Tips for Taking Friends Hiking for the First Time

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Want to introduce your friends to the outdoors? Check out our helpful tips for taking your friends hiking for the first time. From planning the hike, to packing your backpack, these tips will make for a successful first time on the trail.

TIPS FOR TAKING FRIENDS HIKING FOR THE FIRST TIME

If you are an outdoor lover and experienced hiker, you may not remember how you felt before your first hike. However, many beginners may feel a mix of fear, excitement, nerves and overwhelm at the prospect of taking a long walk in the woods. Lucky for them, they have your wisdom and expertise to draw from, so taking friends hiking for the first time will not only be an adventure but a learning experience to boot! Plus it’s a fun and healthy way to catch up away from other distractions.

To help you help your friends get started with hiking, here are five things to do before taking friends hiking for the first time

Prep for Your Hike Together

It’s probably safe to assume that your first-time hiker friends are generally unfamiliar with how to select and map out routes, so, this is a great opportunity to include them in the process. Not only will they gain a better understanding of the terrain and surrounding area but it will also give them the chance to learn basic trail navigation. Make sure they also have a copy of the map and can locate which trail you’ll be hiking. This will help them feel confident, empowered and prepared when they finally get out there.

Want to introduce your friends to the outdoors? Check out our helpful tips for taking your friends hiking for the first time. From planning the hike, to packing your backpack, these tips will make for a successful first time on the trail.

Choose a Beginner Appropriate Trail

It’s not wise to take your friends hiking for the first time on a challenging trail that’s over their head. Sure, the vista is unbeatable and the hike is totally worth it to you, but taking them on a route that’s too strenuous risks turning them off from hiking altogether. Pick a well-maintained trail (loops are ideal for the change in scenery) that is clearly marked and manageable for your friend. In general, and especially when hiking with beginners, you should always to consider the following when choosing your route:

  • Distance
  • Time
  • Weather Conditions
  • Elevation
  • Fitness Ability
  • Logistics

Back to the Basics: Hiking 101 Tips for Beginners

Make sure they have the right clothing

As the experienced hiker, you know a lot more than they do about proper hiking garb. Check in with them before you head out and make sure they are properly dressed. Even if you’re just going on a light hike share a few pro-tips with them, like the benefits of wearing layers, choosing quick-dry fabrics such as wool or polyester and, of course, sturdy, comfortable shoes that have already been broken in. You can also share our blog post “What to Wear Hiking” with your first-time hiker friends who are ready to dive in.

What to wear hiking

 

Help Them Load Up Their Packs

Making sure they are geared up just right will help you and your friend have a successful first hike together. Take some time to share a checklist of basic hiking essentials with them and where they can purchase it if need be before you get outside. Remember, the more empowered your friend is the better. Even if it seems obvious to you, there’s a good chance they may have never even considered such things before. So don’t go light on the insider information. Make sure they have plenty of snacks and water. We recommend a hydration bladder as it will make it easier for first-time hikers to wet their palate when they get out of breath. Also don’t forget sunscreen, a basic first aid kit, and a watch (or a way to tell time).

Want to introduce your friends to the outdoors? Check out our helpful tips for taking your friends hiking for the first time. From planning the hike, to packing your backpack, these tips will make for a successful first time on the trail.

Plan Your Post-Hike Celebration

Just like aprés ski, we all know that grabbing a cold one or a meal after your hike is a great way to celebrate the day. Here is where you trade stories from the trail, share some barstool wisdom, recount the day and just enjoy the time spent together. Find a nearby dive bar or your favorite brewery and make some more memories. If all goes well, you’ll already be planning the next one.

Celebration beers after a great day on the trail

What are your favorite tips for taking friends hiking for the first-time? Share below in the comments!

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About the author

Hi! I'm Kristen....blogger, hiker, sunset-watcher, and dance floor shredder. I feel most alive in the outdoors and created this website to help you enjoy the best that the West has to offer.

1 Comment on “Tips for Taking Friends Hiking for the First Time

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  1. I love exploring the pipe track and its the perfect place to hike if you are a beginner or you just need some lovely nature time. You can start the hike at the foot of Table Mountain and walk right to the end by corridor ravine for great exercise and epic views!

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