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Best Hiking Tips And Tricks:
Your Complete Guide
To Safe And Happy Hikes

By Diane Spicer

Enjoy your hikes more with tips and tricks from Hiking For Her. #howtohike #hikingtips #besthikes #hikingforher

Ready to start exploring?

A universe of best hiking tips and tricks are waiting for you.

Glad you're here!

Enjoy this library of how to hike tips, gathered into one spot and organized by type of hiking for your convenience.

Beginner hiker tips alert

To jump start your learning, use these hiking 101 tips to learn what you need before you venture into the great outdoors.

Best Hiking Tips And Tricks
Ultimate Guide Table of Contents

Skip down to the best hiking tips you're searching for with these links!

















Female hiker sitting on hiking trail at Mt. Rainier's Plummer PeakHere's the Hiking For Her front office!

Best hiking tips and tricks
for any hiker

There is no more efficient way to share the wealth of detailed, trustworthy hiking information on one page than to provide a list, organized by hiking categories.

Think of it as a smorgasbord of the best free hiking tips and tricks available anywhere on the planet. 

Or maybe you need to send that link to a significant other who doesn't understand your desire to hike!

Already know that you want to hike, but aren't too sure about how you will manage the realities of the trail?

Let's talk hygiene.

Female hiker hygiene

Getting dirty and sweaty can be a deal breaker for women.

It's no fun to feel grimy and gritty, and there's no escaping it as a female hiker.

So before you go any further on this page, explore these extensive best tips on hiking hygiene for women.

Now it's time get serious about hiking tips and tricks for planning your hike.

Day Hiking:
Before You Hit The Trail

Now let's get started on the best hiking tips and tricks for how to get ready for a day hike.

There's a lot to think about before you set foot on a trail!

Please don't be that hiker who heads off on a whim, not taking time to prepare and plan.

  • You can read about her in the news, after Search And Rescue does its job.

Instead, use these best hiking tips and tricks for solid hiking preparation.

Smart ways to get started as a hiker

Thinking about why you should hike?

Wondering how to begin hiking? 

Or who to hike with?

Things to know before you hit the trail

Best hiking tips for before, during and after your hike #hiking #hikingtips #backpacking #besthikingtips #hikingforher #womenwhohike #dayhikes

Develop your hiking & outdoor skills

Hiking gear you'll need

Hiking safety for day hikers

Now it's time to put boots on trail.

After you put your hiking socks on, of course!

These tips and tricks will make it easy to start your hike.

The best hiking tips for women hikers are found at Hiking For Her! Find tips about hiking nutrition, best hiking gear, outdoor clothing, & hiking safety. #hiking #backpacking #womenhikers #howtohikeWherever you're headed on your hike, you'll reap big benefits!

Hiking Tips And Tricks:
At The Trailhead

Now you know what to bring hiking.

You've gone shopping for day hike gear.

But what do you do when you're at the trailhead?

During Your Hike

There are two big categories of best hiking tips and tricks for taking a day hike: comfort and safety.

Think of comfort as your clothing, your food and water, and your self care strategies as a hiker.

Safety tips focus on how to take care of yourself as a hiker regardless of what faces you on the trail, including weather events, animal encounters, stream crossings or confusing trail junctions.

What to wear on a day hike
to stay comfortable

Female hiker sitting on deck of fire lookout in mountainsAh! Rest time at the destination, this time to a lookout tower

What to eat and drink on a day hike

How to stay safe on a day hike
in every trail condition

Female hiker rummaging through backpack on a hiking trailYour backpack holds everything you need on a hike without weighing a ton

Smart day hiking tips and tricks

Post Hiking Tips And Tricks
For Day Hikers

Great hike!

Now what?

Don't just peel off those sweaty socks, plop down on a chair, and call it good.

Get ready for your next hike with these recovery tips.

Hiking tips and tricks for self care

The best hiking tips and tricks are summed up in these fun Hiking For Her infographics.

Find them all in one place here

One more, just for fun: a hiking fun scale you can use to rate your hiking adventure. See it here, with examples!

Information overload?!
You need this hiking tips and tricks book

Was that too many best hiking tips to read on the screen?

