Now is good time to offer Intro to Hiking 101

So how do you get started? What’s preventing you from getting outside and taking that first hike: Time, money, gear, skills? Even if you’re a complete outdoor newbie, or someone who has trekked for a while, perhaps this will help.

One of the first issues to tackle is where to go. Start with easy trails. A mile or two at first; maybe just some walks around town, graduating to woodsy trails when you feel your conditioning has developed enough to tackle uneven terrain.

Regardless of the town you call home, there are local trails for the beginner as well as the experienced. Call your chamber of commerce, state forest office, or yellow pages outfitter. The information is free.

Get your body in decent shape by walking and doing some gentle stretching. Regularly being out on a easy trail will also help you get into shape. Don’t push yourself at first. You can do the tough stuff later when you are in good shape.

You may feel like you’re not in good enough shape to go hiking, especially if you decide to go with friends who’ve been doing it for a while. You may be right, but you don’t have to be capable of running a marathon or be a serious athlete.

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