5 Tips for Your Walk in the Woods
Advice for beginning hikers from a local expertBy Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Ready for your first hike? It can be a little intimidating. For starters, what actually goes in that day pack? Here’s a quick primer for first-timers from the experts at North Carolina-based Great Outdoor Provision Co.
1Footwear: Hiking boots or shoes are preferred. A true hike is on natural surface trail, trail that is sometimes rocky, sometimes rooty, usually both. For hikes over three miles you’ll be glad you have a sturdy sole to help absorb the shock of the trail.
2Clothing: For the most part, we encourage synthetic clothing that dries quickly, especially in cooler weather. You start moving, you sweat; you stop moving and unless that fabric pressing against your skin is quick-drying and pulls the moisture away from your body, you will cool down quickly. Not a bad thing in the dead of summer, but potentially dangerous otherwise.
3Water: This is a biggie: No matter how long the hike, bring water. Dehydration is your enemy on the trail, and it can happen on even short hikes. If you don’t have a daypack or fanny pack and it’s a short hike, you can carry your water bottle. If you don’t own a water bottle, pick up a bottle of water at the store. Don’t forget water!
4Snacks: Again, even on a short hike it’s good to have a snack or two. An energy bar (try this easy DIY recipe!), a pack of cookies — whatever works for you. It’s a bummer to get midway through a hike and suddenly have your fuel gauge plummet to E. And if hiking is new to you, you likely don’t know how you might feel a mile down the trail.
5Camera: You’ve got a smartphone? You’ve got a camera. Bring it. Switch to Airplane Mode at the trailhead, then shoot freely — you have social media obligations, don’t you? (And if you need a charge on the trail, try one of these out!)
There are additional “musts” by season: bug spray in the summer, warm layers in the winter. But this list is a good starting point for the typical, not-so-long day hike (2–4 miles). Once you've got your pack set, you can hit the trail with confidence in your stride. Find more gear tips online at greatoutdoorprovision.com.
North Carolina's Parks and Forests
Now that you're trail ready, find the top spots in North Carolina to take a hike! Learn the difference between a forest and a park, and discover which are best for your favorite type of recreation.
About the AuthorFounded in 1972, Great Outdoor Provision Co. is a specialty outdoor retailer based in North Carolina. Find more about their nine store locations at greatoutdoorprovision.com.
Trail Adventures in NC