Hiking Tips for Beginners 9 Essential Tips

Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash

I am also a beginner so I thought I would share my tips, and advice with you in case you are someone who is thinking of exploring the great outdoors or bagging a Munro.

Don’t be scared as its not as scary as you may think, here are my tips that I think are good to pass on to other beginners like me.

1. Dress for the hike

The great part of starting out is you probably have suitable clothing already, for the beginner hikes only.

I started with jeans and a t-shirt, for me this was fine as I am used to jeans but for some you may find you get some rubbing etc so something comfy would be better.

Wear long light trousers so you don’t get any scratches, but the main one is a good pair of shoes like a good pair of sneakers or trail runners is usually your best bet or hiking boots which is your best option.

A lightweight backpack is also needed, so you can pack snacks, water etc this is my dress list

  • Waterproof Hiking boots with padded insoles
  • Backpack
  • Waterproof Hiking Trousers
  • T-shirt and an old lightweight but warm zip hoodie
  • Comfy socks
  • Walking sticks
  • Knee supports

This is my hiking kit now.

2. Prepare for any weather

Yup even though you planned your hike a week before or even a few days before, do check what the weather is like on the day and what to expect.

If the weather is bad and this is your first hike, I would recommend you change it to a day where its dry and bright as its safe that way.

Also just because it looks nice on your phones weather app, doesn’t mean when you get there that will be the weather the full day so take waterproofs etc just in case.

3. Don’t go alone

This is very important, as just in case something happens someone knows where your last location was.

Let them know where your going, starting point and the time your expected home.

When you are up doing hikes you might find you have no signal, so as soon as you have a signal keep them updated so they don’t worry.

4. Beginner Hikes

Don’t go full out and try and hike the biggest one, you will only fail or hurt yourself or worse.

Start by checking out reviews or even YouTube videos of some hikes to see what others have said.

I know there are at least 5 easy Munro’s, where you just walk and follow a foot path all the way to the top…..granted there is an incline but these are the ones to start with.

5. Take enough food, snacks and water

There is a saying “less is more” and I love that, but when it comes to hiking you cant use that.

Always take more snacks and drinks than what you think you will need, as depending on how fit you are you will either dehydrate fast or work up a big appetite.

Its better to have more than be thirsty or hungry on hikes.

6. Stay on the trial

This is very important, as the path you take has been tried and tested where if you go off the trial you may get lost or hurt yourself.

7. Use downloadable maps or physical maps

What I learned when doing my hikes is that when you are way out there, or at the top of the Munro your signal is either mega weak or non existant (depending on network)

My advice is use either physical maps, or if your using an app find one that allows you to download the trek to your phone so you can look at it without a signal.

8. Get a good nights sleep

When we are sleepy we dont function the best, we make mistakes we wouldn’t normally make so a good sleep is a must.

Another reason for a good sleep, is some of the hikes well to be honest most you are walking for a good few hours and probably at an incline so you want all your body’s energy to be fully charged for the big hike day.

9. Take your rubbish with you

I cant repeat this one enough, you are going in to nature to see the great views so please take your rubbish with you.

Leaving your rubbish destroys nature, could be dangerous to any wildlife and isn’t a nice sight to see so please take a bag and pop it all in that and bin it when you get home.

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Bagging my 3rd (Ben Narnain) and 4th Munro (Ben Chonzie)

I couldnt stop at 2 Munro’s I wanted to see how many I could do, and I managed to bag 4 Munro’s in a month which is good going for me.

See my previous post here to see what my first two Munro’s were.

My 3rd Munro was Ben Narnain (926M (3,038 FT)

For me this was probably the hardest out the 4, as there were parts you had to climb more and it felt steeper but that could have just been me.

At one part near the start I will admit I nearly gave up, as I have been going through a rough patch recently and it hit me very hard all the emotions etc, plus the day I was doing this I should have been celebrating something else which sadly I wasn’t.

The people I was with, gave me lots of support and I found the strength in the them and in me to go onward and upwards.

I was so glad that I did as the view from the top, plus the feeling of achieving another Munro was amazing. I would have preferred to celebrate the other thing, but this was the next best thing.

My 4th Munro was Ben Chonzie (931m (3,054 ft)

After experiencing Ben Narnain this got me to mentally prepare and be ready for anything, as they were all different so far.

This was an interesting one, firstly the route there was a long narrow winding road and this had a path for about 80% of it.

The first 60% was a nice little walk then you started to feel the incline, and then it was marsh to the top. Today as you will see from the photos below, was very cloudy so I knew not to expect a great view but hey it was still my 4th Munro.

This Munro was my first where I actually had the correct gear, as the previous ones I wore my jeans and didn’t have gaiters etc but this one all my gear arrived and worked well ūüôā

I enjoyed this one as it was more of a walk than climb, as it allowed me to just focus on where I was going rather than many things at once.

I will need to get some new hiking boots, but for now these ones will be fine.

Chat to me on here via the comments below, or on my Twitter or Instagram and let me know if you have been here. I want to hear from you so lets have a wee chat ūüôā

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