Trekking is one of the best ways to keep yourself rejuvenated and your life exciting. Experience the serenity of nature so close; trekking is also an excellent low-impact workout. If you love adventures and want an activity that can offer both mental and physical benefits, trekking opens the door to a world that you might have never explored.
That being said, trekking can get challenging for beginners if they have not done enough planning. Do not consider trekking or hiking the same as walking on a treadmill. There are unpredictable variables that make this outdoor activity so much fun. To let you easily prepare for these unknown variables, we are here with the trekking tips for beginners to help you make your first trek successful.
Trekking Tips-Essentials You Will Need
1. Start With Planning Ahead
Planning ahead is the key to success when you are trekking for the first time. Pick a trail that is shorter than the distance you normally walk on a levelled surface. When you take into account all precautions and prepare yourself, you are setting yourself up for success. It will be difficult for you to estimate what distance and elevation changes work well for you which is why you need to start with a small trail.
It is one of the most important trekking tips. Learn the layout and the logistics of the intended trek and pack accordingly. The weather and emergency supplies must always be available throughout the entire trip.
2. Dress Accordingly
One of the most important trekking trips that we have for the first-time hikers is to tell them to clothe appropriately to beat the harsh weather. Most probably, you will be trekking in a mountainous region where it gets cold. If you have chosen a tough trail like Nanda Devi in Chamoli, you are in for a chilly trip. You have to plan to keep yourself warm through the entire trekking session to avoid frostbite.
Experienced trekkers have learned that it is best to dress in layers for trekking. This allows your body to regulate its temperature and wick moisture. Start with a base layer that has a comfortable fabric touching your skin, then add a warmer middle layer and, finally, a waterproof outer layer to deal with surprise showers.
Here’s a complete guide on dressing in layers for trekking:
3. Bring a Map, Compass or GPS
Trekking involves exploring the unfamiliar territory, which means there’s a high chance of you getting lost in nature. Always keep a topographical map of the trek with you in case you get lost. Learn to read a map or to use a compass. Even when you are hiking in an area that is known to you, it is still better to bring a map, compass, or a GPS, in case you need one.
Beginners often overlook this otherwise obvious need that can land them into trouble. Add a map, compass, or GPS to your trekking essentials list.
CASON High Accuracy Metal Waterproof Military Compass
Garmin 010-01508-10 30x Handheld GPS
4. Buy a Lightweight and Comfortable Backpack
Our trekking trips and tricks are all about making your hiking experience a comfortable one. Your backpack is your closest friend during the entire trekking trip, which is why you might want to keep it lightweight and comfortable. All the trekking gear can add up some serious weight, and by keeping the backpack light, you will be shedding some of the bulk. Also, an ergonomic backpack means your whole body will be comfortable with proper posture and no pressure points to cause pain.
QUECHUA Hiking Backpack by Decathlon
5. Keep Your Feet Blister-Free
Nothing ruins a trekking trip as getting blisters. For beginners, it is common to get blisters from walking a long distance on unknown terrain. If you don’t want to cut your trip short because of blisters, you have to make your feet blister proof. While perfect fitting shoes that are specially designed for hiking will keep your feet comfortable and protected, adding moleskin will also help prevent blisters.
Here’s an infographic with some tips and tricks to keep your feet blister-free during a hike.
6. Invest in High-Quality Socks And Shoes Designed For Trekking
You are not planning to go on a hike with the footwear you usually wear, are you? Nothing will make your trekking trip more uncomfortable for you than a pair of ill selected socks and shoes. Your feet will be doing most of the work during trekking, which is why you need to keep them comfortable and dry. You will need socks that are moisture-wicking and shoes that are a good fit but also provide enough room to wiggle the fingers and toes.
High-top mountain walking socks
Decathlon Men’s hiking shoes
7. Have Enough Food
As a beginner, it might seem like you do not need to carry much food supplies for a couple of hours trek. That’s quite correct only if you are confident that you won’t take any wrong turn that will result in a detour. A grumbling stomach is not an ideal companion during a hike, which is why bringing extra food is a trekking trip we advise to keep yourself energized and safe.
Here’s an interesting hiking food guide from Hiking-for-her.com:
8. Waterproof Your Backpack
Although rain can make your trekking trip a much more serene experience, it can be a nightmare as well if you are not prepared enough to keep your backpack dry that has all the essentials. Trekking gear such as cell phones and GPS and supplies like matches and socks are no use to you if they are soaking wet. You can never predict when showers hit the trail which is why waterproofing your backpack is a requirement for a successful trekking trip.
