So it's 2017 and you're ready to tackle your New Year's Resolution to get outside and hike more....But you have NO clue where to begin. Like the most outdoorsy thing you do is take out the recycling and (maybe) mow the lawn...
You aren't alone- I talk to so many people about hiking and am always asked how to get started. The cool thing about hiking is that you really don't need all that much extra gear unless you plan to do overnight trips.
I'm going to keep these steps super simple for you and provide some links to help you shop for gear! (Disclaimer: These are affiliate links, which mean's I'll get paid if you buy and it costs you nothing!)
Step 1: Get Comfy Gear
Boots & Socks: This will be your most expensive piece of gear, but you will want to invest in a good pair of boots. Your running shoes and regular socks won't cut it. Good hiking boots will provide stability and ankle support, keep your feet dry, and increase traction. You also want to get merino wool hiking socks. It might sound silly for summer- but merino wool wicks away moisture. The first time you walk through mud or a shallow puddle/stream in your water-proof boots...you will thank me. I of course love all of my KEEN shoes.
Pants & Shirts: You probably have everything you need in this category. From late fall-spring I usually wear a pair of athletic leggings (make sure they aren't the cheap cotton leggings or you will sweat and have a bad time...trust me) and layer a short and long sleeve dri-fit shirt under a jacket.
The key is to layer and avoid cotton. Find your favorite moisture-wicking shirts!
Step 2: Find a Place to Hike
This might seem like that hard part...but it isn't because of this awesome thing called The Internet! Pinterest is such an amazing place to find good hikes because other hikers and even magazines post content here. We also love the Falcon Guides hiking guides. They are packed with useful trail information, maps, and tips. Check out your local Parks & Rec websites. You'd be surprised how many county and state parks there are within such a short distance from you!
Step 3: Keep Hiking
They don't have to be long treks. Once you figure out your preferred distance and difficulty level- push yourself just past that comfort level so you can continue to find joy in your hikes. Be sure to stop and enjoy the little things along the way. Check out your local Meet-Up groups for hiking groups to join with! You'll learn so much about hiking and meet new people too!