7 Ways to Start Hiking as a Hobby

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Tips and Tricks to Start Hiking as a Hobby

Looking for a sustainable and fulfilling adventure? Discover the joys of hiking as a hobby!

I have always found that answers simply appear on a hike. Problems I’ve been working on like mad at the desk have solutions that unexpectedly surface on the trail.

Challenge yourself, connect with nature, and experience the world around you in a unique and meaningful way. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to start, there’s a trail out there waiting for you.

Join me as we explore the beauty and benefits of a hiking or backpacking hobby as a personal and sustainable pursuit.

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fairy chimney in turkey on a hike

Hiking as a Hobby

Pros: Your Awe and Wonder Increases (beyond fitness)

Cons: You’ll become Gear Obsessed

7 Tips on How to Start Hiking as a Hobby

Are you on the hunt for an adventure that’s both sustainable and fulfilling? Look no further than hiking! As a hobby, hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and experience the world around you in a unique and meaningful way.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking to start, there’s a trail out there waiting for you. So get ready to step out of your comfort zone, breathe in the fresh air, and embark on a journey that will leave you feeling more alive than ever before.

🥾😓 Feeling Overwhelmed Planning a Hike? Use my custom-built online Hiking Time Calculator for Non-techie People.

1. Hiking Safety

Start a hiking hobby can be an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable hobby, but it’s important to prioritize safety when venturing out into the great outdoors. Here are some hiking resources and hiking safety tips to ensure you have a safe and successful hike:

  • Know Before You Go

Before setting out on any hike, it’s crucial to research the trail and its difficulty level. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the distance, terrain, weather conditions, and any potential hazards you may encounter along the way. This will help you prepare properly and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

  • Dress for Success

Dressing appropriately for the hike is essential for your comfort and safety. Wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing that will keep you warm and dry, and sturdy, supportive footwear with good traction. Always check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

You can even wear a dress hiking!

  • Pack Smart

When packing for a hike, it’s important to bring the essentials, including plenty of water, high-energy snacks, a first aid kit, a map and compass, and a fully charged cell phone. It’s also a good idea to bring a whistle and a flashlight or headlamp in case of an emergency.

  • Follow Trail Etiquette

When hiking, it’s important to respect the natural environment and other hikers on the trail. Stay on designated trails, pack out all trash, and avoid disturbing wildlife or vegetation. Yield to other hikers on the trail, and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of illness.

  • Trust Your Gut

Finally, always trust your instincts when it comes to hiking safety. If something feels off, turn back or seek help. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to exploring the great outdoors.

2. Hiking Training

Training is essential for any outdoor adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, you need to prepare your body for the challenges of hiking or trekking as a hobby or to use hiking to build muscle.

Check out hiking training guides that include statistics, hiking safety record, workout routines, recovery techniques, and ways to help you build endurance and strength.

Resources for Better Hikes❤️ Who is this for?
How to Use Trekking PolesFor “older knees”
Hiking with a Weighted VestHate the gym, want gains
How to Sleep BetterWant MORE recovery
Hiking with Plantar FasciitisFor foot pain after hiking
Sore Calves After HikingLower leg pain
Best Blister Kits for HikingBlister prone
Protect Toes on the Downhill HikesToe and Foot pain with hikes

3. Hiking Fun

A hiking hobby isn’t just about the destination; it’s also about the journey. Bring some hiking music and add some fun to your hikes with creative ideas like geocaching, scavenger hunts, or hiking games. 

These activities will make your hike more enjoyable and memorable.

Did you know there’s such a thing as “flashpacking”?  It’s like backpacking, but for grownups. This is how barbie hiking dolls like to hike, complete with accessories.

Instead of camping (much love to camping) and I’m sure you’ll want to try it on the Rhine River in Germany where you can literally stay in a medieval castle overnight.

4. Hiking Travel Tips

Traveling to a new hiking destination can be both exciting and challenging.

Research your destination in advance to learn about the terrain, weather conditions, and any potential hazards.

Check out hiking travel tips that include packing lists, safety guidelines, and transportation options.

Travel tips including:

5. Hiking Photography

Hiking provides ample opportunities for capturing breathtaking photos. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional photographer, learn how to take stunning photos on your hike.

Is hiking a hobby that can be combined with photography? YES!

Check out photography resources that provide tips and tricks for capturing the perfect shot.

