A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking

A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking Whether it is the fresh mountain air or the majestic beauty of nature, hiking is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors while keeping fit and staying active.

Whether it is the fresh mountain air or the majestic beauty of nature, hiking is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors while keeping fit and staying active.

But it is pertinent to prepare well for a hike in order to have a pleasant and safe hiking experience, especially if you are new to hiking.

That is why we have put together a Beginner’s Hiking Checklist to include all the basics you will need as a first-time hiker. Read on below and be sure to understand why it is important to have the basics covered before taking on your first hiking adventure.

1. A Waterproof Jacket

Regardless of the season in which you are going hiking, always pack a warm and waterproof jacket. The weather can be fickle and it is best to be protected against unexpected wind and rain during your hike. Alternatively, you can take a waterproof and breathable poncho along with a compact pack size.

Our Recommendations: First Ascent Rucksack Poncho or Capestorm Men's Stratus Rain Jacket


2. Water

Always take enough water along. Sometimes the route can be longer than expected or water sources are more scarce than usual and you do not want to be caught off guard without enough water to stay hydrated. Pack at least 2 liters of water, depending on the length of your route, in a water bottle or water bladder.

Our Recommendations: First Ascent Tritan Hiking Bottle 1.1L Waterbottle or First Ascent Hydration Bladder 2L.

3. Comfortable Clothing

Avoid wearing cotton when adventuring in the outdoors as it is prone to make you sweat and can cause chafing. Choose comfortable options like hiking pants that zip off into shorts and active shirts that are sweat-wicking.

Our Recommendations: First Ascent Men’s Nueva Long Sleeve Shirt and First Ascent Women’s Luxor Long Sleeve Shirt.

4. Hiking Boots

Hiking boots that fit well, are key to a comfortable hiking experience. Each hiker has different needs and preferences when it comes to their hiking boots. That is why it is important to choose the correct brand, type and size for your feet. As a beginner, we would recommend a boot with extra strength for your ankles as well as the durability to carry extra weight.

Our Recommendations: Merrell Women's Erie Mid WP Boot W and Merrell Men's Erie Mid WP Boot.


5. Sun Protection

Avoid getting sunburnt by wearing sunscreen (and re-applying every 2-4 hours), a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck, as well as sunglasses.

6. Food and Snacks

Remember to keep your energy levels up with nutrient-dense and high-energy food and snacks. Go for easy-to-prep meals like wraps or sandwiches with tuna or smoked chicken, and snacks like jelly sweets and dried fruit. Avoid prepping meals with too many components to avoid carrying too much weight, and snacks like chocolate that can melt in the heat.

7. First-Aid Kit

Always bring a basic first-aid kit for any injuries that may occur on the hike.

Our Recommendation: 360 Degrees Hike and Climb First Aid Kit

8. Lights and Tech

You never know if you might get stuck in the dark. Pack a torch or headlamp to illuminate your route and a charged phone, plus a powerbank, in case of an emergency.

9. Map

Know your route by familiarising yourself with it beforehand and keep a physical or digital map on your phone map while hiking to ensure you keep to the designated path.

10. Emergency Contacts

Always inform your loved ones and friends when and where you are going hiking as well as when they can expect you to return.

Ready To Take Your First Step?

The journey is as important as the destination when it comes to hiking. Prepping well will give you the confidence and peace of mind that you will be safe and comfortable on your hike.

Visit any of our Outdoor Warehouse branches where our experienced staff can help you choose the right gear for your adventure.