweaty hiking in a rain or down jacket. That’s where a light-weight and breathable wind jacket comes in handy – I use the Arc’teryx Squamish hooded jacket.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Hat

I like to protect my face from the sun and will often wear this Patagonia cap when out hiking. Many people opt for a wider brim hat to protect their necks (like this one), and I also often grab a lightweight bandana or Buff in those situations. Spring and summer months also often call for a mosquito head net and winter months may require a beanie.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Sunglasses

Having sunglasses makes hiking a LOT more enjoyable on a sunny day (or when it’s overcast with a lot of glare). Plus, polarized sunglasses will cut the reflections and glare on those beautiful lakes you are looking at (bonus!) I love my Proof Eyewear shades and don’t go anywhere without them.

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Gloves

I nearly always have a pair of light-weight gloves me on, especially when hiking during the early morning hours or late in the day. The North Face and Icebreaker both make a range of good choices.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

 

For 15% off your first Backcountry.com order, use code RENEE15

(offer expires December 31, 2018) *some exclusions apply*

What to pack

I would recommend taking some extra items with you when out hiking, especially if it’s a longer walk. Listed below are some items you may consider taking along, but please note that you don’t have to own everything mentioned to get out and enjoy hiking!

Backpack

You could technically hike without a daypack, but it might be challenging to carry your drink bottle, layers etc. without a small space to store them. I personally prefer to hike with my camera bag or a daypack. My go-to’s are the Osprey Tempest 20L and the Topo Designs Rover Pack with a camera cube/insert. If you want something a little more stylish for around town and also on the trails, the Fjallraven Kånken is a great choice.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Water Bottle

A water bottle or hydration bladder is an absolute must when hiking. Dehydration can be a killer so it’s not something to skimp on. I personally haven’t had a great experience using hydration bladders so I stick with my trusted Hydroflask and Nalgene water bottles. Hydroflask’s will keep your water cool (or warm) for the whole day, and Nalgene’s are super lightweight and can also function as hot water bottles when winter camping.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Snacks

No one likes a hangry hiker so  be sure to pack plenty of snacks. My go-to are granola bars, energy chews, fruit and trail mix.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Phone or Emergency Device

It’s important to have a means to call for help if you find yourself in a precarious situation. You may be taking local hikes where you have phone service, but if not it might be worth investing in a device that has an SOS feature and tracker, like the Garmin InReach Mini or Explorer+. My husband and I didn’t make this purchase for quite some time after we got into hiking, but it now gives us peace of mind on longer treks and more risky hikes.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Map or GPS App

As mentioned above, your phone is a great to use for emergencies and navigation when you have service. There are some options for when you are offline, such as the Gaia app and the Maps.Me app. Traditional paper maps are also fantastic to have on hand if you have some basic navigation skills. We usually try and have a mix of phone apps, our InReach device and a paper map when going on longer hikes, just to be sure!

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Sunscreen + Bug Spray

Depending on where you are hiking, it’s probably best to either wear or take sunscreen and bug spray with you. Ticks and mosquito-born diseases are no joke in many places around the world so best to be prepared. As I said above, I often choose to hike in full-length clothes to avoid wearing sunscreen (especially when camping and sleeping in a tent) and I sometimes wash my clothes in mosquito deterring solution/spray for longer trips.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

First Aid

I always at least have some blister-pads handy when out hiking, and preferably a few other items or a light-weight first aid kit. This isn’t absolutely necessary but it might save you (or something else) in an unfortunate situation.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Head Lamp

I personally always take my headlamp when hiking, even if it’s in the middle of the day. The reason being is that sometimes I choose to stay out longer than expected, or the hike takes longer than planned, or in case I was to get lost. Most headlamps are fairly lightweight so it won’t add much to your pack. I enjoy using the Petzl Actik headlamp.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Camera

This is optional, but you might like to have a camera (or a phone) on you to take some snaps! My go-to mirrorless camera is the Sony A7Riii, plus I sometimes use the Sony RX100V for more on-the-go type photography. I also use the iPhone X for camera photography/quick snaps.

