Following on from the popular post Hiking Survival Guide: Girly Girls, this time we take a look at how newbies can not just survive – but also enjoy their time on the hiking trails.
My tips are:
- Plan: Do your research. Read blogs (such as this one 🙂 ) and find out about hiking trails close to where you live. There are also many books available on this, or maps will give you a full list of walks in a certain area. Also check out the Tourist Information offices – they have heaps of (usually free!) info – and are manned by people who are enthusiastic about people getting the most out of their time in the area.
- Know your limits: If you have any concerns or niggles its best to get them checked out by your GP. But – if you are in general good health, and have a reasonable level of fitness, you should be right to start with some short hikes. It’s best to start small and take it easy, and see how you go – then you can work up from there.
- Share the experience: If you’re a bit nervous, or unsure (or just prefer the company of others) – grab a friend/your kids/your dog to go hiking with you! It’s not always possible (I spent a lot of time hiking alone early on), but when you do go hiking, tell people – and you never know who might be interested in coming with you next time.
- Get the gear you need – not everything that’s available: When you’re starting a new hobby (or re-starting) it can be tempting to go all out. To buy all of the latest gadgets, tools, and cool clothes that clever marketing campaigns assure you that you need. Some decent shoes (depending on the trail, your runners may do) and a backpack to carry water and food are pretty much it when you are first starting out. As your time on the hiking trails increases you’ll need more – so watch out for the sales and grab things as you go along.
- Have fun: Especially when you’re first starting out, you may not be going far, or breaking any land speed records (in my case this hasn’t happened even to this date 🙂 ), so just go with the flow and have fun! For many of us, hiking is simply about being in the moment and enjoying incredible scenery and the magnificence of nature – so if this is also why you are hiking, you have nothing to prove and can just take it all in and enjoy yourself.
So – what are you waiting for?
Bio: Sam is a daydreamer, storyteller, and hiker. She loves getting outside, and you’ll often find her on the bushwalking trails close to her hometown of Geelong. You can follow along with her on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube.