Check with a medical practitioner to see if you are medically fit to hike.
Buy the proper gear. Do you have knee problems? Ask your doctor. Some recommend knee supports and poles. Check with a doctor first. Do you have the right boots? Suitable hiking boots that are half or full size bigger. Do you have lower back problems? Ask your doctor how you can better prepare.
Stretch very well before and after hikes to prevent injuries and lessen soreness. Tense or unstretched muscles will become worse with physical activity. Stretch a full minute for every year of age. For example: 35 year old stretches for 35 minutes a day minimum. Learn body positioning to stretch safely and effectively. Check with a medical practitioner.
To minimize wildlife encounters
Talk and make noise
Be vigilant and alert: we are walking in wildlife habitat. Learn how to co exist. Also learn how to behave should we encounter any. Staying safe is everyone’s responsibility.
Carry a bear spray and know how and when to use it
Hike in groups: 3 or more. All hiking groups eventually break off into smaller groups. If you have poor navigational skills or map reading skills, stick to the group and don’t wander off.
Carry dry food and wrapped food only. Wildlife may pick up a scent and be driven by it.
Carry enough water, a water filter (for very long hikes) and or water tablets ( for very long hikes)
Stay safe hiking!