 

For 15% off your first Backcountry.com order, use code RENEE15

(offer expires December 31, 2018) *some exclusions apply*

Leave no trace

Just a quick (but very important!) note about abiding by leave no trace (LNT) principles and respecting nature. Please be sure to educate yourself on proper hiking etiquette before heading out. More information can be found via the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit
  • Stay on established trails and durable surfaces
  • Pack it in, pack it out (do not leave any trash int the backcountry)
  • Examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home
  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail
  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals

 

WANT MORE? CHECK THESE ARTICLES OUT!

Hiking in Gates of the Arctic National Park

10 Tips to Feeling More at Home on the Road

13 Hacks for Traveling Like a Pro

10 Tips for Winter Camping

My Road Trip Essentials

 

PIN FOR LATER!

Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Hiking-PIN1 Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Hiking-PIN1

 

Disclaimer: Thank you to Backcountry for collaborating on this blog post. The offer of 15% off does not apply on top of any other offer or discount, and it’s one use per customer. As always, all opinions are my own. This post does contain some affiliate links,  which means if you buy something my blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Sign up to my newsletter for exclusive content, giveaways, and more!

Getting outside and hiking is not only wonderful for your physical and mental health, but it’s a great way to explore nature. Like many people, hiking is something I turn to for exercise, socializing with friends and exploring this beautiful world we live in. There’s definitely something special about relying on your own two feet to get you from A to B.

If you’re new to hiking, this guide covers all the basics, including how to plan, prepare and gear-up for your first hike. Already enjoy hiking? Well you may just find some new trail tips or gear inspiration. Let’s do this!

A Beginners Guide to Hiking

In collaboration with Backcountry.com

For 15% off your first order, use code RENEE15  (offer expires December 31, 2018)

Find a partner (or go solo)

It’s totally possible to go hiking solo, but most beginners enjoy hiking with a partner for company and safety. I personally enjoy hiking with my husband and friends, but it’s nice every now and again to go on a solo adventure.

There are numerous ways to find buddies to hike with. You can post on your personal social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to see if anyone you know also shares the same interest.

You could consider joining hiking related groups on Facebook. I am a member of some pacific northwest women’s hiking Facebook groups such as Seattle Outdoor Women Meetups, Girls Who Hike WA, Mtn Chicks PNW, and Women Who Hike Washington. Plus some unisex groups like Washington Hikers & Climbers, and Hiking in the Pacific Northwest.

When I first moved to America I found numerous hiking partners via Meetup groups in my local area. I never had any bad experiences, but always use common sense when meeting up with strangers.

If you are planning to hike solo, be sure to tell someone your plans before heading off and take a means of communication in case you run into any problems (more on this below).

Plan your hike

It’s important to always know where you are going, how to get there and how to get home safely.

First step: decide on your hike. Websites such as The Outbound and All Trails are great resources for choosing hikes in your local area or planning a hiking trip further away. Be sure to factor in distance, elevation, conditions and your time when choosing a hike. Start with easier trails and advance to longer day-hikes (and even overnighters) when you are more experienced.

Second step: don’t get lost! Having basic navigation skills will really help you out on the trail. I personally love using apps such as Gaia GPS to ensure I know where I am going, but physical maps and a compass also do the trick (if you know how to properly use them)

Third step: have a means of flagging down help if you do find yourself lost. Research whether you will have phone service on the hike, and if not I would consider taking a tracking/SOS device such as the Garmin InReach (spoken more about below).

What to wear

Comfort is key. I’ve seen people hike in all sorts of get-ups and different things work for different people. The trick is to find what you feel comfortable exercising in, and making sure you are safe in the outdoors. In case you missed it, Backcountry.com has kindly offered my readers 15% off their first order! Use code RENEE15 (offer expires December 31, 2018) *some exclusions apply*

Shoes

Some people love hiking in heavy-duty boots whereas others prefer something lightweight and minimalistic. My go-to hiking shoes are the KEEN Leather Terradora’s and the Danner Mountain Light Boot (I have also own the Danner Mountain Pass boots and find them great for hiking and traveling). I’ve also used the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots in the past and would highly recommend them. I personally prefer waterproof styles to keep my feet dry when out exploring.

Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Camping-6) Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Camping-6) Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Socks

Don’t overlook the importance of having socks that fit correctly and are comfortable to wear for a long time. Over the years I have found that Darn ToughSmartwool, and Icebreaker are the most durable, least smelly and most comfortable hiking socks.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Pants

On the trail I personally prefer to wear hiking pants or full-length workout leggings. Covering my legs means less scratches, protection from sunburn and a lower chance of getting any pesky tics/leaches decide to hitch a ride. In saying that, loads of people enjoy hiking in shorts or convertible pants. Check out my favorite hiking pants by Arc’teryx here, and my favorite leggings here.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Shirt

Similar to above, I often prefer to hike in longer-sleeve light-weight base layers (these Patagonia ones are my favorite). I personally hate wearing sunscreen so this is a great way to protect myself from the sun whilst avoiding having to carry and re-apply sunscreen.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Fleece

A fleece layer is perfect for when it’s a little chilly out but it’s not quite cool enough to hike in your insulated jacket. I often wear my Patagonia R1 fleece hiking, especially during early morning and close to sunset when the temperatures drop. My husband and I both also love our Arc’teryx Atom LT jackets for hiking and traveling (super versatile layers which have lasted us for over 3 years now!)

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Jacket

There are a few types of jackets that hikers typically reach for: a rain jacket, down jacket, and a wind jacket. You certainly don’t need to own all three of these but I would always recommend having some sort of insulation/protection layer that is suited to your hiking climate.

My all-time favorite lightweight down jacket is the Arc’teryx Cerium LT (an investment but SO worth it for such a feather-light warm jacket in my opinion), I pretty much take it everywhere I go. I have also recently been loving the Patagonia Down Sweater in Maraschino (plus, it looks great in photos!)

For protection from the rain my go-to jacket is the Fjallraven Abisko Eco-Shell, but I also like the Patagonia Torrentshell.

You might be wondering why I would own a wind jacket as well as the above…? The reason is that often the wind chill makes hiking less enjoyable, but it’s just too sweaty hiking in a rain or down jacket. That’s where a light-weight and breathable wind jacket comes in handy – I use the Arc’teryx Squamish hooded jacket.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Hat

I like to protect my face from the sun and will often wear this Patagonia cap when out hiking. Many people opt for a wider brim hat to protect their necks (like this one), and I also often grab a lightweight bandana or Buff in those situations. Spring and summer months also often call for a mosquito head net and winter months may require a beanie.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Sunglasses

Having sunglasses makes hiking a LOT more enjoyable on a sunny day (or when it’s overcast with a lot of glare). Plus, polarized sunglasses will cut the reflections and glare on those beautiful lakes you are looking at (bonus!) I love my Proof Eyewear shades and don’t go anywhere without them.

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Gloves

I nearly always have a pair of light-weight gloves me on, especially when hiking during the early morning hours or late in the day. The North Face and Icebreaker both make a range of good choices.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

 

For 15% off your first Backcountry.com order, use code RENEE15

(offer expires December 31, 2018) *some exclusions apply*

What to pack

I would recommend taking some extra items with you when out hiking, especially if it’s a longer walk. Listed below are some items you may consider taking along, but please note that you don’t have to own everything mentioned to get out and enjoy hiking!

Backpack

You could technically hike without a daypack, but it might be challenging to carry your drink bottle, layers etc. without a small space to store them. I personally prefer to hike with my camera bag or a daypack. My go-to’s are the Osprey Tempest 20L and the Topo Designs Rover Pack with a camera cube/insert. If you want something a little more stylish for around town and also on the trails, the Fjallraven Kånken is a great choice.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Water Bottle

A water bottle or hydration bladder is an absolute must when hiking. Dehydration can be a killer so it’s not something to skimp on. I personally haven’t had a great experience using hydration bladders so I stick with my trusted Hydroflask and Nalgene water bottles. Hydroflask’s will keep your water cool (or warm) for the whole day, and Nalgene’s are super lightweight and can also function as hot water bottles when winter camping.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Snacks

No one likes a hangry hiker so  be sure to pack plenty of snacks. My go-to are granola bars, energy chews, fruit and trail mix.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Phone or Emergency Device

