The most common beginner mistakes in hiking
Hiking is one of the best activities to do when you’re traveling and if you choose your destination well, you’ll be able to hike a lot. I was recently in Kyrgyzstan and the main thing to do there is hiking. But since I’m not an avid hiker, I made a few beginner mistakes. Here’s what I did wrong (and what most beginner hikers do wrong, too).
Drink and eat too little
I thought the best thing to do before a hike was to not stuff my face with too much. I was scared of getting sick or feeling too full so I couldn’t properly hike. But this was probably one of the biggest mistakes I made, because if you don’t get enough energy, you’ll be way too exhausted to even finish the hike. It’s equally as important to eat a lot after a hike, even if you feel too tired for it. It’s also extremely important to get enough water in your body, so try to monitor what you’re eating and drinking.
Not considering the weather
The weather, in the mountains especially, changes rapidly. It might be sunshine and rainbows when you start your hiking, but when you get further up, it might start raining cats and dogs. So make sure to pack warmer clothes with you, rain jackets, rain cover for your bag and bring a pair of extra clothes that you can change out of when your other clothes are soaked. It’s always better to bring a few extra pieces of clothing, especially if you know that it will get cold at night.
Not bringing proper hiking gear
If you’re one of those people who hike in sneakers – please, invest in a good pair of hiking shoes that are waterproof and good for your ankles! Hiking in sneakers is not a good idea, especially if it rains or you have to go through wet terrain. A good pair of hiking shoes is probably the most important investment when you’re going hiking, but so many underestimate this and bring their sneakers thinking everything’ll be alright. Don’t be one of those people.
Not hiking your own hike
No one wants to be the slowest person in the group, but it’s important to know your limits. Perhaps the people in your group are very experienced hikers and can therefore hike in a much faster pace than you. Don’t let others influence you negatively though. Do your own hike, set your own pace and know your body’s limits. I recently did a day hike with three guys who were totally okay with high altitude so they could hike way faster than I could. But as a petite woman who does get affected by high altitude, I was really struggling to keep up with them. I tried to, but I simply couldn’t. In the end, I was just exhausted when we came to our goal and couldn’t even enjoy the view. Was it worth it? Probably not. Next time, I will just do it in my own pace. And besides – who said hiking is a competition anyway?