10 New Year Hiking Tips

So many people over-eat and under-exercise during the holiday season, it is no surprise losing weight/improving health is one of the top resolutions to ring in the New Year. Here are easy new year hiking tips to keep you on track and hiking throughout the year.

10 Hiking Tips From CampingForFoodies

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10 Tips To Hike And Love It With New Year’s Camping & Hiking Resolutions

Some camping tips can be used during your trips but also during your regular everyday life. Because hiking is such a popular activity on camping trips, we think it is the best way to actually enjoy your exercise routine all of the time.

Tip 1. Find A Hiker Buddy

Find A Hiker Buddy - Hike And Love It! 10 Easy Hiking Tips - Camping For Foodies .com

There is an accountability factor when you hike with a friend. If you hike alone, it is much easier to say “I don’t feel like going today.” It’s not easy to let down a friend who is counting on you to keep your hiking date.

Solo Hiking Tips

If you do decide to hit the trail without a hiking buddy, there are a few extra considerations.

For solo adventures: Alert a family member about your hiking plans in case of an emergency. Tell them:

  • Where you will be hiking
  • The location of the parking lot and what vehicle you will be driving
  • The exact location of the trailhead
  • The time of your departure and expected return
  • Contact information for the local ranger station
Here are some pros and cons when hiking alone.


  • Hike at your own pace: The good thing about being a solo traveler is that you can set a pace you are comfortable maintaining. If you partner with an avid hiker, you may not be able to safely keep the pace they set. It’s good to push yourself to a point, beyond that, you can experience a serious injury if your body is not in shape for the hike, even on an easy trail.


  • The first time you hike alone can be a little scary: To avoid the mental challenge associated with your first solo hike, I recommend choosing popular trails where you’ll be surrounded by other hikers. It is really comforting to have people around to lend a helping hand in the event of an emergency when hiking in an area without cell service. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged so when you do get back in range, you can notify loved ones.
  • Female solo hikers should take extra safety measures: A female hiker should carry pepper spray to fend off aggressive local wildlife or dangerous humans.

Tip 2. Schedule Your Hikes

If you have an appointment on your calendar, you are more likely to keep your commitment. Plan for your hike by scheduling it from start to finish; include your travel time if your hike location requires it.

Tip 3. Change Your Hike’s Scenery With A GPS

Change Your Scenery - Hike And Love It! 10 Easy Hiking Tips - Camping For Foodies .com

Hiking different trails helps to keep your New Year’s hiking plan interesting. Use a GPS. I’m not exaggerating when I say this hiking tip can be LIFE SAVING!

We often hike and camp in National Forests within Arizona; some of those hiking trails can be overgrown and seldom traveled. One time we almost got lost, as the sun began setting, my heart started racing as I realized one tree began looking exactly the same as the last 200 or so we just passed. 

We had a compass but no GPS or paper map on that hike. That experience sent me off to research handheld hiking GPS units.

Garmin Rino 755t GPS Navigator Handheld with 2-Way Radio, Camera, Preloaded TOPO and Signature ClothGarmin Rino 755t GPS Navigator Handheld with 2-Way Radio, Camera, Preloaded TOPO and Signature Cloth


Now we don’t hike without our GPS and always have the tracking function operating even if we don’t have the entire map operating. There is something comforting about that little triangle on the screen directing us to our campsite home!

Electronic gadgets like the Garmin Handheld GPS has an 8MP Digital Camera and wirelessly shares routes, tracks, waypoints, geocaches, custom maps and photos between units. If we are hiking in a remote area we bring a paper trail map or a screenshot of one on a fully-charged mobile device. This is a great practice to give you extra peace of mind.

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Tip 4. Reward Your Hiking Accomplishments

Celebrate your successes but don’t un-do all of your efforts. You might indulge yourself with an exclusive spa treatment or a healthy dinner at a fancy restaurant. Whatever it is, make it special to you.

