If you’re plan for 2017 was to get more active then you’ve still got a few months left if you haven’t achieved it yet. One of the best forms of exercise, which also gets you out into the great outdoors, is hiking. Don’t panic – it doesn’t have to be extreme mountain hiking as there are plenty of routes for those wanting a gentler pace and all offer fantastic scenery to boot. Here are some important tips for beginner hikers:
- If getting organised and planning routes seems like to too much to take on then consider joining a local hiking group. Not only is it more enjoyable to meet people with similar interests but you’ll feel more motivated too. Much of the planning will be taken of for you so it also offers an easy introduction into the world of hiking.
- If you’re aiming for more challenging hikes in the future then you’ll want to build up your strength and staying power. Try starting with small hikes once a week in a local woodland or park and gradually increase the distances. This is great practice and will increase your fitness and stamina. It’s also an ideal time to test out any new equipment or footwear you’ve purchased. For a wide range of outdoor gear, you’ll need a good outdoor survival store. Visit the Anglo Forro Website for more information.
- Make sure you always leave the house prepared and there are some essential items that should be packed every time. These include, maps, compasses, sun cream, a fleece, small tool kit, matches and a travel first aid kit. Some form of emergency shelter is also recommended, as is plenty of hydration and some energy bars. Leaving a hike plan with a friend or family member is also vital which should include details of where your heading, where you’ll park your car and when you’re expected to return.
- If you’re not sure what gear is best then don’t be afraid to ask in specialist stores or simply emulate what you see others doing at your local hiking group. Copying is the sincerest form of flattery so nobody will mind you asking questions about what they’re using or where the best routes are.
- One of the most important things about any sport or physical activity is learning how to hydrate effectively. Most of us do not drink anywhere the amount of water we should in a day and this becomes even more crucial when we are doing strenuous exercise. A mistake that is often made by beginner hikers is not carrying enough water. A rough guide is one litre for every two hours but this can vary depending on your pace and the weather conditions so learn to listen to your body’s needs.
- Focus on your footwear. This might take some time and no doubt, a few blisters along the way but really is a highly personal piece of equipment so what works for one person may not be right for you. Whether you opt for boots or shoes, they will have benefits and disadvantages and it’s just a case of suck it and see.