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No matter who you are, hiking can be a wonderful form of exercise. Being cooped up in the gym is one thing, but being out in nature is quite another.

If this is your first time hiking, you will want to be prepared for life in the great outdoors, but getting started is not as challenging as you might think. Here are some basic tips to get you out there, and where the adventure takes you is up to you.

1. Invest In The Right Equipment

If you hit the trails in a bad pair of hiking boots, your feet will let you know. Investing in the right equipment, including a sturdy pair of hiking boots and a comfortable backpack, is absolutely essential.

2. Find An Easy Trail For Your First Time Out

Hiking can be a wonderful form of exercise, but you do not want to get in over your head, or your hiking boots. It is best to choose an easy trail for your first time out; you can work up to the harder trails later on.

3. Research The Local Hiking Hot Spots

As a new hiker, you will want to do your homework, including researching the local trails. Be sure you know where the trailheads are, where to park, and other essential information before you head out for the first time.

4. Watch The Weather Forecast

A sudden thunderstorm can turn an easy hike into a much harder one, washing away parts of the trail and leaving normally navigable areas nearly impossible to traverse. Be sure to check the weather forecast often to ensure your hike goes off without a hitch.

5. Stick To The Marked Trails

As your skill level increases, you may feel more comfortable with an off-trail adventure, but for now, it is best to stick to the marked path. Pay close attention to the signs posted at various junctions, as they will alert you to smaller trails that could be too difficult for a beginner.

6. Dress in Layers

Temperatures can be unpredictable on the trail, and it is important to be prepared. Dressing in layers that can be put on and taken off quickly is important, so choose your hiking wardrobe with that in mind.  

7. Pack High-Energy Snacks & Lots of Water.

Drinking water from streams is risky, so make sure you pack in lots of water. You will also want to energize yourself with nutritious snacks, including nuts, seeds, and trail mix.

8. Bring Extra Clothes & Wet Weather Gear

You never know when the rain will strike, so be prepared with a slicker or lightweight raincoat. You will also want to pack a change of clothes in your backpack just in case.

9. Bring a Friend Along For The Fun

Hiking alone can get boring, so bring a friend along to enjoy the surroundings with you. Hiking in groups is safer and more fun, and a great way to get some exercise.

10. Bring Your Camera

You will want to take lots of photos as you traverse the trails, so bring your camera or your smartphone. There will be plenty of camera-ready moments on the trail, and it is important to be prepared.

Hiking can be a wonderful hobby, and a great way to spend time outdoors. If you are tired of being cooped up and ready for a new adventure, the 10 beginner-friendly hiking tips can get you started safely.

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