Don't think for a second that hiking tutorials are only for people that are just getting started. Even professional backpackers and adventure racers regularly take courses to expand their knowledge-base, and they're almost constantly taking refresher courses to keep that information fresh in their minds. No matter what your skill level is, there are hiking tutorials that can help you learn the skills you need to go on a safe day-hike, or do some of the biggest treks in the country.
Two Hiking Tutorial Sources for Basic Skills
At its most basic, hiking is really just walking around in the woods. While this is true, it is unwise to look at "walking around in the woods" in the same light as you'd look at "walking around in a city." In a city, you can easily find a water fountain if you run out of water. You can also just get a taxi home if you get lost, or become too tired to walk anymore. In the woods, these realities get turned on their heads, making hiking tutorials a smart investment.
1. Hiking Packing Lists
If you're interested in going on a day hike, the day-hike packing list at Hiking in the Smokys is a great resource. This will tell you everything that you need to do to pack for a fun day-hike.
2. Basic Outdoor Skills
Learning basic skills for the outdoors can end up being very helpful in everything from setting up camp to performing minor first aid. Learning how to tie knots effectively is one of the most important outdoor skills that you can have, and the animated knot tutorials at AnimatedKnots.com are a great resource. Also, the Mayo Clinic offers a free, fairly comprehensive resource on first aid that is very useful.
Two Advanced Hiking Tutorial Options
Even if you are an old-hand in the outdoors, there is always more to learn. Even the greats like Andrew Skurka are always saying that you need to be constantly developing your skills. Not only does this help you to stay safe, but it helps you to get more out of your adventures. Some great resources are out there that can teach you:
1. Advanced First Aid
If you want to take your tutorials into the real world, then you can take a lot of classes through the National Outdoor Leadership School. The organization offers the most respected wilderness medical course in the world, otherwise known as the Wilderness First Aid certification.
2. Advanced Backpacking Classes
Again, if you are interested in going to a physical class, there are a lot of options out there. For practical backpacking and hiking knowledge, you can always trust the classes at Venture North. The Mountain Walking Leader Course is a great example of what the company has to offer.
Make It a Family Event
Taking the kids out hiking with you is a great way to help teach them self-reliance and resilience, but it takes a little extra consideration to help ensure it goes off without a hitch. Remember that kids don't stand up to the rigors of a long hike the same way you do, so you need to plan easier, shorter hikes when kids are involved.
To help understand how to best incorporate kids into your hikes, there are a few hiking tutorials you can use that cover this issue:
- 10 Tips for Taking Kids Hiking by the Wilderness Society is a very practical, common-sense guide to taking kids hiking with you. It lays out everything from how to encourage kids during a hike to how to select the right hike.
- Hiking with Children by Backpacking.net is a tutorial designed to help you to navigate the sometimes difficult process of getting children engaged with outdoor activities. As any good tutorial on taking kids hiking should, it includes rules for selecting hiking routes.
Improve Your Skills and Enjoy Safe Hiking
The importance of hiking tutorials in the overall safety of your outdoor excursions simply cannot be overstated. The amount of skills and techniques involved with different aspects of hiking are many, and having an appropriate understanding of how to safely apply them is of paramount importance to the safety and fun of your adventure. Whether you are an advanced outdoor adventurer, or just getting started, there is always something new out there for you to learn.