6 Tips on How to Become an Expert Hiker

6 Tips on How to Become an Expert Hiker

We’ve all seen them—the experienced hikers on the trail who always look like they know exactly what they’re doing and where they’re going. You can recognize them from their light backpacks and their obvious agility. To learn how to become an expert hiker yourself, consider these tips.

Bring the right gear

Being prepared is a key quality of an expert hiker. Essential items to bring on your hike often include water, food, compass, and basic first aid equipment. While having the right gear is extremely important, however, make sure not to overpack. A bag stuffed to the brim is a sure sign of a novice hiker. Weighing yourself down won’t just limit your hike, it could also lead to injury. As such, you should narrow down your supply list and only bring the essentials with you.

Learn how to navigate

If you want to be an expert hiker, you’re going to need to learn a thing or two about navigation. Going off-course can be extremely dangerous, especially if weather conditions take a turn for the worse. Before going on a hike, familiarize yourself with your trail by carefully looking over a map. Make sure that you know how to navigate yourself through the trail using a compass in case you ever get lost.

Dress for the part

You won’t find an expert hiker walking around in khakis and flip flops. Having the right attire is crucial for a successful hike. Propper footwear is especially important. Make sure that you have a good pair of hiking boots that are comfortable to wear and are (preferably) water-resistant. The rest of your attire will largely depend on where you’re hiking. If it is cold, layer up and if it’s hot, wear light, breathable clothing.


Hiking can be extremely physically challenging at times. As such, to be a better hiker, it’s important to exercise regularly. Focus on aerobic exercises such as stair climbing or running that help increase your stamina. Increasing your strength is also important. To carry all your equipment, you’ll need to have strong back and arm muscles.

Hike often

Practice makes perfect. To improve your skills, no amount of planning or preparing will compare to actually going out and hiking. Consider working a hike into your schedule at least once a week to improve your endurance, footwork, and hiking knowledge.

Challenge yourself

To improve as a hiker, don’t just go on the same trail repeatedly. Instead, try out different terrains, weather conditions, and environments to expand your skills. While it may be uncomfortable, consider going on a short hike in the rain, heat, or snow—any time when weather conditions aren’t ideal. Doing so will teach you valuable skills about how to handle adverse environments should they arise on a longer excursion.

To expand your hiking skills, consider going on an exciting hike through the jungles of Panama. People rarely explore the unique, natural environment, so you’re sure to push your boundaries and expand your skills. At Selva Terra, our Panama hiking trails range from 45 minutes to three hours. In addition to hiking, we offer many other opportunities to connect with nature—from bird watching to horseback riding to Coiba Island diving. To create memories that will last a lifetime, book your tour today.

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