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How to Get Into Hiking Without Breaking Your Budget

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With fall right around the corner, now is the best time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Hiking is the fourth-most popular outdoor activity in the U.S. and it’s an awesome way to take in the sights and sounds of nature while also getting your steps in. Of course, if you’ve never hiked before, you might be unsure of what you need to get started. Here’s how you can get into this fun outdoor activity without breaking your budget on the trails.

Stock up on the real essentials

You don’t necessarily need fancy gear when you go hiking for the first time, but there are a few essentials that you’ll need to stay safe on the trails. Fortunately, you can get these items from affordable places like Walmart or the Dollar Store. You’ll want sunscreen, a first aid kit, a water bottle, nutrition bars, a flashlight, a pocket or utility knife, and items for emergency shelter or repairs. You’ll also want to wear clothes that are ideal for the weather including a layer you can take on or off.

Check out local hiking trails

When you think of hiking, you might think of mountains and hiking trails in other states or even across the country. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to travel when you can hike right at home. In fact, up to 37% of people never leave their hometowns. Check out local hiking spots and destinations that are either a short walk or drive around your town or city. Sites like AllTrails can help you find hiking destinations nearby so you can keep your travel budget completely under wraps.

Find shoes that work for you

Many hikers will wear hiking boots that are specifically made to support the ankles. However, you don’t necessarily need to wear hiking boots when you’re out on the trails. Some hikers actually prefer to wear running shoes that are lightweight and easy to wear to maneuver around obstacles. Determine what type of shoes you would feel the most comfortable in on the types of trails you want to climb. Moisture-wicking shoes that are waterproof may be a good idea if you plan to walk trails that have a lot of streams to cross.

If you’re on a very tight budget, you can look for secondhand footwear on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. Some e-commerce sites also sell affordable hiking footwear. Amazon might have a peak traffic volume of 2.3 Tbps, but you can find good hiking boots and equipment elsewhere, too. There are over 1.8 billion websites operating at the same time every day.

Shop thrift stores for the right clothing

Speaking of looking for secondhand options, if you’re not in the market for a whole new wardrobe for your new hobby, consider looking in thrift stores for moisture-wicking clothing. Wool and polyester are some of the best materials to look for because they don’t absorb moisture. Wool, especially, can help to keep you warm even when it’s wet. Avoid cotton when it’s not summer because cotton can absorb moisture quickly. It’s also a breathable material, which can let heat escape when the temperatures get colder.

Hiking is a great way to get outside and enjoy the seasons while also getting in exercise. If you’re looking to get into hiking, but don’t want to spend too much on new equipment for your new hobby, try some of the tips above.

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