Tips for Choosing a Hiking Route

Tips for Choosing a Hiking Route (for Beginners)

13/07/2021 Off By chadmin

There are several easy ways to find a hiking trail that will meet your needs:

Guidebooks and websites are great resources because you can get all the stats you need: trail difficulty, distance, elevation gain, directions, water sources, trail features and whether dogs are allowed. Websites often display recent trip reports that may give you a sense of what current trail conditions are like.

 

 

 

 

Word of mouth: If you have friends who like to hike, ask them to suggest some locations for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talk to locals: Contact a local hiking organization or call a ranger station in the area where you want to hike. Rangers typically have up-to-date trail conditions and are skilled at suggesting hikes for all skill levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Beginners

Before you start your search for the perfect hike, it’s helpful to think through a few things, such as:

How much time you have: Do you have a couple of hours or a full day? The amount of time you have can determine where you go. Don’t forget to factor in how long it takes to get to and from the trailhead.

 

 

 

 

 

Your fitness level: Honestly assess what kind of shape you’re in. You want to have an enjoyable time out there rather than suffering through a long, strenuous hike that you’re not prepared for. If you’re not in the shape of your life, don’t be dismayed: There are hikes for everyone.

 

 

 

 

Distance: Think about how many miles and hours you’re comfortable hiking. An average walking pace is about 3 mph, but your hiking pace may be slower than that depending on terrain, elevation gain and how much weight you’re carrying on your back.

 

 

 

 

 

Elevation gain: The amount of elevation gain on a hike is one factor that determines the difficulty. With a little experience, you’ll come to know how much elevation gain you can comfortably handle and what is too much. For a point of reference, if a trail gains 1,000 feet in one mile, that is considered quite steep. Also, a general recommendation is that for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain, add one hour to your trip.

 

 

 

Time of year and weather: Some trails won’t be accessible in early spring because they’re covered in snow. If it’s fall and the sun is setting earlier, plan accordingly so you’re not caught out after dark unexpectedly. Always check the weather forecast before heading out so you can dress and pack appropriately.

 

 

 

Logistics: Certain hikes require a bit more planning. For instance, if you end up doing a hike that starts and finishes at different places, you’ll need to shuttle cars to your start and end points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you already chosen a route? It’s time to think about purchasing hiking equipment.