Brian Poncelet loves to backpack, climb, day hike, cycle, and enjoy year round outdoor adventure.

Brian’s quest for lighter, safer, and more efficient gear is motivated by a desire to stay healthy and active for many years to come. After being part of this sport for 23 years, Brian continues to learn, test and refine gear, and dream of new trips.

Interested in taking up the sport yourself?

So you’re ready to hear the crunch of leaves under your feet and see the world from above. Luckily, it’s easier to start hiking than you may think. We talked to the experts to find the best tips for beginner hikers:

  • Start small. Stepping over tree roots and maneuvering around rocks on a trail can be more tiring that you might imagine, says Stedman. Start out with a few miles at a time and gradually build up to longer treks. “It’s also important to start practicing with a pack of some sort,” she tells The Huffington Post. “People often underestimate how heavy a backpack might feel until they try hiking 10 miles or so with it.”
  • Prepare for the worst. Hopefully you won’t need to use that first aid kit or emergency shelter, but it never hurts to be prepared. Stedman recommends carrying extra water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray and at least a small first aid kit, even on shorter hikes.
  • Overestimate your trail time. Hiking can be a slower process than newbies realize. That’s why Jackson-Magennis suggests erring on the longer side when estimating how long it’ll take to complete a trek. As a general rule of thumb — keeping in mind that time is based off of physical fitness and elevation — you can expect to cover about two miles an hour. Then, add an additional hour of extra time for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
  • Don’t ignore your own backyard. You don’t have to live in the mountains of Colorado to enjoy some quality trail time. Cities, counties and states all have parks or natural areas to get started hiking, says Stedman. Even very urban areas, like New York City or Washington D.C., have green spaces great for shorter hikes.
  • Use the buddy system. Two brains are better than one, so partner up and hike with someone who knows the trail or the area well. “It’s also important to tell someone where you are going and when you are expected home,” Jackson-Magennis tells The Huffington Post.

Jul 30, 2015 | Category: Hike | Comments: none


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