Tip 5. Measure Your Hiking Progress

Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Fitness Tracker with GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Health Tracker - Power Bundle with AdapterFitbit Charge 5 Advanced Fitness Tracker with GPS, Heart Rate, Sleep & Health Tracker – Power Bundle with Adapter


Determine how you are going to measure success and then track it; you will be encouraged to stick with your hiking goals when you see progress. A super popular gadget is the Fitbit Wireless Activity Wristband which tracks workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps. It also syncs stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones.

Tip 6. Use Hike Time To Clear Your Head

A Hiker's JournalA Hiker’s Journal


Getting out in nature and clearing your head is a benefit while hiking. Capturing your ah-ha moments in A Hiker’s Journal can truly be a life-changing exercise.

This is one of my favorite hiking tips because I personally have to be very intentional to slow down my mind when I am physically removed from the hectic pace of daily life. Oh, the struggles with being a Type-A personality. LOL

Tip 7. Stay Hydrated With Water

Hydration Backpack with 2L Water BladderHydration Backpack with 2L Water Bladder


Most hiking trails don’t have water along the route so make sure you bring more than enough so you don’t dehydrate. Using a Hydration Pack is an easy way to carry plenty of water to stay hydrated!

Tip 8. Wear Good Hiking Boots

10 Hiking Tips Wear Good Hiking Boots Camping For Foodies

 KEEN Men’s Hiking Boots KEEN Women’s Hiking Boots KEEN Kid’s Hiking Boots


Workouts often result in hurting muscles but you don’t want to experience unnecessary pain with inadequate footwear. Blisters are beyond uncomfortable and completely avoidable with the right pair of hiking boots.

Some features to consider about your boots:

  • Are they waterproof?
  • Do they have cushioned heels to absorb shock and add stability?
  • Do they have slip-resistant soles with firm-ground grips?
  • Etc.
    • Expert Tip: Break-in new boots before using them on your first hike. I like to wear them to do yardwork and take short walks around my neighborhood. I wear them with my regular hiking socks. This helps stretch them out a bit before I wear them on an actual hike.

Tip 9. Use The Right Gear

It’s a good idea to use a checklist, even for shorter hikes. Minimally you should:

  1. Carry a mini first aid kit
  2. Watch the weather forecast so you don’t get stuck in bad weather conditions, make sure all of your gear is waterproof
  3. Take extra precautions for a longer hike including the ability to erect an emergency shelter and learn how to start a campfire including an SOS emergency fire to signal for help
  4. Have enough food and water to last in an emergency situation
  5. Study your trail to ensure you have the physical ability to handle the elevation gain
  6. Be prepared for less-than-perfect trail conditions (good poles and boots are very helpful when trails are slick from rain, snow or ice or when they have been washed out and you need to divert off-trail for a while)
  7. Be equipped to fend off wild animals (when I’m hiking in bear country during the warmer seasons, I am a little out of my comfort zone. I am always on guard looking for them. It’s a good idea to take bear spray on a day hike)
    • Get all of my safety tips for camping in bear country which will teach you:
      • how to recognize signs of bears in the area
      • understanding bear behaviors
      • how to prevent attracting bears
      • how to survive an encounter with a bear
  8. When hiking in colder weather, I recommend dressing in layers (at the beginning of your hike, you need those extra layers to stay warm but as you continue trekking, you will begin to warm up and probably perspire. That’s when it is time to shed some clothing.)
    • In cold weather, be sure to:
      • Dress in layers (I have several blog posts to help you in cold weather conditions, be sure to check out tips on choosing the right winter camping clothes for your outdoor activities.)
      • Use sunblock
      • Drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty
      • Carry your water bottle inside your clothes to prevent it from freezing while hiking in freezing conditions
      • Pack a flashlight in case you don’t finish your hike before the sun goes down, remember daylight hours are reduced in the winter

Tip 10. Join A Hiking Club

Hiking clubs allow you to meet new friends and add an extra dimension to your hike trips. Meetup is a great way to find people in your area as well as events centered around hiking like First Day Hikes.