6. Best Places for Hiking Photography in Europe

A hiking hobby in Europe is a wonderful adventure. Europe is home to some of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the world, each offering unique landscapes and opportunities for photography. Here are some of my top picks:

  • Dolomites, Italy: With its stunning rock formations and jagged peaks, the Dolomites offer a dramatic backdrop for hiking photography.
  • Rudesheim Rhine River, Germany: The vineyard strewn UNESCO world heritage site provides endless opportunities for moody and atmospheric shots.
  • Zillertal Alps, Austria: The Olpererhütte bridge offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, and amazing suspension bridges.
  • Mont Blanc, France/Italy: Hiking the Mont Blanc circuit is a challenging but rewarding experience, with breathtaking views of the highest peak in the Alps.
  • Boka Bay Fjord, Montenegro: The steep Fjord of Boka Bay offers a unique blend of rugged landscapes and traditional mountain culture, with plenty of opportunities for photography.

7. How Long Does It Take to Hike

One of the most common questions hikers ask is how long a trail will take to hike. The answer depends on various factors, including the length and difficulty of the trail and your hiking pace. 

Can hiking be a hobby that takes up an entire vacation? Yes, especially in Europe where multi-day treks are comfortable and fun. You can stay in hotels or huts each night in comfortable beds with delicious meals.

Use hiking resources that include trail maps, hiking time calculators, and reviews from other hikers to estimate your hiking time.

Let’s face it – there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How many miles you can walk in a day varies greatly depending on several factors, such as terrain, elevation gain, and your fitness level. That being said, there are some general estimates we can use as a starting point.

A fit hiker can walk between 20-30 miles a day, an average hiker 10-16 miles a day, and beginner hikers 6-8 miles per day.

Detailed Hiking Time Estimates:

Hiking Gear Tips for Beginner

Hiking in Birkenstocks

Sure you can go in your birks, but probably not for really long hikes. I absolutely love my Birkenstocks and have hiked in them in my home in California, Germany, Romania and the island of Crete. Not in winter though. As a physical therapist and avid hiker, I usually wear trail runners to hike but there’s a time and place for hiking in Birkenstocks.

10 Resources for Hiking as a Hobby

  1. Hiking guidebooks: These books provide detailed information on hiking trails, including trailhead locations, difficulty level, and points of interest.
  2. Hiking maps: Topographic maps provide important information on terrain, elevation, and landmarks to help hikers navigate their routes. Tabacco makes great maps for the Dolomites in Italy. BTW: best hiking vacation ever.
  3. National Parks and Forest Service websites: These sites provide valuable information on hiking trails, permits, safety guidelines, and park regulations.
  4. Outdoor gear stores: These stores offer a variety of hiking gear, such as backpacks, hiking shoes, and camping equipment. My favorites include: REI, Black Diamond, Patagonia, and Garage Grown Gear (for ultralight backpacking).
  5. Hiking forums and online communities: Online forums and communities allow hikers to connect with other enthusiasts, share information, and get advice on hiking routes and gear. Hiking in Europe has been invaluable to me.
  6. Hiking apps: There are a number of apps that offer trail maps, weather forecasts, and safety alerts to help hikers plan their trips. My favorite hiking app in Europe is Komoot.

    ➡️ AllTrails also offers an amazing navigation app.
  7. Hiking clubs and organizations: Joining a hiking club or organization can be a great way to connect with other hikers, learn new skills, and discover new trails. This Montenegro hiking group is super fun.
  8. Outdoor education centers: Many outdoor education centers offer classes and workshops on hiking, backpacking, and outdoor survival skills.
  9. Local hiking shops and outfitters: Local hiking shops and outfitters can provide information on local trails, rent or sell gear, and offer guided hikes.
  10. Hiking blogs and websites: Many bloggers and websites offer tips, advice, and reviews on hiking gear, trails, and destinations. Hey you’re here!


Hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature, challenge yourself, and experience the world around you in a unique and meaningful way.

Some people ask “is hiking a hobby or a sport”?

It’s whatever you want it to be.

Remember, the beauty of hiking lies not only in the journey, but also in returning safely home. So, before you head out on your next hiking adventure, take the time to plan, prepare, and prioritize hiking safety.

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.

I hope you enjoy this hiking as a hobby article and include more Nature in your day to day.