4 Amazing Tips for Beginners to Choose the Right Hiking Trails
If you are planning to start hiking, you’ve made a great decision. However, it’s quite natural to get confused about where to start from. There are so many trails around you and you always hear stories from your friends on how they enjoyed some or the other trail. How on earth do you know which one is right for you to start with? Here are a few tips for you on choosing the right hiking trail.
Consider the Season
If you want to go for a hike right away, you want to check what season it is. This is because while hot weather hiking is quite possible to start with, there are certain hiking trails that are impassable due to snow in cold season. Hence, if you are planning to start in the cold weather, check if the trail is passable in the first place. Even if the weather is hot, you’ll have to prepare for it and carry necessary things like plenty of water and right food, wear gear that will protect you from the heat, apply sunscreen and so on.
Distance of the trail is the next important factor you should check. You can consider out-and-back trails (on which you go and return via the same route); but make sure you can travel the distance of the round trip. Otherwise, you’ll find it too late that the distance is actually double the distance you thought you can travel and you’ll get too exhausted just in your first hike (and then may leave hiking forever). So, consider only distances achievable for you.
Consider Elevation Gain
Elevation gain is the elevation you’ll have to climb on a hike. For example, if you climb 800 feet, then descend 100 feet and then again climb 200 feet, the total elevation gain would be 1000 feet.
Ideally, while searching hiking trails that are perfect for beginners, trails with an elevation gain less than 500 feet are great. Beginners may find trails with an elevation gain more than this quite challenging.
You should also remember that shorter trails with higher elevation gains will actually be highly steep and tiring. Therefore it’s wise to choose short trails with low elevation gains and then go on increasing the elevation gain once you find those trails comfortable.
Aim for Fun
The primary aim of your hiking adventure should be fun and nothing else. Outdoors are beautiful. You should enjoy greenery, flower beds, chirping birds, wildlife and the beauty of nature; therefore, your hiking trail should not be too tiring, although a little challenge is fine. But don’t keep unrealistic aims that are beyond your ability. Believe me, your ability will increase with each hike and you can take up more and more challenging trails with greater ease. There is no need to choose highly challenging trails right from the beginning.
Remember these tips while choosing your trails and go on increasing your stamina and fun at the same time! Happy hiking!