Quick Tips for Your First Hike

Hiking is a great way to get out in nature while also getting in some movement. Because it is not an activity that is inherently supervised (like a group exercise class, for example), it is especially important to take certain precautions. For a successful and safe hike, preparation is key. But don’t let that deter you! There are many physical and mental benefits to hiking. Before your first hike, consider the tips below!

  • Choose a hike that matches your physical activity and comfort level. Take into consideration the length/duration, elevation, and terrain. Research local hikes online to check out their length, elevation, and terrain. See what others in the community have said about it – is it good for beginners or fairly challenging? Are there slippery spots or dangerous climbing areas to be aware of? Are the trail markers clear and is the walking path well-maintained?
  • Bring enough food and water. Even “quick” hikes can last a few hours! Staying fueled and hydrated is crucial. It is also important to make sure you ate a good meal and have been drinking water prior to your hike.
  • Check the weather and dress appropriately. Wearing layers is typically a good idea as the weather forecast can be wrong and/or the temperature can fluctuate. You’ll warm up as you continue your hike, but it may also be cooler if you’re under the shade of trees and/or go up in elevation. Be sure to also wear proper footwear – expensive hiking boots may not be necessary depending on the terrain, but make sure you at least have properly fitting sneakers with a good tread.
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen. If it’s particularly sunny, sunglasses and a hat are also good ideas.
  • Bring a First Aid kid and familiarize yourself with the basics. Unlike a gym or group exercise class, there will not be any supervision from a professional certified in First Aid. In case something happens, you want to be prepared with what to do and the supplies you have. Bonus points for becoming certified! The American Red Cross is a great resource that offers First Aid Certification.
  • Bring a friend! Not only is hiking a nice experience to share with a friend, but they can help navigate the trail and assist in case something happens (e.g., an injury).
  • Tell a friend. Whether or not you are going on the hike alone, it’s important to let someone who is not coming along where you’ll be and what time they should worry in case they don’t hear from you.
  • Once you’re on the hike, be sure to pace yourself – it’s a marathon hike, not a sprint!



American Red Cross. (n.d.). First Aid Certification. Red Cross. https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/first-aid-training/first-aid-certification


We want you to be well and to live your best life. The content in this blog is provided for the purposes to educate and entertain you: our very important reader. It is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice from a trained healthcare professional.

If you have a medical condition or are under the care of a medical provider, please always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new health care regimen. To that point, never disregard medical advice or delay treatment for a medical condition because of something you read on this site.

Listen to your care providers as they know you and your condition best. Thank you for reading!

The Team at BSDI

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