Don't even know where to start??

Don't want to click around and book mark everything?

Feeling a bit overloaded?

I hear you!

That's why I've come up with a solution:

Get all of these best hiking tips, and lots more not found on this website, in one convenient package called Hiking For Her's Best Tips For Women Dayhikers book.

  • Available from Amazon in paperback and electronic versions for your convenience.
  • The electronic version provides links to further resources on the Hiking For Her website.

How to find the best hiking tips and tricks 
in this handy book

Each day hiking topic has its own chapter.

Within each chapter you'll find hiking tips and tricks that apply to your style of hiking, from beginner hiker to advanced levels.

  • Consume the information at your leisure, one topic at a time.
  • Hop around and have fun, using the table of contents.
  • Use it as a reference book when you run into problems with your footwear, gear, hiking nutrition or trail performance.
  • Enjoy all of the bonus material not found on this website.

I've heard from hikers who call it a hiking encyclopedia.

  • Some of them mark it up with their own notes and stickies.
  • They even bring it along in a backpack to put the hiking tips and tricks to good use as they hike!
Hiking For Her's Best Tips For Women Dayhikers book will get you on the trail in safety, comfort and style. #hiking #dayhikes #hikingtips #womenhikers  #hikingadvice #hikingforher

Best hiking tips and tricks 
for backpackers

Many of the tips offered for day hikers work for longer trips, too. So be sure to check them out.

But here are specific best hiking tips and trail techniques devoted to hikers who plan on staying overnight, or night after night, in the wilds of the outdoors.

We'll use the same logic: tips and tricks for before, during and after your hike.

Before You Hit The Trail

It takes a long lead time to prepare for a backpacking trip.


You have to carry both hiking gear and camping gear, and it needs to be as lightweight and durable as possible.

You have to plan your backpacking menus carefully, keeping in mind your hiking itinerary and the availability of surface water.

In addition, you are your own little city, providing yourself with clean water and dry, warm shelter.

Linger awhile and explore all this backpacking planning information.

It was written from deep experience and a desire to make your trail time safe and happy.

Tips and tricks for planning
a successful backpacking adventure

Things to know before your backpacking trip:
gear tips and more

Backpacking tips and tricks
 for food planning 

Backpacking hiking and camping gear
you need for your trip

Questions to ask yourself
before your backpacking trip

Female snowshoer on snow field with mountains behindWhen you're out there on your own, be sure you have what you need for comfort and safety by using these hiking tips

During Your Backpacking Trip:
Best Hiking Tips And Tricks

Once you leave for the trail, you're on your own.

That's a wonderful feeling!

As long as you know what to do as you hike and camp along the trail, that is.

These best hiking tips and tricks are focused on what you can do to meet your comfort and safety needs as a backpacker.

Outdoor skills a backpacker needs 

How to stay safe on the trail

Take good care of yourself as a backpacker

That's the end of the specific backpacking tips in this Best Hiking Tips Guide.

If you want an Essential Guide to Backpacking from the Hiking For Her perspective, here it is.

But we're not done yet!

Hiking Tips And Tricks For Solo Hikers

I'd be surprised if a solo hike hasn't crossed your mind.

Sometimes your trail companions aren't available.

Or they drive you crazy with their chatter, lack of trail skills, or a different hiking pace.

Explore all the reasons why hiking solo makes sense.

Female hiker and backpack on rocky trailBe your own best friend by understanding how to keep yourself safe and happy on a solo hike

How to build confidence as a solo hiker

Doubts, fears, and worries.

A hiker has plenty of those to cope with on day hikes and backpacking trips.

If you're hiking in a group, you can fall back on the skill set and what's in the backpacks of your hiking buddies when things go bad.

Going solo?

You're all you've got.

The hiking secret to successful solo hiking is to walk the fine line between caution and fear.

And to spend some time planning for success.

Here are some detailed solo hiker resources:

The complete overview of solo hiking tips is available here.

Best hiking tips and tricks
for older hikers

Every hiker gets older.

Some of us even get wiser!

But all of us wonder how to stay on the trail as an older hiker.

Use these best hiking tips for aging gracefully as a hiker!

