Hiking is an outdoor activity which involves walking in natural environments, often on hiking trails. With hiking, you can view great landscapes, get exercise and fresh air, become refreshed, and improve your health. Before you set out on your first hiking expedition, however, it is important to do some research and take steps to insure a safe hiking trip.
Be smart: when you are planning on going on a strenuous hike please make sure to start working out a week or two prior to that. You must build up your stamina gradually and not push yourself more than you can handle.
Let others know: before you are about to leave let your family or friends know where you are going, whether you are going alone or with a group of friends. Tell them that you will contact them when you get back (and do contact them to avoid them sending a search party after you). It is always preferable to go in groups rather than going alone, especially as a beginner.
Know where you are going: as a beginner, it is better not to improvise your hike, better that you know where you are going unless you are with an experienced hiker. Bring a compass along, also pay attention to the landmarks as you pass them by.
Bring a lot of water: All that walking would require you to keep yourself hydrated. If you are going on very long hikes it helps to carry water purifying tablets with you.
Dress for the part: Keep one or two pieces of warm clothing and a raincoat because the weather can be unpredictable sometimes. In cold weather, dress in layers. Buy good quality hiking shoes and socks to prevent blisters.
Keep a first aid kit and some precautionary items: You need a first aid kit to treat injuries and prevent infections. Bring along sunscreen, bug spray, pepper spray, pocket knife, and sunglasses. Although you might not get a good reception on some hiking trails and wilderness, it is still a good idea to bring along a fully charged cell phone and also a portable charger.
Taking a few good precautions will get you a long way in insuring a safe and enjoyable hiking trip.
About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi greatly enjoys the outdoors and particularly hiking on trails with good vistas. Amita Vadlamudi finds hiking to be a great exercise activity and a wonderful health booster.