It’s important to have a means to call for help if you find yourself in a precarious situation. You may be taking local hikes where you have phone service, but if not it might be worth investing in a device that has an SOS feature and tracker, like the Garmin InReach Mini or Explorer+. My husband and I didn’t make this purchase for quite some time after we got into hiking, but it now gives us peace of mind on longer treks and more risky hikes.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Map or GPS App

As mentioned above, your phone is a great to use for emergencies and navigation when you have service. There are some options for when you are offline, such as the Gaia app and the Maps.Me app. Traditional paper maps are also fantastic to have on hand if you have some basic navigation skills. We usually try and have a mix of phone apps, our InReach device and a paper map when going on longer hikes, just to be sure!

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Sunscreen + Bug Spray

Depending on where you are hiking, it’s probably best to either wear or take sunscreen and bug spray with you. Ticks and mosquito-born diseases are no joke in many places around the world so best to be prepared. As I said above, I often choose to hike in full-length clothes to avoid wearing sunscreen (especially when camping and sleeping in a tent) and I sometimes wash my clothes in mosquito deterring solution/spray for longer trips.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

First Aid

I always at least have some blister-pads handy when out hiking, and preferably a few other items or a light-weight first aid kit. This isn’t absolutely necessary but it might save you (or something else) in an unfortunate situation.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Head Lamp

I personally always take my headlamp when hiking, even if it’s in the middle of the day. The reason being is that sometimes I choose to stay out longer than expected, or the hike takes longer than planned, or in case I was to get lost. Most headlamps are fairly lightweight so it won’t add much to your pack. I enjoy using the Petzl Actik headlamp.

 

Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking Get Outside: Beginners Guide to Hiking

Camera

This is optional, but you might like to have a camera (or a phone) on you to take some snaps! My go-to mirrorless camera is the Sony A7Riii, plus I sometimes use the Sony RX100V for more on-the-go type photography. I also use the iPhone X for camera photography/quick snaps.

 

For 15% off your first Backcountry.com order, use code RENEE15

(offer expires December 31, 2018) *some exclusions apply*

Leave no trace

Just a quick (but very important!) note about abiding by leave no trace (LNT) principles and respecting nature. Please be sure to educate yourself on proper hiking etiquette before heading out. More information can be found via the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit
  • Stay on established trails and durable surfaces
  • Pack it in, pack it out (do not leave any trash int the backcountry)
  • Examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires
  • Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand
  • Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes
  • Control pets at all times, or leave them at home
  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail
  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
  • Never feed animals

 

WANT MORE? CHECK THESE ARTICLES OUT!

Hiking in Gates of the Arctic National Park

10 Tips to Feeling More at Home on the Road

13 Hacks for Traveling Like a Pro

10 Tips for Winter Camping

My Road Trip Essentials

 

PIN FOR LATER!

Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Hiking-PIN1 Get-Outside-Beginners-Guide-to-Hiking-PIN1

 

Disclaimer: Thank you to Backcountry for collaborating on this blog post. The offer of 15% off does not apply on top of any other offer or discount, and it’s one use per customer. As always, all opinions are my own. This post does contain some affiliate links,  which means if you buy something my blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

Related Adventures

Mount Rainier National Park Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Mount Rainier National Park has to be one of the most stunning places in the entire world! From meadows of wildflowers, to old-growth forest, to beautiful waterfalls and rivers, and incredible mountain views… Mount Rainier really is a nature lovers dream. I have visited the park at least 10 times now, including during my 2017…

Holy Grail Hiking and Camping Gear – 2019 Edition

I’ve tried a lot of hiking and camping gear over the years and there are some items I just keep coming back to. For me, a piece of gear gets the tick of approval if it does what it performs as advertised, lasts a long time, is lightweight and easy to pack, and is comfortable.…

The Ultimate Romantic Couples Getaway to Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and beautiful destinations in the world! My husband and I recently spent 12 days exploring French Polynesia, and Bora Bora was probably our favorite part of the trip. In this blog post I’m sharing all of the details on how to get there, when to visit,…

32 Comments

  1. Emily Mandagie on July 6, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Love this! What a great and complete list of things to bring on any first hike! I love that you gave so many options to fit different levels, styles and preferences. I know people will be prepared because of this post – we’ll done Renee! <3

    • Renee Hahnel on July 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks so much Emily! Happy you found it to be helpful 🙂

  2. Jackie on July 6, 2018 at 10:57 am

    I have learnt so many new tips for hiking from your blog post. Thanks so much for all the info. Keep up the great work.