Hiking tips for older female hikers

Hiking tips and tricks for all older hikers

Plenty more hiking tips for hikers of a certain age here

Best hiking tips and tricks
for all hikers

What pulls us all together as hikers is our love for the outdoors and our sense of adventure.

It doesn't matter how long your hike lasts, or how old you are.

It doesn't matter which hiking trail or favorite destination you're headed to.

What matters is that you have the best hiking gear, know how to use it, and can keep yourself safe and comfortable in all kinds of weather.

These best hiking tips and tricks for hikers are loaded with ideas.

Hiking tips and tricks for choosing gear

Lots to consider in this category, and it's where you'll want to do some background research into what works, and works well, in the field.

That's why recommendations are important.

I only share what I know works on the trail. And I never accept payment for my opinions.

Some hiking websites are paid to post articles and ads. Not here.

Trustworthy hiking tips, all the time!

Best outdoor gear brands for hikers

To buy the best hiking gear, and to know that it will last a long time and perform well on the trail, use these reputable outdoor gear brands.

You're looking for well designed products at a fair price.

You want a good shopping experience: an easy to use website and reasonable customer policies.

Try these stores (Hiking For Her affiliate links) for the best hiking gear and outdoor clothing from multiple outdoor brands:

Shop these specific outdoor brands for the best hiking clothing:

Female hiker with backpacking tent and gearHome away from home, thanks to a great gear list

Need a hiking gear list?

By now, you're realizing that you can start off as a day hiker with minimal gear: sturdy shoes or boots, a small backpack, a water bottle, a map, and some snacks.

But to stay organized, and to create a system that makes it easy to get prepared for any level of hiking you're going to do, stick with a list.

Take your pick!

Find reliable hiking gear reviews

Reviews written by hikers who push hard in the outdoors are invaluable.

Read them before you go shopping for gear to avoid costly mistakes.

And pay attention to why the review was written.

  • Unpaid reviews are best because they are less biased and give you only the facts.
  • Every review should disclose to you any relationships or payment arrangements.

One of the goals of Hiking For Her is to provide insight into trail worthy products.

All HFH reviews are unpaid.

No posts on this website are sponsored (i.e. paid)

How to save money on hiking gear

You can save money by shopping gear sales and looking at discount websites.

And don't overlook renting your gear if you're in the early phase of becoming a hiker.

Resources to save money as a hiker:

Best footwear choices for hikers

It's up to you to decide if hiking boots or trail shoes work best for the type of hiking you want to do on your unique feet.

And consider whether a pair of good hiking insoles are what you need to make your feet happy. Not every hiker wears them, but those who do have good things to say about them (including me).

These best hiking tips on footwear will give you recommendations and ways to think about how to focus on your choices.

Tips and tricks for the best hiking boots

Trail shoes

For a fast and light day hike, low cut trail shoes with minimum support might be the way to go.

When you begin to carry loads on rugged day hikes or backpacking trips, you also need to consider whether or not trail shoes give you the arch support and traction you need.

Technical hiking sock choices

Every hiker needs a great pair of hiking socks!

Hiking socks are as important as the right backpack.

If your feet ain't happy, you're going nowhere.

So get your socks exactly right with these best hiking sock tips:

Best clothing for hikers

Having a clothing system that works in layers is the best approach for a hiker.

Pull on, and peel off, your outer layer and insulating mid layer as needed on a hike.

These tips and tricks are full of layering recommendations:

What hikers need in outdoor clothing

The clothing you choose for the trail must be:

  • lightweight but durable
  • moisture wicking but breathable
  • designed to move with you
  • able to release odors

It must also protect your skin from:

  • bug bites
  • sunburn 
  • abrasions
  • toxic plants
  • temperature fluctuations 
  • windburn
  • and everything else you will encounter on your hike

That's a tough list to find, but these tips will get you started with recommendations and shopping strategies for hiking clothing.

Can you use workout clothes on the trail?

Yes, but you have to be careful about the design, fit and fabrics.

Best hiking clothing recommendations

Female hikers want the best outdoor clothing that will be versatile through three season hiking.

And take them on snowshoe adventures, too.

