1) Use Google Maps to scope out the parking and bathroom situation – if you put google maps on the satellite view, you can often see the parking, path to any restrooms, and a general view of the terrain.
2) Plan a new activity during the time of day when you have the most energy – some people find that the morning is the best time to try something new. Try to avoid planning new activities after a busy day and make sure you are saving your best energy for the new activity.
3) Allow for plenty of recovery time afterward – give yourself time to recover if you are more tired than you anticipated. Trying something new is challenging, and even if you don’t feel physically tired, it can take a toll mentally and require a recharge period.
4) Don’t go alone – ask a neighbor or friend to go with you. Neighborhood apps, facebook and other social media outlets are good places to find like-minded folks.
5) Bathroom plan – many people experience falls because they are rushing, and many times it is because they need to use a bathroom. Make a plan that allows you to drink the water you need, and get to a restroom in time. This may mean things like: doing a smaller loop trail multiple times, and making sure there is a bathroom at the trailhead.
6) Pack your backpack ahead of time with things you might need – water, snacks, hiking poles, a fully charged phone, and layers of clothing – these are some of the things that can help you be successful and ready for what nature might throw at you!
7) Start with a trail that is shorter than what you think you can do – you can always walk it twice! It’s better to start with a successful first time out, then you will have an idea of what you are able to do next time!