In just over a week, I’ll be taking on the challenging Yorkshire Three Peaks. I have done it before, but last time, misty weather obscured the views. So, I’m gearing up for another attempt, hoping for clearer skies this time.

With warmer weather on the horizon, now is the perfect time to venture into the world of hiking for beginners. It offers a wonderful opportunity to embrace the outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

If you’re new to it and unsure where to begin, don’t worry—I’m here to guide you! So gather your friends or family and hit the trails; you won’t regret it. Here are some of my top tips to help you get started and make the most of your hiking experience.

Start slow:

Don’t feel pressured to tackle long or difficult trails right away. Start with short, easy hikes to build your confidence and endurance. Look for trails labelled as “beginner-friendly” or “easy” to start with. Check out All Trails for routes near you. Pick trails that match your fitness level and interests. Flat trails with minimal elevation gain are great for beginners. Consider factors like distance, terrain, and elevation gain when choosing a hike.

Dress appropriately:

Wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Dress in layers that can be easily added or removed as needed. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and SPF! Proper footwear is essential for a comfortable hiking experience. Believe me, I’ve seen people in Vans and even crocs. Invest in a pair of sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction and ankle support. A trail running shoe is great too. Just make sure they are broken in before hitting the trails.

Stay hydrated and pack smart:

Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your hike, especially on warm days. Pack energy-boosting snacks like trail mix, nuts, fruit, or energy bars to keep you fuelled. Or, if you’re like me – Percy Pigs (the piglets are better as they’re smaller and easier to chew on the go)! Carry a small backpack with essentials like a map, compass or GPS device, first-aid kit, whistle, head torch and a fully charged phone. It’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared.

Leave No Trace:

Respect nature and leave no trace of your presence. Stay on marked trails, avoid disturbing wildlife and take all your rubbish home with you! Follow the principles of Leave No Trace to minimise your environmental impact.

Get friendly:

Consider hiking with a friend or joining a beginners hiking group for added safety and enjoyment. Having someone to share the experience with can make the hike more enjoyable and provide support if needed.

Listen to your body:

Pay attention to how your body feels during the hike. Take breaks as needed, (a great excuse to admire the view) listen to your limits, and don’t push yourself too hard. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the beauty of nature! Take time to appreciate the scenery, wildlife, and fresh air. Hiking is not just about reaching the destination but also about the journey itself.