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As I’ve mentioned before, one of the joys of homeschooling is that when I take trips with my kids, I can make them write blog posts and call it “school”.  For my recent trip to New York, my daughter wrote about 4 mistakes I made in New York City and 5 awesome things to do in New York City.  So when my son and I went to Carlsbad Caverns and west Texas earlier this month, I had an assignment for him too – a post about hiking tips for beginners, leveraging his time as a first time hiker to share some backpacking and hiking tips and tricks.

[Is a half day enough to visit Carlsbad Caverns?]

As always, constructive criticism is welcomed but keep it friendly


Just a couple weeks ago, my dad and I took a trip that included climbing Guadalupe peak, Texas’s highest point. After, and during, the hike, we both found out many different hiking tips for beginners and tricks for future hikes we would take. I would like to share some with you.

Hiking tip # 1 – bring more food than you think you need

When we both hiked Guadalupe Peak, we only brought a small lunch; aka hotel granola bars and dried fruit. Make sure when you’re bringing food, pack a least one energy bar. [PWaC: While I don’t disagree that bringing enough food is important, I take issue with his characterization of the food we brought :-D]

Backpacking tip #2 – Focus your eyes up

Don’t look at how far you have to hike, look down and see how much you accomplished. This proved very useful to us since the mountain view seemed to increase dramatically each time we rounded a switchback. It will also help your confidence and enthusiasm while hiking.

Here’s a picture of me almost to the top!


And here’s a picture of us looking back down at the parking lot.  We still had a long way to go!


Hiking tips and tricks #3 – make sure you bring all your essentials

Especially sunscreen. By the end of our hike we were a little sunburned, but had a lot of peeling skin. Another good hiking tip would be to bring good boots. Boots and hiking poles can really help you climb a mountain. Just make sure you walk with them about a week in advance so you won’t get blisters.

Hiking tip #4, your attitude affects other people.

If you have a positive attitude, other people hiking with you will probably also be positive. If you have negative attitude… well, you get the idea.


Hiking Tip #5 – be prepared!

Almost anything can happen on a hike, from a lost hiker, to a snake sighting. One thing that happened on our hike was that we had to rest a lot. We probably could have done more hiking training.

Hiking tip #6 – have fun!

Going on a hike by yourself, or with a group of people can be very fun especially once you get the hang of it. Sharing these tips has been a good experience for me, and I hope you can benefit from them also.


Readers – what are your best hiking tips and tricks for beginning and first time hikers?

A first time hiker gives hiking tips for beginners and for backpacking or hiking with kids or teens

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