12 Pro Tips for Starting Mountain Hiking

Pro Tips for Starting Mountain Hiking

Are you daydreaming about embarking on a mountain hiking adventure, reveling in the breathtaking landscapes and invigorating fresh air? Despite these aspirations, you may find yourself grappling with doubts about your capabilities and feeling uncertain about how to prepare for such an endeavor.

Fret not! Here, we compile a list of 12 tips to help you kickstart your mountain hiking journey with confidence, ensuring a worry-free and enjoyable experience.

Before Starting a Mountain Hike:

Before starting your mountain hiking adventure, take the time to adequately prepare and plan for a safe and enjoyable experience. Consider the following steps to ensure you’re ready for the challenges ahead:

1. A physical training

Walking, you’ve been doing it since you were little, right? Except that to start hiking, you have to train! Yes, first of all, you must get used to walking for a long time AND regularly. This means that you will have to plan for a long ride. Do it first on flat ground, then on slightly more hilly ground, cool like that on the weekends, for about a month.

2. Have the right bag

Yes, it is also your ally so that your hike goes well. It must necessarily be adapted to your size and your morphology. Look at our tips for choosing the right hiking backpack. Put in your pack what is necessary and avoid the superfluous! And above all, weigh your bag well before you start.

When we say useful things in the bag, we think:

  • Food suitable for prolonged effort
  • What protects against rain and sun (jacket, glasses, hat, and sunscreen).
  • A mobile phone can help you even if it does not go everywhere in the mountains.
  • A small medicine or small first aid kits
  • Progress material: your map or a hiking stick to help you (if you are at least used to it)

Here are two useful things to avoid in this regard:

  • Avoid adding little things at the last moment which are not really useful and which put one after the other will weigh it down.
  • Weigh your backpack with the end of your arms instead of carrying it on your back. Testing it loaded even a few minutes is important. And remove the superfluous again.
  • You will remember it when you find it heavy after several hours of walking.

3. Bring the right shoes and appropriate clothing

The first good reflex to get off to a good start is to have good shoes: think about your feet because they are the ones that will take you to your destination. And they are also the ones who will suffer the most. So spare them and offer them comfort.

Right hiking shoes and appropriate clothing

You can consult our tips for choosing your hiking boots. But be aware that good sneakers can also do the trick. The main thing is that they have soles that grip.

In terms of equipment: breathable T-shirt, light and flexible pants, hat, and pair of gloves if you climb to altitude. It’s also crucial to have the right equipment!

The trick: Test your equipment during a micro-adventure sometime before your first mountain hike, so as not to have any unpleasant surprises (defective equipment, ultimately not practical or not adapted to your size, for example). This will also allow you to test your boots to make sure you don’t get blisters.

4. Choose your route

Be modest and proud. You can afford a mountain hike, but maybe not Mont Blanc or Mont Ventoux to boot? With our micro-adventures, you have plenty of ideas for itineraries. Identify the right duration/height difference compromise for your first test run.

5. Check the weather

This is essential to make sure you don’t get yourself into a mess by not planning the right time. So go take a look at our advice to avoid the storm. You can also consult the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin to be sure!

Pro Tips for Starting Mountain Hiking 2

6. Water is your key asset

Never leave without water, that’s the key! Bring sufficient water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and fueled during the hike. Avoid relying solely on natural water sources.

7. Provide an appropriate diet

Here too, it is essential to feed yourself appropriately during an effort in the mountains. What to put in your bag, what to avoid eating, freeze-dried or not, tips for eating… Everything is said in our advice for eating well while hiking.

During Your Mountain Hike:

8. Warm-up

Yes, we would almost forget it but even when you are planning a hike of any kind, there is nothing like doing some warm-up exercises to prepare to walk in good conditions.

9. Go at your own pace

Know that your goal is to please yourself, not to burn yourself out, and above all to want to leave. Go slowly and do not hesitate to take a break when you are short of breath. Take in the scenery – you came for that too and get your strength back before you leave.

For mountain hiking, be aware that walking times are calculated in terms of elevation gain per hour. Besides, you will have to familiarize yourself with the lexicon of the mountain – revise because Tata Simone picks up the copies in 2 hours! More seriously, it takes 5 to 6 km/h for an average hiker. So someone more experienced than you and who has already walked in the mountains. And if the terrain is somewhat uneven, your average speed will be more like 4 km/h.

10. Take cues

No need to take an IGN map if you don’t know how to read it. Instead, use a hiking GPS app that allows you to get all the information you need in real time and plot your route!

11. Drink and eat regularly

Do not wait to be thirsty, anticipate and drink regularly. And favor the intake of small amounts of carbohydrates to nourish your muscles. Digestion tires the body, so it’s better to eat a little regularly than to have a gargantuan meal.

12. Enjoy the beauty

We can never say it enough, hiking in nature is also a way to enjoy everything around us and to find ourselves. So, start the hike with your eyes wide open and enjoy the beauty of the mountain landscapes!


All these tips for starting mounting hiking are only a few among many others. But with this first base, you should have enough to take full advantage of your first mountain hikes and that everything goes for the best. I hope this article will be useful to you. Don’t hesitate to share your questions, your fears, but also your successes and feedback in the comments! We all start one day, you just have to dare to start and enjoy the present moment!

Happy mountain hiking!

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