If you're completely new to hiking, you could be asking yourself some questions. for example, ‘how do I know if I'll like it?' ‘Is hiking a pastime I want to get into?' It makes sense for this to be the first thing you consider. Like any hobby or sport, it’s always best to give yourself a trial period at it to see if you’ll actually take to it and want to continue with it on an ongoing basis.
Everyone has had the experience of starting some kind of new sport or activity with gusto and excitement only to see the initial enthusiasm dissipate and wane.
A classic example of this is the Gym membership. How many gyms make consistent money from folks who never actually use or even visit their gym? If you're nodding your head in knowing acknowledgement 🙂 trust me I know, I have been guilty of that one in the past myself, and isn’t it strange how the months drift by and yet you still don’t cancel the membership!? Like there’s a sub-conscious fear that if you cancel you can never join up ever again!
This type of thing is very common and ultimately not necessary. Like anything some sports or activities you will try and you will love for life while others will come and go at different times of your life e.g. as you grow older or your tastes change etc.
Hiking is no different. For me, hopping about mountains in the elements is a pastime I truly love and enjoy but for other’s this may be as pleasurable as getting teeth pulled!
Going deeper into the initial question of whether you will like hiking in the great outdoors as a pastime, you need to ask yourself…
Do I like, or at least think I would like, walking about outside in nature and the elements?
If your answer to this question is yes, you’re off to a good start as far as hiking goes. Next, when you have an initial inkling that you might enjoy hiking, ideally you want to get a feel for it first before committing to it as a regular activity.
Why is it good to get a feel for it first?
The main reason is that good hiking gear can be a relatively significant investment, depending on how far you want to go into hiking of course. While not quite as wasteful as an unused gym membership, for example a hiking rain jacket can be used for normal day-to-day purposes, you may not want to be purchasing some of the more hiking specific kit at the start when you aren’t sure if you will commit to it on an ongoing basis.
The Good News
This is easily solved by introducing yourself slowly to hiking and building on it bit by bit to see if you’ll take to it. If you've never ever hiked before but think you might enjoy it, just start out walking in your local parks and see if you like that.
After doing that a few times till you’re comfortable, push the boat out a bit more and maybe head off to the countryside to a well-established but relatively easy trail.
From there, if you’re still feeling the love, you can move on to bigger well established trails on hills and mountains, eventually extending your shorter hiking excursions out to day hikes.
The beauty of all this is that you can go through all the above with most of your normal clothes and a good rain jacket, hiking pants and hiking boots. These items are things that you can use for multiple activities so even if you invest in them just to try hiking out and find you don’t take to it, they are still useful pieces of kit to have for your normal day-to-day activities. That is, rain gear will always come in handy somewhere along the line.
As well as that, aside from getting to good places to go hiking, hiking is completely free. No monthly hiking membership required! So you don't need to fret about paying for something you're not using.
Hiking is a great activity that has many benefits and if you’re looking to take up a new sport or activity, it could be a good one for you to try.
Keep in mind that no-one wants to pay for an unused gym membership so transferring that to hiking, there’s no need to buy the top of the range gear in a fit of newbie enthusiasm! Remember that you can test the water first and if you’re sensible about it, you can get started with stuff that, even if you don’t stick with hiking as an ongoing activity, is still useful on an ongoing basis.
Then, if you do stick with it and find you like it, you can expand your hiking gear list slowly over time as you need to based on the adventures you plan to undertake.
Personally, I think you’ll love hiking if you give it a go so no stalling and get yourself out there! I might be biased though 😉 If you're completely new top hiking but want to get started, I recommend checking out the free beginners guide. That covers just about everything you need to think about to get you started on the trail.
I hope you found this useful … Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