How to Get Started Thru-Hiking

Last Updated on September 21, 2020

Thru-Hiking is a familiar word for all adventure lovers. It refers to exploring trails by walking a long distance. Many years ago, when no transportation was available, people used to travel places on foot. The idea of hiking trails generated from this.

How to Get Started Thru-Hiking

It is a tough and challenging journey that takes five months or more than it by depending on the distance. A thru-hiker has to face a lot of physical and other challenges. So if you plan for a thru-hiking, you must acquire some essential tips.


First of all, prepare yourself. Thru-hiking is way more different and harder than any other trip you have ever made. So, it is going to be very problematic for beginners. Always remember that mental strength is more important than physical strength. During the hiking, you will face unexpected situations or hostile weather.

You may be physically injured, lose track, lose your gears, or run out of money. You may also fall sick, become weak, or feel lonely. Just strengthen your mind. Motivate yourself with the spirit of not giving up in those situations. Keep in mind that you can do it and you have to do it. We promise you, the enjoyment of victory will flaunt over all of the pain.

Things to carry

You have to keep walking with your hiking gear. So, avoid all kinds of heavy gear which is not compulsory. Choose hiking boots or trail shoes over regular sneakers. They are specially designed for long way hiking. Bring a topographic map and compass. They will help you to visualize the place you are about to explore.

They will also help you to find out the right path if you lose track. A light-weighted tent is a favorite item for most of the hikers. Carry sleeping bags, sleeping pillows, and sleeping pads. Most hikers fall sick because of impure water. So, pack water purification pills in the bag.

Don’t forget to bring prescribed medicines, extra medicines, and first aid box. Get sufficient light sources and clothing, specially weather-based clothing. Pack your items like toothbrush, mobile charger, tissue, etc. Always prefer the lightweight, firmly stitched, large and waterproof bag to carry your gears.


Before starting a hike, make a blueprint of it. It is always a good idea to keep an expert or experienced person in your gang. Learn about ways and trails. You can also google them. Some paths are short but may have a lot of pitfalls. Avoid the places having a lot of impediments.

It is a common incident of not finishing a trail within the proper time. If any hostile season(like winter) comes because of it, your life will be in danger. So, plan the hike keeping a lot of extra time in your hand so that you can avoid these situations. Determine the places where you should stay or take rest.


Money is an essential part of hiking. During the journey, you have to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and buy a lot of things. Running out of cash is the most troublesome situation a hiker can ever face.

A hiker may need almost 1200$ per month, depending on his paths and hiking experience. The cost can vary from person to person. Keep it in mind that you should not spend a lot of money at once if the same products are available later.


Practice makes a man perfect. Nothing can be more efficient than practicing some short distance hiking before opting for a thru-hike. If you don’t have any experience of making short trips, thru-hiking is not suitable for you. You will not be able to cope up with unexpected situations. Many hikers give up in da middle of the journey because of it. So practice as much as you can.

Never cross your comfort zone

Don’t create a race with other hiking teams. Just follow your own strategy. If you feel too tired or get injured, take rest as much as it requires. Your feet carry the weight of your body and gears. So it is quite normal that the legs will be weaker. In this situation, don’t force them to travel again.

Otherwise, the condition of the legs can get worse. Don’t hurry at all. Decide which will be more convenient for you, hiking alone or with a gang. Don’t try to perform any risky action which may cost your life.


Sometimes you may not find any restaurant or food store along with your hiking path. So if you have space, try to carry some dried food which will be fresh for a long time. Pack them in waterproof bags.

They should be high in calory and protein. They will retrieve your energy and give more to hike in the next day. Nuts, granola, sausage, oatmeal, dry fruits, cheese, packet tortillas, instant noodles are the best choice for foods.

Final Words

Thru-hiking is a fantastic way of being with nature, knowing about places, and building friendships. Yes, this is one of the toughest adventures. But we wish you will have a safe and sound victory of thru-hiking by following our tips.


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