Best hiking destination tips

The simple act of taking a hike is complicated by many factors:

  • climate
  • season 
  • weather (much more specific than climate!) 
  • terrain
  • trail conditions
  • hiking distance (itinerary)
  • pack weight 
  • what's on your feet
  • age
  • level of conditioning 
  • nutritional and hydration status
  • mental state and attitude

Granted, you can control some of these factors, but not all.

And not all the time.

When you're hiking, it's also likely that trail problems will challenge you:

  • pesky bugs
  • injury
  • fast onset of an illness
  • losing the route
  • blisters
  • using the wrong hiking pace
  • dehydration
  • gear failures
  • unwanted animal or human encounters
Paradise River pool and falls at Mt. RainierChoose your destination for what makes you happy as a hiker, and is within your skill set

Taken together, all these factors play into how effective your hiking techniques may or may not be for the hike you're planning.

A few examples to drive home the importance of being a prepared hiker:

  • An "easy" 5 mile loop trip on a relatively flat, well-marked trail can become a nightmare if a sudden storm whips up, your boots have rubbed your heels raw, and you skipped lunch.
  • On the other hand, you can enjoy a 12 mile hike with an elevation gain of 3000+ feet in sub-optimal weather by wearing the right layered clothing, keeping yourself well hydrated, eating a snack every few hours, and pacing yourself well.

When it's time to select a destination, keep these hiking tips and tricks in mind.

Best hiking trail choices

There is wisdom in spending a lot of time choosing the best hiking trail for your plans.

If you're here for some quick suggestions for the best hiking destinations, dip into this hiking treasure trove.

  • Mountain hiking tips will be vastly different compared with forest hiking tips.
  • If you're headed into new territory and unfamiliar terrain, pay close attention to which tips best fit your hiking plans and style.

To locate suitable established trails, start here:

If you want to devote some of your precious vacation time to hiking in a new area, and maybe with some brand new friends, start here:

Remote and off trail hiking destinations

If you want to drop off the edge and hike in areas most other humans avoid, you're in for big adventure.

Also a lot of meticulous planning! 

How to stay current
on the best hiking tips and tricks

A good way to approach this info-packed hiking resource page?

Bookmark it and come back often to explore it.

But just so you know, there are more ways to grab the freshest, most condensed hiking tips and tricks:

  • The Hiking For Her book, as mentioned above
  • RSS feed of updated and new hiking articles
  • Happy Trails, the free monthly newsletter

Here's how to find each of those trails to the freely flowing hiking tips at Hiking For Her.

Get the latest hiking tips and tricks in
your RSS feed

What's not to love about fresh hiking advice delivered to your in box in small, bite sized pieces?

And by fresh, I mean every time an article is updated OR a brand new article is posted (several times per week) you will be notified.

This is super easy to set up - it's your own digital free daily news.

  • See the little orange box in the navigation bar, next to Most Recent Hiking Tips?
  • If you're on a mobile device, use the Navigation link to find the box.
  • Click on it to set up your preferred method of RSS feed.

Be sure to sign up for the
free monthly Happy Trails newsletter

Hiking For Her stays current in the hiking world's developments, so this is your chance to get the hiking scoop month by month.

Announcements and offers, deals and trail tips, fun hiking stuff and giveaway details are delivered to your in box once per month in this newsletter.

  • Most of the content is not found elsewhere on this website.
  • Links to new articles are provided.

Your email address is closely guarded and used only to send you Hiking For Her tips.

No spam, no spying, no yucky stuff like selling your email address.

Sign up is easy!

Opting out is also easy, using the directions given in the newsletter itself.

And just to reassure you again, your email address is never used to do spammy, inconsiderate or rude things.

While you wait for the next edition, sent near the midpoint of each month, enjoy these Happy Trails back issues.

Keep up with Hiking For Her on social media

Hiking For Her is active on Pinterest, because it's a visual way to share hiking tips with you.

The rest of social media?

Not so much.

It's devolving into a crazy mishmash of opinions and hostility. Hiking For Her deals with facts, pure and simple.

Bust the myth of "real" hikers

Every one of these best hiking tips and tricks you've just read was earned through blood, sweat, tears and triumph during my decades as a hiker.

