Tips for First-Time Hikers Part 1: Preparation

Going for your first mountain hike and unsure of how to start? We share tips on how to kickstart your preparation for conquering a mountain!

Time Needed to Prepare for Your First Hike


Well, it goes without saying that you have to gradually build up your fitness level instead of starting an intensive exercise routine unless you are already fit.

Give yourself a month or two (or even three months - it's never too early to start training!) before your hike to physically prepare yourself and to let your body respond to the new routine. 

Practice Hikes


Before the major hike, it is recommended to start with a few practice hikes.

Hike in places with variable terrains and elevation so that you will be more aware of how your body reacts to strains, as well as finding areas to improve on.


Consider having mini hikes at:

- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

- Macritchie Reservoir

- Pulau Ubin

Hike with equipment that will be used for the actual hike:


1) Hiking backpack

Fill it up with water bottles, adding more as you progress so that you'll get used to hiking with a weighted backpack.


2) Hiking Shoes

If you're intending on hiking in a new pair of shoes, make sure to break into it and sync it with your feet.

Lighter shoes may break in with just a few hikes but some of the sturdier ones (especially leather) may take longer to conform to your feet.

Wear them with the same socks and insoles (if needed) that you will wear for the trip.


3) Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are essential in climbing mountains, especially for difficult descents! 

Therefore it is vital to get used to hiking poles by establishing a walking rhythm and getting used to arm motions, as walking with a pole can get a little weird for first-timers.

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Written By: Norarfah Zakaria

Sport Leader (Hiking),  Decathlon Bedok

“At the end of the hiking trip, you will really treasure the bond and memories with everyone because it is always about the journey and not the destination, isn’t it?”