Hikers at CVL Hike Club and Camping For Foodies National Trails Day Event at Horton Creek Trail Arizona - 10 Hiking Tips: Keeping A Healthy New Year’s Resolution
Hikers at CVL Hike Club and Camping For Foodies National Trails Day Event at Horton Creek Trail Arizona. Photo credit: David Huff Photography http://corporatephotographer.us/

Start On A Hike With First Day Hikes

10 Hiking Tips: Keeping A Healthy New Year’s Resolution! CampingForFoodies day hiking tips for beginners fitness exercise, hacks, packing list and sports articles for hikes with families, dogs and kids.

From America’s State Parks Website

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors?


  • On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs.
  • These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.
  • Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes.
  • Numerous others hiked state park trails throughout the day.
  • Find a First Day Hike near you with the interactive map on the National Association of State Park Directors website.

If you happen to be hiking in one of the desert areas in Arizona, you may want to check out this post on Day Hike Tips For Hiking In The Arizona Desert.


What are the benefits of hiking as a New Year’s resolution?

Hiking is a great activity to foster physical fitness and mental well-being. The connection with nature helps to reduce stress too. It’s a great way to multi-task achieving your fitness goals while enjoying the outdoors.

How can I prepare for a long-distance hike I’m planning to take later in the year?

Start your hiking routine with shorter hikes and progressively increase the difficulty of them. Over time, you will gradually build endurance by increasing the distance you hike, elevation you climb and weight you carry in a backpack.

Camp And Hike More Often

It is easy to say you don’t have enough time to camp and hike but if you are organized, you can do a lot more camping and hiking this year. Use our FREE printable camping trip planner template to plan stress-free camping trips.

Camping Trip Planner Template Free Printable by CampingForFoodies is a whimsical illustration of a cute old orange car towing a blue and white vintage camper trailer down a road in a landscape of green trees, light green grass and brown mountains with fluffy clouds in a blue sky; thumbnail images of multiple pages of a camping trip planner under the text that reads camping free trip planner.

Final Thoughts

The more fun you make an exercise routine, the more likely you are to stick with it. Hiking has physical, mental and emotional benefits as you experience nature with each step you take.

What do you think?

Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions!

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  1. Anne Quigley says:

    Thanks Kim! After spending a couple of months in the Portland, Oregon area I have developed a passion for waterfall hikes. The Columbia Gorge is filled with beautiful waterfall trails perfect for a short or long adventure. Nature is beautiful and calming. I take an extra pair of socks in my pack. They can really come in handy 🙂

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Hi Anne! I’m so glad you enjoyed Portland! We are going to have to experience The Columbia Gorge and I love your tip on the extra pair of socks! We love hiking waterfall trails too … We went to Yosemite National Park over the summer and were amazed at the waterfalls throughout the park. If you have not been there, you really need to go. We did a quick video in our Yosemite National Park Must See Attractions VIDEO And Tips blog post to inspire others to visit and to remind ourselves that we have to go back again. Happy camping!

  2. GirlonFire says:

    I definitely need a new pair of hiking boots. The pair I have is totally worn out! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Thanks for stopping by GirlonFire! Let me know when you get your new hiking boots and how you like them…happy hiking!

  3. Alicia Snow says:

    I so need to be better about being active! I love hiking so this is a great idea for me. Thanks for sharing all the tips!

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Thanks for checking out my tips Alicia Snow! Keep me posted on your progress throughout the year!

  4. New hiking boots were on my Christmas list and Santa didn’t follow the list. Enjoyed reading these tips. Maybe new boots would be a great reward!

    1. Kim Hanna says:

      Hi Missy, that would be a great reward! Hopefully Santa will follow the list next year! Happy hiking!