Hiking preparation or even trekking preparation might require more than you think. Try to start with smaller exercises and smaller trails, because they are always a safe place to start. Focus on your cardiovascular health, along with your leg strength and core strength.
1). Know Your Trail
Practicing on small hiking trails is an excellent way to gain your bearings and to prepare yourself for the real thing. If you don’t have a general idea about how to navigate that trail, it could end up with you getting lost, and maybe stuck somewhere alone. Do not depend on electronic navigation alone if that is what you use. Know your directions, and bring a compass as backup.
2). Choose The Correct Shoes
Choosing the right footwear is super important in hiking preparation. Choosing the wrong footwear could affect how much enjoyment you get out of your experience. If you wear a pair of shoes that don’t fit you properly, you might not have much fun on the walk. You don’t have to immediately start thinking you need a pair of boots, because they may not be your best bet. We have found that about 70 percent of the time, a good pair of shoes work just as well or better depending on where you go. So look around, and find exactly what you need, because this step is vital.
3). Bring A Hiking Pole Or Walking Stick
Bringing a walking stick may not be a vital step, but in our experience, we have found that bringing a walking stick is a great way to help you keep your balance. A walking stick might even save your life in an unpredictable circumstance! By keeping the walking stick in front of you, you will be able to avoid deep water spots, muds puddles, and even quicksand if you are hiking in a region with quicksand. There are even walking sticks, or otherwise known as hiking poles that fold up or close down so That you can put it right in your backpack, and maybe even in your pocket! Here is a post we wrote all about why you should bring a walking stick.
4). Backpack training
Training yourself to become used to having the extra weight of your backpack is crucial. If you are in a tight spot and you don’t know how to maneuver quickly with the extra weight, it could be fatal, so make sure you have the right backpack that fits you. Don’t worry, there are tons of different backpacks made for all kinds of people! Here is a post we created on choosing the right backpack.
5). Bring The Proper Clothing
Proper clothing is important for hiking preparation. If you are under or over-dressed, it can ruin your entire hiking experience. Make sure to dress according to where you are going and what the temperatures will be. Ask yourself questions like, will the temperature fluctuate? Or, will it be hot/cold? Try not to go all out on clothing though, you still want to have the least amount of weight as possible in your backpack, etc. (refer to #3 for backpacks).
6). Bring First-Aid Or Survival Kit
First-Aid is a very important must-have for hiking preparation. If you don’t bring any first-aid, you will be leaving yourself very vulnerable. You never know if you will end up desperately needing it. A survival kit has first-aid and emergency meals, etc.
No matter where you go. Be prepared for what you are getting yourself into. If you feel that you are not ready for a certain trail or amount of hiking, try something a little easier. Activeadventures.com also has some great hiking preparation tips here.