people hiking down unpaved path


8 tips for your next hiking trail

Publication date: 29 May 2024

Hiking 101PreparationTips

It’s more fun on the trails when you’re prepared! To help, we’ve outlined 8 tips for a relaxing and safe trail experience. And the most important? To enjoy! We believe that anybody can hit the trails. Nothing is better than being active in a beautiful setting. This way, you can fully recharge and it doesn’t have to be difficult: anyone in good health can be a hiker. With these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your next hiking trail.

With only a few things in mind, you can make your next hiking trail a big success! Enjoy the trails, leave no trace and connect with the community. Hiking is for everyone and enjoy the trails with these tips for your next hiking trail.

Jochem de Jong profile picture

Jochem de Jong

Jochem de Jong is a Dutch photographer and the technical guy behind this website. With his passion for photography and design he makes sure that every page on this website looks perfect. The last years Jochem hiked 20+ long-distance trails, mainly in Europe from the Coast to Coast in England to mountain hut trekkings in the Dolomites. Most of the photos on this website Jochem shot on the trails.

Besides hiking, Jochem loves Italy and most of all the dreamy countryside of Tuscany which at one day, he hopes to run a small B&B besides his work as a photographer.

View profile

1. Choose the right trail

The first step is the most important, choosing a trail that fits your experiences and preferences. As you look at your options, consider trail length including daily mileage. Check the technical difficulty of the trail, especially when you’re hiking in the mountains, and research the remoteness of the trail as well. The more remote and the fewer accommodations, shops, and civilization there are along the trail, the harder it will be. To make it a bit easier, we’ve set up this database to find the right trail.

Find your next trail

2. Get in shape

Hiking kilometer after kilometer with a backpack, sometimes up or down significant distances, and crossing the mountains can be quite strenuous. Therefore, make sure you’re fit when heading into the mountains. Being in good shape means you can walk further and thus enjoy more. Tailor your hikes to your skills and condition, but also to those of the other people in your group if you’re not hiking alone. Give your body time to adjust to the trail by starting with some shorter stages. The best way to get in shape for the trail is to hike a lot in your own area with your hiking shoes and fully loaded backpack. Try to get in as many kilometers as you can and it’s always good to train your core and other big muscles with some specific exercises.

man hiking up mountain
3. Prepare your hike

Research your chosen trail by orienting yourself at home with guidebooks, maps, and internet sources. Once on location, you can supplement that knowledge with information from the local tourist office or locals. Check if trails and accommodations (especially mountain huts) are open and make sure you know an alternative route in case the conditions are not as expected. Always tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive. Download the GPX on your smartphone and take a paper map with you when needed.

Hiking 101

man looking at map4. Keep an eye on the weather

Rain or even snow can make trails significantly harder on the trail and convert easy trails into difficult trails. Especially in the mountains, snow in summer and thunderstorms in the afternoon: the weather in the mountains can change rapidly. Check the weather forecast before you leave, be alert to changes in the weather, learn to interpret them, and thus avoid surprises. Extra tip: if you’re hiking in the mountains, start early to prevent overheating or getting caught in a heat thunderstorm.

5. Head out with the essentials

What you need to take depends on the type of trip and the conditions. At the very least, pack a first-aid kit, layer up with your clothing (rain jacket and pants, hat, gloves, sweater), extra food/drinks, a (charged) phone, and sunscreen. You can find all the essentials in our gear list section.

Gear lists

6. Be flexible

When hiking a trail, especially a long-distance trail or thru-hiking trail, it’s important to be flexible along the way. Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t stick to your schedule when things might occur. It’s always your own journey and you’ll see, all will end well! You’ll have more fun for sure if you’re more flexible.

7. Respect nature

Leave no Trace. We can’t say it enough, but please respect nature, wildlife, and also other people on the trails. And by only doing this, we can enjoy the hiking trails in the future. Do not pick flowers or plants, and take all your trash with you, including toilet paper. If you see trash from somebody else, pick it up and help to keep the trails clean. Last but not least, stay on the marked trails, this is very important to preserve pristine nature.

trash bag hanging on backpack8. Hike slow, go far!

Hiking is an activity that you do for yourself and yourself only! Don’t follow the pace of other hikers when it doesn’t feel good, take a rest day when you need it, and take regular breaks. By doing this you’ll enjoy the trails more. Hike slow, go far!

We hope these tips for your next trail help you on your adventure. One final tip: you may find your next trail on our beautiful map page. 😊


Be the first one to comment on this blog!

Reply to this blog

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reply to this blog

Log in to comment on this blog

Join the community!

Login or create a FREE account 😊

With an account you can:

Download GPX files

Pin trails to your wishlist

Mark trails as hiked by you

Rate hiking trails

Comment on trails, blogs and gear reviews

Happy trails!

Don't have an account yet? Register here