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Hiking is a wonderful idea for anyone looking to improve their health—or their mood. That’s because hiking gives you the mood-boosting benefits of both a good workout and time spent in nature.
The number one piece of advice you’ll get from expert hikers is to start small. You have all the time in the world to scale mountains and go for 20-mile hikes. For your first few outings, use a guidebook (or website) to find a hike that is intended for beginners.
What to Pack for Hiking
One of the best things about hiking is there’s not a whole lot that you need to get started.
Let’s start with shoes. You may think you need a sturdy pair of hiking boots, but you probably don’t need them yet. A good pair of sneakers is all you really need to get started.
What you will need, though, is clothing that’s suited for hiking. Jeans can get heavy with perspiration or can chafe. Shorts and tank tops can increase your exposure to bugs, brush and sun.
Instead, opt for active wear designed to wick moisture. Long pants can protect you from the elements, and it’s a good idea to have a long-sleeved shirt that you can roll the sleeves up on as needed.
Besides that, you’ll want a backpack, plenty of water and a few snacks.
There are, obviously, all kinds of things you could buy. But, for a beginning hiker, it makes sense to start out with a minimal investment—and take it from there.
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