  3. Collect Footprints on July 12, 2018 at 5:42 am

    Thanks for these tips Renee! We will do some hikes in PNW in September and we are already full of anticipation!

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  4. Michael Hoffman on July 18, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Great tips!! I will definitely try these tips!!

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      Yay! Glad you found it to be helpful!

  5. Danie on July 21, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I’ve always wanted to get into hiking, and now I think I know how. Thanks!

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      Enjoy! So happy I could help out 🙂

  6. Pippa on July 21, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous photos! As usual! Slowly gathering my gear together but these are such great tips ?

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks so much Pippa!

  7. Beardedblade on July 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Such a comprehensive list, and those pictures are awesome! This is my first visit to your site, and I am glad I stumbled upon it. I will definitely be back.

    Thanks,
    James

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      Thank you James! It’s nice to have you here!

  8. Carina on July 26, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    loved this! thanks to BriannaMacias.com for sharing this with me! cant wait for Yosemite in a few weeks!!

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Enjoy 🙂 Love that park!

  9. Shawon on August 5, 2018 at 4:25 am

    Hi, You have really described the beginners guide perfectly which will surely help me to understand which items and what steps should I take before and during hiking. Thank you for sharing such a helpful post. Keep updating posts like this and I’ll be benefited from your posts. I’ve already learned so many interesting and helpful tips from your website which will help me during my next hike. Keep up your great work Renee! Thanks

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Aw that makes me so happy 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  10. Top 10 Things to Do in Moab, Utah - Renee Roaming on August 16, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    […] Get Outside: A Beginners Guide to Hiking […]

  11. kolten tea on August 19, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Wow, that’s an extensive list. Great job covering different options and skill levels. Great work!

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  12. 10 Tips for Winter Camping - Renee Roaming on August 22, 2018 at 2:38 am

    […] Get Outside: A Beginners Guide To Hiking […]

  13. seether on September 2, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Everything you have mentioned is needed for hiking. And most important thing brave heart is also needed. Thanks for sharing your informative article.

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  14. Angel Kyle on September 6, 2018 at 6:12 am

    You made a great guideline for beginners. It would be helpful for beginners to hike. Thanks for sharing your guideline.

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  15. michael d jones on September 9, 2018 at 4:59 am

    I found your article well written and very helpful. I found that I didn’t think of some of the stuff you wrote about.
    thank you for your help.

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you Michael!

  16. Night Hiking • CampingGearFit on September 11, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    […] Night Hiking […]

  17. Abe Basil on September 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

    There is definately a lot to know about this topic. I like all
    of the points you have made.

    • Renee Hahnel on October 21, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you Abe!

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Renee Hahnel

Hi! My name is Renee and I'm an Australian photographer, blogger & travel addict. I now call the U.S.A home but you can usually find me wandering the globe with a camera in hand ✈ Let's get lost!

Related Adventures

Mount Rainier National Park Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Mount Rainier National Park has to be one of the most stunning places in the entire world! From meadows of wildflowers, to old-growth forest, to beautiful waterfalls and rivers, and incredible mountain views… Mount Rainier really is a nature lovers dream. I have visited the park at least 10 times now, including during my 2017…

Holy Grail Hiking and Camping Gear – 2019 Edition

I’ve tried a lot of hiking and camping gear over the years and there are some items I just keep coming back to. For me, a piece of gear gets the tick of approval if it does what it performs as advertised, lasts a long time, is lightweight and easy to pack, and is comfortable.…

The Ultimate Romantic Couples Getaway to Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and beautiful destinations in the world! My husband and I recently spent 12 days exploring French Polynesia, and Bora Bora was probably our favorite part of the trip. In this blog post I’m sharing all of the details on how to get there, when to visit,…

Pin
Share
Tweet