7 Hiking Tips for Beginners

7 Hiking Tips for Beginners

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Whether you are a born and bred Capetonian or you are new to the Mother City, being prepared when tackling hiking trails in Cape Town is important.

Here are a few hiking tips for beginners, cherry-picked from the knowledge of everyday, intrepid Capetonian women:

1. Safety first

Whether you are following guide or a hiking trail in Cape Town, remembering to stay safe should always be your top priority. While sunburn, dehydration, and minor injuries are always something to keep in mind when you go on a hike, going alone is not recommended on any of hiking trails in Cape Town. The

2. Your choice in hiking boots make all the difference

Hiking boots should give you the right amount of ankle and arch support. For a day hike hiking shoes or hiking boots will suit your needs. Hiking shoes have a more flexible midsole than hiking boots and rise lower on the ankle.

3. What is the weather doing?

The rule of thumb in hiking for beginners is to make sure that you are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you! Wind and rain affect your safety and visibility so try to choose a clear day.

4. Choosing your hiking trail in Cape Town

Day hikers are spoilt for choice in Cape Town. Routes like Lion’s Head make for great hiking for beginners. Grab a hiking map book and select your trail on the following criteria: how strenuous of a hike you want, how long you want to hike for, what type of scenery you are partial to, and whether or not pets are allowed.

5. Swap your handbag for a backpack

One of the most noteworthy hiking tips for beginners is the addition of a backpack. There are so many little extras that will make your hike just that bit easier. Add these to your backpack for a smooth hike: sunblock, wet-wipes or hand sanitizer, trail mix or snacks, spare socks, a jersey or windbreaker, small first-aid kit, and bottled water.

6. It is all about the H2O

A guide to hiking for beginners is incomplete without stressing the importance of carrying water with you. While you might be a little uncomfortable having a slightly heavier pack in the beginning, you will appreciate the way your pack lightens as you reach the top of your trail. Carry a litre and a half of water at least for a hike of 1-2 hours.

7. Selecting your snacks

Avoid very salty snacks like crisps – these will dehydrate you. Satiate your savoury craving with biltong instead. For the sweet tooth, choose fruit or trail mix. Energy drinks are great too – just remember to pace yourself.