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What to Wear Hiking + 8 Easy Walking Trails For Beginners

Are you planning on traveling to ‘hard to reach’ places or an outdoor trekking adventure on foot? As a newbie to this, where do you start? What gear do you need? What are some easy trails to get you primed? Here’s a list of eight easy walks and hiking gear essentials including what to wear.

Who’s This For?

Anyone intending to venture outdoors hiking to capture amazing landscape views or just for the heck of it — an “escape”. This might mean you are going on…

  • Guided or self-guided ventures
  • Multiple day hikes
  • Day hiking or night hiking or both
  • Otherwise: trekking trips, hiking expeditions, trekking trails, or tramping (other names for hiking) to new (or old) places

Why is This Important?

Walking is the easiest and healthiest way to explore the world and capture outstanding views. But there’s more…The incidental benefits include:

  • Improved mood and nourishment from the sunshine (Vitamin D), fresh air, and breathing in phytoncides (wood essential oils).
  • Exercise. Walking provides a well-paced exercise. Walking is great for getting oxygen to the brain. Science tells us that walking produces retrograde wave-like pressure pulses from foot impacts that dynamically improve blood circulation¹ – a type of hydraulic effect that benefits our brain.
  • Anti-aging. Benefits of walking include firming up glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, shins, and foot muscles. Improving fitness levels.
  • Space to reflect, and allow intuitive and creative thought. Escape from internal worries. Find inner peace and well-being.
  • New friends and new perspectives. Belonging to a group of enthusiasts with common interests.
  • Finding out about new cultures and stimulating places
  • Seeing things that are impossible to see from a vehicle
  • Making a difference through charity walks, e.g. Fred Hollows Foundation raising funds through Coastrek for restoring sight to millions of needlessly blind people

So it’s important to be prepared for it to get the most out of it.

How to Prepare for a Trekking Holiday

The movie ‘Wild‘ is about one woman’s reason to embark upon a great walk. Her experiences, her struggles, and her self-realization through this very experience are captured by this movie. It’s worth viewing if you’re considering walking and camping along trails.

There are heaps of magnificent places for a day hike, hiking holidays, or other treks, which are rated as tough because of high altitude or steep slopes.

For such long distance walks, you might want to start with something easy so you can last the duration. This would mean nothing too strenuous or too harsh, and mostly gentle grading.

Here are some hiking tips to prepare yourself for trekking trips. Try to focus on improving your walking durability leading up to your adventure.

You can start by gradually getting into a routine of walking 3 miles a day and increasing that to walking 5 miles a day, and so on.

But, it’s a good idea to go walk, especially a brisk walk to build up endurance and to wear those walking boots in so that you don’t experience blisters on your long distance walks when trekking overseas or on walking holidays at home.

What to Wear Hiking?

You will need hiking clothing to suit the weather and conditions of where you intend going. In very wet conditions, you may need rain pants as well as a rain jacket. Hiking shoes with a good pair of merino wool hiking socks are recommended. Get yourself a set of hiking pants that allow ventilation if expecting warm weather. For cold weather, consider a thermal base layer. Make sure to include sun protection. This can include a long sleeve shirt with a high sun protection factor, a hat, and sunscreen lotion.

Hiking Gear

The following table has some hiking gear essentials…

RecommendedHiking Gear
 

HELINOX TL SERIES WALKING POLES

  • Lightest folding poles (from 152 g)
  • Advanced TH72M alloy for strength
  • Available in 3 fixed length sizes or one variable size

In Australia? Get these direct from helinox.com.au

Walking Poles

SCARPA TERRA WATERPROOF LEATHER HIKING BOOTS

  • Complete waterproof protection
  • Italian handmade
  • oiled full grain leather
  • breathable Gore-tex (performance comfort footwear) lining
  • Sole is Vibram Vibram Energy
  • Weigh 1210 g a pair

In Australia? Check the Scarpa Unisex Boots at Wild Earth

Hiking Boots

 

TRAILSHOT POCKET-SIZED WATER FILTER

  • Smart solution to clean water on the go
  • TrailShot Microfilter
  • Designed for side pockets for quick access
  • Lets you drink from natural sources along the trail
  • 1 L in 60 secs
  • Weighs just 142 g

In Australia?  Check these out at Wild Earth

Clean Water on the Go

 AQUATIC WAY HYDRATION BLADDER 

  • Non-toxic BPA-FREE and FDA APPROVED
  • 2 L to 3L
  • Large opening for easy cleaning
  • Shutoff valve
  • Insulated tubing
  • Soft mouthpiece
  • An empty wine cask bladder is another option.

Also: Sea to Summit Water Bladder (Wild Earth Australia)

Bulk Water Carriage

OSPREY ANTI-GRAVITY BACKPACKS

  • AntiGravity system
  • best in load carrying comfort and stability

In Australia? Check out Osprey Backpacks at Wild Earth

Backpacks

AIRCONTACT PRO HIGH PERFORMANCE LOAD TRANSFER BY DEUTER

  • Easy to operate adjustments
  • Durable hooks and clips
  • Padded waist strap offers comfort
  • Compartment for water bladder

In Australia? Check out Dueter at Wild Earth

LED LENSER SEO 7R HEAD TORCH

  • Rechargeable head lamp with red LED – 220 lumens
  • Batteries: 1 x Lithium ion pack
    Note: Can be used with 3x AAA batteries
  • Burning life: 5 hours | 20 hours
  • Beam range: 130 m | 40 m
  • Waterproof level: IPX4

In Australia? Check out the 300 lumen version at Wild Earth

Head Torch

 

JETBOIL ZIP COOKER (Amazon)

  • Weight: total 345 g
  • Volume: 0.8 Liter
  • Boil Time: 1/2 Liter = 2 mins to 2 mins 30
  • Water Boiled: 12 Liters per 100g Jetpower canister, or 60mins burn time
  • Dimensions: 104 mm x 165 mm

In Australia? Check these out at Wild Earth Australia

Stove

BIOLITE CAMP STOVE

  • Battery: 2600 mAh
  • Inputs/Outputs: Micro USB charge in; USB charge out
  • Boil Time: 4.5 minutes for 1L
  • Fuel: Renewable biomass (sticks, twigs or pellets)
  • Weight: 2.06 lbs (935g)
  • Dimensions: Packed: 5.0″ x 7.91″ (127mm x 201mm)
  • FlexLight: 100 Lumens, tap on/off, Powered via USB

In Australia? Check out the Camp Stove 2 at Wild Earth Australia

 
 Tip: Consider weight when purchasing and packing. More weight will slow you down.