You can trust them! 

But here's a sad fact I see on hiking websites:

  • There are lots  of hiking myths floating around about "real" hiking.

MYTH: A statement that is wrongly believed to be true.

Now is a good time to do a little myth busting about some of the hiking tips floating around out there.

First the facts.

Here's what hiking is all about

Hiking is a low impact endurance workout offering huge health benefits.

Unlike physical workouts which happen indoors, hiking demands more from your body.

Hiking requires an outdoor skill set focused on safety and comfort.

But the best news about hiking?

Hitting the trail gives you big doses of fresh air, sunshine & rain, plus the mental clarity that comes from physical exercise.

It might expand your spiritual awareness as well.

This post details everything in store for you as a hiker:

But what does a "real" hiker look like?

nd what does she do?

Examples of hiker myths you should avoid

Let me share a few examples of myths I've heard about how "real" hikers hit the trail:

  • You have to break a speed or endurance record to be a real hiker.
  • You have to go it alone on the trail, every time.
  • Real hikers have to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount, and dress in cute hiking outfits for their fan base.
  • If you haven't started hiking in your twenties, it's too late.

And lots more myths junk that you should avoid like a huge patch of poison ivy.

Be careful about what you read!

You might not even notice that you've bought into false statements about what a real hiker looks like.

  • Even worse, you might be letting them hold you back from quality (and maybe quantity) trail time!

Don't keep reading blogs and articles that make you feel unworthy or substandard as a hiker.

It's not in my nature to leave these hiking myths unchallenged.

No hiker, newbie or trail hardened expert, deserves to be burdened by these myths!

And certainly not someone smart enough to be reading this page ;)

Thus, I designed a free 5 day mini-course so we could to do a little myth busting.

Free hiker myth busting course for you!

Over 5 days, I share 3 of the most common hiking myths with you.

  • Only you can decide if you're unconsciously laboring under the burden of one (or more) of them.

But I won't leave it at that.

I'll also share 2 hiking habits I recommend to every hiker, with best hiking tips and tricks to get you started down the right trail (so to speak).

You might already be displaying these “real hiker” traits! Hurrah!

  • If not, it's time to add them to your repertoire.

In a nutshell, these free mini-lessons will hold up a mirror so you can recognize yourself as a real hiker (or a real hiker in training) without buying into sad little myths.

I've made signing up free, fast to give me permission to send you one mini-lesson each day for the next 5 days.

Open it, read it, or save it for later. 

Myths & Habits of a "Real" Hiker


Please enter the word that you see below.


What happens once you sign up?

The first “real hiker” myth will land in your in box.

Devote 5 minutes (probably much less) to reading it.

Then think it over on your daily hike/walk/swim/bike ride/run/whatever gets you outside and moving.

  • Five days X five minutes = less than half an hour.
  • In less than a week, these best hiking tips and tricks will help make you a stronger hiker by replacing myth with facts.

And I can sleep better at night, knowing that one more hiker has confidence in herself :)

Thanks for the Zzzzzs!

Myth busting is way more fun
than ghost busting

Sign up for the free mini-course if you're ready to answer these questions:

*What exactly does a “real” hiker look and act like?

*What hiking tips do they use to make trail time more enjoyable?

*Am I a real hiker?

Best hiking tips and tricks, 
and plenty of them!

Who knew there was so much to think about as a hiker??

I've poured out what I know about hiking so you can shorten your learning curve, avoid mistakes, and be prepared to have happy trails.

Let's bottom line these hiking tips for women hikers:

To be the best hiker you can be, take the time to develop your strengths.

Everything freely shared on this website will get you off to a strong start.

And your trail time will be richer for it.

Contact me if you have questions about hiking.

I'm here to help!

You won't miss a thing if you bookmark, and return later, to your favorite links in this Hiking For Her tips and tricks guide for women hikers.

  • All of this comprehensive hiking information is updated regularly.
  • More tips on staying current with Hiking For Her can be found here.

Hey! Before you go...

I just wanted to tell you:

Thanks for being a hiker! You rock ;)

You might like to read these
hiking tips and tricks next!

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