Help for the first-time hiker

Picture yourself here, on the edge of the Shining Rock Wilderness of the Pisgah National Forest, by summer.

Spring is the season of rebirth. Wildflowers have been popping up for more than a month now, the trees are a day or two from being in full leaf. With temperatures in the 70s and skies more blue than not, it’s no wonder that a young man (and woman’s) thoughts turn to one thing:

Being out on the trail.
For many of us, it’s like baseball season. We started limbering up in February with short local hikes. Now, conditions allow us to hit the trail in full form, hiking longer local trails and heading to the mountains. For others, though, this thought of hiking is a new urge. And we’d like to think it has something to do with Hike NC!, the hiking initiative launched last fall by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, in cooperation with N.C. State Parks, Friends of State Parks, N.C. Recreation and Park Association, Great Outdoor Provision Co., and us,
Our role, through our GetHiking! program, has been to coordinate the program, to help identify good beginner hikes and to train hike leaders in the GetHiking! mold. That mold being an amorphous one, which encourages hikers to hike at their own pace, but, above all, vows to stick with the rear of the pack and ensure that no hiker is left behind.
To further that cause, we’ve buddied up with our friends at Great Outdoor Provision Co. to create a resource for new hikers. These newbies have questions: What do I need to take on my first hike? Where should I go? We’ve got answers: Not much, and We’ve got a list. Lots of lists, in fact.
You can find an index to these 10 resources on the Great Outdoor Provision Co. website, here. To give you a sense of what you’ll find, here are the categories:

1. The Big Picture: Allaying your fears about hiking
2. Gearing up
3. 5 things to bring on your first hike
4. 10 essentials for your daypack
5. What to expect on your first group hike
6. The reluctant hiker: When that first hike isn’t your idea
7. What makes for a good first-hike trail
8. You’re a hiker! Now what?
9. Trading up from your beginner gear
10. GetHiking! Join the community.

Indeed, now that you’re a hiker, join the GetHiking! community. We sponsor multiple hikes every week, we offer clinics, and we have a weekly enewsletter that keeps you up on everything we’re doing. It’s free; you can subscribe below.

And again, welcome!


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