List of 8 Easy Walks

The following is a list of eight easy hiking places to start your adventures with great walks.

These range from England walking tours to tramping in New Zealand to hiking in Canada. There’s even a trek with wild animals in Africa and a coastal hike through fishing villages of Italy.

The Frazer Island Great Walk, Australia

New to Hiking, Easy Walks

  • Features: rainforest, crystal-clear lakes, colored sands, and vast sand dunes
  • 6–8 days
  • up to 90 km
  • camping areas

Hadrian’s Wall Path in the UK – a Walkopedia favorite walk

Great Walks Hadrians Wall

  • Features: villages, Roman temples, ‘Robin Hood Tree’, and more
  • 5-day to 11-day hiking tours
  • 44 – 137 km
  • B&B’s and Inns

Wilderness Trails, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Great Walks Africa

  • features: walking safari style, the raw wilderness of Kruger National Park
  • trails depend on check availability
  • 3 – 4 days guided
  • ~42 km
  • camp/hut accommodation

Abel Tasman Coast Track, New Zealand

New to Hiking

  • features: golden sand beaches, Cleopatra’s Pool, a beautiful inlet to Falls River, and a 47 m suspension bridge + fur seals/kekeno
  • 3 – 5 days
  • 60 km
  • 4 huts and 19 campsites

Hollyford Track, New Zealand

  • Features: diverse landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife, captivating stories of the original Māori and early pioneers
  • 3 day guided
  • 44 km
  • lodge accommodation

Great Walks along Malta and Gozo coasts

Great Walks

  • Features: historical, cultural, landscape and environmental of these islands in the Mediterranean Sea
  • 2 – 35 miles of easy walking – self-guided
  • 1 – 8 days
  • hotels, guest houses

Yoho National Park, Canada

Great Walks Yoho

  • features: Burgess Shale fossil beds – Trilobites, the stilt-walking Hallucigenia, lakes, falls, rock formations
  • 1 – 2 days
  • 55 km
  • rooms at Tea House, private camping, guest houses, luxury lodges

Cinque Terri, Italy

New to Hiking

  • features: centuries-old seaside villages, vineyards, sanctuaries, sweeping sea vistas
  • 1 to several days, with the stretch from Manarola to Corniglia (2 km) the easiest to hike
  • path network is up to 120 km with varying degree of ease
  • village accommodation

 

More Great Walks

1001 walks you must do before you dieby Julia Bradbury and Barry Stone generously illustrates and features 1,001 scenic walks throughout the world in both natural and urban settings. This huge reference provides selections that allow you to go at your own pace, savor local sights. There is an increasing number of trails converted from former canal towpaths and railway lines, like New York’s High Line, into mixed-use walkways. It covers numerous routes from coastal to historic trails to those of natural charm, including California’s John Muir Trail, the Miami Beach Art Deco walk, Hadrian’s Wall and Offa’s Dyke paths in England, the Italian lakes. The range of walks varies from easy jaunts to more rugged hikes. Each entry provides essential details, including start and finish points, overall distance, difficulty rating, maps, and likely duration. Read the reviews[/one_second][one_second]

The Website Live Once Live Wild provides Complete Guides on the National Parks of Northern America with a list of trails and natural sights to see. It offers information on “off the beaten path backpacking trips, to hidden waterfalls that no one knows about, part of the wonder of exploring our national parks is finding places and treasures that are uniquely your own.” See more here.

What’s your favorite walk, be it big or small?

Let me know in the comments below.

Related:

References

  1. Experimental Biology 2017. “How walking benefits the brain: Researchers show that foot’s impact helps control, increase the amount of blood sent to the brain.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424141340.htm

Other sources

Dwyer T, Pezic A, Sun C, Cochrane J, Venn A, Srikanth V, et al. (2015) Objectively Measured Daily Steps and Subsequent Long Term All-Cause Mortality: The Tasped Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0141274. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141274

Amy A. Hakim, et. al. “Effects of Walking on Mortality among Nonsmoking Retired Men.” New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 338:94-99, January 8, 1998, Number 2.

Tang R, Wang JY, Lo SK, Hsieh LL. “Physical activity, water intake and risk of colorectal cancer in Taiwan: a hospital-based case-control study. International Journal of Cancer. 1999 Aug 12;82(4):484-9.

Rozenn N. Lemaitre; David S. Siscovick; Trivellore E. Raghunathan; Sheila Weinmann; Patrick Arbogast; Dan-Yu Lin. “Leisure-Time Physical Activity and the Risk of Primary Cardiac Arrest.” Archives of Internal Medicine, 1999; 159:686-690

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3 thoughts on “What to Wear Hiking + 8 Easy Walking Trails For Beginners”

  1. Thanks for sharing this helpful information. I’m sure most people can take notes from this article. One thing most people lack experience while hiking. My husband and I have been thinking of going on a hiking trip soon. Well, this post gives us some good ideas for hiking.

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