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4 Tips to Conquer Your First Mountain Hike

According to the National Park Service, mountain hiking can help strengthen your muscles and improve your heart and respiratory health. To reap these benefits, you need to go hiking the right way. Hiking a mountain for the first time may seem intimidating, but with the right skills, you’ll enjoy yourself. Discover four tips to help you scale your first mountain hike.

4 Tips to Conquer Your First Mountain Hike

Tip #1: Start with a Beginner-Friendly Trail

Picking a beginner-friendly trail will help you gradually dip your toes into mountain hiking without getting overwhelmed. Some providers like Ouray Mountain Adventures offer you a chance to pick your trail depending on your interests and fitness level. Choosing trails that are too long or have high elevations can exhaust, frustrate, and ultimately discourage you. Instead, select trails with clear markings and moderate elevation gains. Conquering an entry-level trail will boost your confidence to tackle more challenging hikes.

Tip #2: Pack Light but Smart

A light pack will enable you to maneuver trails easily without getting fatigued. When you overpack, you could strain your joints and compromise your balance. Consequently, you won’t enjoy your experience because your focus will be on the weight rather than the breathtaking scenery. Focus on packing items crucial for your safety, sustenance, and well-being. Pack multifunctional gear, weather-appropriate clothing, and high-nutrition snacks and drinks.

Family Hiking In Mountains.

Tip #3: Always Check the Weather Before Starting Your Hike

Checking the weather will help you pick the proper clothing and carry the right amount of water and snacks. Mountain terrain often experiences rapid weather changes that may catch you off guard. Sudden weather changes can expose you to hypothermia, heat waves, and storms. Attention to temperature and altitude-specific forecasts allows you to carry the right gear and helps you plan for trail routes.

mountain hike

Tip #4: Leave no Trace

No trace principles mean leaving the mountain as pristine as you found it for other hikers to enjoy. Beginners unintentionally violate no-trace principles by venturing onto undesignated rails, leaving trash behind, and disturbing wildlife. If you want to pick up mountain hiking as a long-term hobby, you need to learn to leave no trace behind. You can start by reading the leave-no-trace principles the U.S. National Park Service elaborated. You play a role in sustainable mountain adventures by following these principles.

Take Away

Hiking a mountain trail is simple, but having the right skills will determine if you continue. If you bite more than you can chew, you’ll become frustrated and discouraged to try. From this article, you have learned:

  • To start small and build your way up
  • To pack lightly when hiking
  • Always be prepared by gathering information before the hike
  • To respect the environment and preserve it for other hikers

Choose the right partner when planning a hike with a car or bike. Ouray Mountain Adventures offers breathtaking undulating terrains, with SUVs and bike rentals as the icing on the cake. Visit Ouray Mountain Adventures for booking.

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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