9. Bring a Repair Kit, Tools, Knife and Firestarter
Trekking is interesting because it is unpredictable, which is why you can never be prepared enough. If you are planning hiking out on the trails, then you must have a repair kit, tools, firestarter, and knife in your backpack.
Shine-Tool 13 in 1 Outdoor Emergency Survival Kit
10. Good Quality Rain Jacket
Keeping yourself dry must be your priority, especially when you are planning a trekking trip during monsoon season. Investing in a good quality rain jacket is going to keep you safe from unpredictable showers.
QUECHUA Raincoat from Decathlon
11. Tell Someone Where You Will Be
Even when you are planning your trekking trip as an escape, we recommend that you inform someone who is not on the hike about the itinerary of the whole trip. The person must know when to worry and call for help. To not raise a false alarm, you can work out the entire schedule with enough hours for you to finish the trek enjoying the view and also account for any possible delays.
You can also add SPOT trackers such as Globalstar Spot Gen3 to your trekking essentials list. These devices allow you to contact emergency assistance using satellite communication. But they are just a backup and not an alternative to informing someone.
Globalstar Spot Gen3
12. Portable Phone Charger
Your phone is going to your lifeline during the entire trip, which is why you need to make sure you have the power source to keep your device charged. Portable phone chargers come in all shapes and sizes. Choose one according to your phone and other chargeable devices you are carrying in your backpack.
Check these top 10 power banks to buy.
13. First Aid Kit
Let’s face it; trekking is all about the wilderness. Getting bruised and puncture wounds are not uncommon during trekking, which is why you need to know the basics of first aid. Also, severe injuries such as broken leg and allergic reaction require you to learn about basic stabilization and medication trekking tips and tricks.
Now it will be almost impossible to administer basic first aid without a first aid kit. There are several pre-made hiking first aid kits you can buy online.
Apollo Pharmacy First Aid Kit
14. Bring Sun Protection
You need sun protection when you are out in the open. Sun can easily leave your body dehydrated and damage the skin which is why sun protection is important. Simple sun protection can save you a lot of pain during the entire trekking trip.
15. Mosquito Net
If your trekking trip involves resting at night, it will really suck to be eaten alive by mosquitoes. To keep your skin safe and preserve your sanity, add a quality mosquito net to the trekking essentials list.
Trekking Tips and Tricks You Must Know
While we covered the trekking essentials and basics above, successful hiking is also dependent on your health, conduct, and precautions you take during the entire trip.
Make Your First Hike Short
We know you are pretty excited about trekking as a beginner but refrain from a long-distance trek. Make your first trekking trip short of understanding what you need to make your trekking trip a success, where you lack, what you are comfortable with and what isn’t. For instance, during your first trip, you will learn that cotton is a poor choice for trekking as it absorbs moisture and holds water against your skin while you hike.
Take Breaks Every Few Hours
Trekking is not a sprint but a marathon. There is no point in exhausting your body. Usually, beginners do not realize that their body is tired or hungry until it is too late. Taking frequent breaks provides enough rest to your body and energizes it. When planning the trip, plan these breaks into your estimated travel time so you won’t feel like behind schedule.
The single most important trekking tip that we can’t put enough emphasis on is to keep your body hydrated. If you want to keep fit through the entire trekking, you have to drink up but no alcohol or caffeine. Drink water or juice every 10 to 20 minutes, even when you are not thirsty.
Get Fit before The Trip
Trekking can be a shocking experience for your body if you spend most of your time in the comfort of your home and office, leading a sedentary life. Before hitting a trail, you need to ensure that your mind, body, and heart are ready for the rigorous hiking. Daily exercises, especially cardio, will put your body in the right shape for the trip.
Start Early in the Morning
Starting your trekking trip early in the morning has some advantages. If you are trekking during the summer, you will get a good amount of trekking done before it gets too hot. You will have more daylight to trek along the trail if you start early. Also, nature and wildlife are more active at dawn, so that’s an added advantage too.
Leave Nothing Behind
Trekking is fun, but it also entails some responsibility on your part. You must not leave a trace behind the entire time, which means not polluting the land and nature. Leave the trail as you found it; this is your moral responsibility too.
Keep a Positive Mental Attitude
The difference between a successful and a failed trekking trip lies in your mental attitude. Always keep a positive mental attitude that will keep you from getting angry or frustrated, even when you hit some obstacles. A positive attitude allows you to be flexible and go with the flow.
Trekking is an excellent outdoor activity to feed your body and mind with a lot of positive energy. Our clever trekking tips and tricks will help you experience the most fun without running into obstacles. One of the most important trekking tips for beginners is to ‘just do it.’ Making a plan is good and fine, but it all begins when you hit the trail.
This trekking guide for beginners is enough to learn the basics, now stop procrastination and start trekking!