• Find hikes on the All Trails hike. I love this app. It tells you about hikes in your area and includes info on the type of terrain, route suggestions, and other helpful info.

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  • Find a hiking group. This literally transformed my entire hiking experience. I found a great group in the bay area that goes on hikes every week and it's awesome. It's great socially and also helps me get some extra support. Meetup.com is a good place to find a hiking group.

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  • I still need to invest in a good hydration pack, but I have a hand-me-down from my husband that I'm using for now. I can definitely say that it helps a ton during my hikes. I honestly don't drink a ton of water during hikes, but it's nice to know that I have water when I need it. And I don't have to hold it.

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  • Moist towelettes are your friend. I underestimated how dirty you get during a hike, but it can get pretty messy. I like to wipe off with towelettes, and I also like to have a change of shoes so I can stow away the dirty ones.

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  • Speaking of shoes, get something comfortable. I like shoes with a fair amount of cushioning, but some people find more comfort in lighter shoes. Either way, pay attention to your feet for the first hike or two and adjust your shoe game accordingly.

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  • Get ready for the sound of nothingness and learn to enjoy it. I'm usually a music person and need my headphones anytime I walk or run. During a hike, however, I've learned to love to sounds of nature. It helps me tap into some pretty cool thoughts and is super relaxing.

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  • Keep track of all of your hikes. When I first started hiking with my group, I sort of just showed up and didn't keep track of where we were. This sucks because when people ask me where I've been I have no clue what to say! You can track it in Google Maps, AllTrails, or in a notepad.

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