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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Hiking

While we prefer “riding” through the wilderness, there are still lots of beautiful places that you just can’t get to in a Tomcar ATV.  So, what’s the best way to check them out?  Well, by hiking of course!

If you’re new to hiking, read on to learn what you need to know before you hit the trails, whether you’re planning a stroll through the woods or a multi-day backpacking trip.

Why hike?

The wind stung and burned our faces. Step by step, we made our way upwards, and then we were there, on top of a snow-covered ridge in western Wyoming, on top of the Continental Divide in the Wind River Mountains.

Though it was late June, the temperature was barely over freezing up on the pass, just under 13,000 feet above sea level.

Above us, a bright blue sky. The view was spectacular, valleys spreading out before us, forests and rivers and glaciers, all of it so tiny and yet so vast.

We snapped some pictures and began our descent from the ridge, eager to escape the biting cold.

That night we made camp beside a long lake, where it dropped well below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Today was day seventeen of a thirty-day expedition, and to this day, that unnamed pass over the Divide remains special to me.

The amazing beauty of the wilderness, land so wild that even the loggers and miners of the 19th century had been forced back by the cold and the snow.

Land so wild that even before people came to the Americas on wooden ships, the natives of the land only passed through as hunters, as the vicious weather forced them to stay in more hospitable lands for the winters.

How had we arrived here? What drew fifteen people to this wonderful yet desolate place?

For some adventure was the call; for others the wilderness was the place they could go to leave their pasts behind. Whatever the cause, we travelled together.

Several of us had spent months in the field before, while for one of our group, this was the first time outside of a city or suburb.

Some people view the wilderness with fear or even distaste. Some live in big cities and don’t have the chance to venture into the great outdoors as often as they would like. Some would like to start hiking but aren’t sure where to start—what gear to buy, where to go, how to navigate, and so on.

And of course there are many like me, wilderness fanatics who need at least a hike or two every week.

If you’re reading this, you might want similar experiences, but how? Isn’t it expensive? Isn’t is difficult or dangerous?

These questions don’t have simple one-word answers, but I’ll do my best to give you solid advice for starting off in hiking.

It changed the way I see the world around me, and I hope it will do the same for you.

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