Hiking Tips and Tricks for Beginners
We believe that everybody should experience the joy of adventure. From the feeling of the rough ground underneath your boots to the wind whistling past your face, experiencing the lesser-travelled paths evokes feelings of peacefulness and accomplishment that are hard to find anywhere else. The best thing about hiking is that it is suitable for all abilities, allowing everyone to experience the delights of exploration!
If you are thinking about getting into hiking this year but don’t know what to expect, we’ve got you covered! Check out our list of hiking tips and tricks that are perfect for budding beginners or casual adventurers.
Build Your Fitness Level
For anyone who is just beginning their hiking activities, it’s important to understand the capabilities of your body before tackling anything particularly strenuous. Sure, we would all like to wake up one morning and climb Ben Nevis, but unfortunately, not everybody has the physical and mental strength to achieve this, not right away.
The opportunity to take part in some of the most challenging and jaw-dropping hikes will come after regular practice, but at the beginning, it's best to start smaller. Understand what you are physically capable of and pick a local route that is challenging, but not off-putting. Once you catch the hiking bug, then you can begin to develop your fitness and expertise before taking on some of the UK’s bigger tests!
Check the Forecast
Knowing what the weather is likely to do during your hike is hugely important, particularly if you are on an exposed or vulnerable route. Rain could make certain paths more treacherous to pass, while a stronger wind could cause problems on hill and mountain trails. It is important, therefore, that you keep an eye on the weather regularly and, ideally, during your hike. It is also worth speaking to any organisers or landowners during bad weather, who may be able to provide expert advice on your particular route.
This is something that can be easily forgotten but is crucial to the hiking experience. We recommend that you bring with you any supplies that could become necessary during your trip, particularly on long journeys but also for shorter trails.
What these supplies consist of could differ, depending on your experience. However, there are a few that we would always suggest. These include water and some essential first aid items, along with a mobile or emergency device in case something were to happen. During longer hikes, it is also worth packing some snacks, as this will give you some vital energy for the latter stages of your adventure!
When we start off hiking, the instinct can be to try and protect ourselves by wearing multiple heavy layers of clothing. While this is with good reason, you will quickly warm up as you start walking, and will be soon stopping to take layers off. Instead, it's much better to start a little bit cold with fewer layers on, but make sure you have the warm layers in your rucksack, to put on when you stop higher up the mountain.
Lightweight, high-quality walking clothing is designed to be highly breathable, to help regulate your body temperature, and wick away sweat. It will help to keep you much more comfortable when out in the hills. It will also reduce the amount of weight you're carrying, allowing you to keep going for longer.
Get the Right Gear
Using the correct equipment is vital when it comes to enjoying your hiking experience to its full potential. As with the point above, this includes making sure that your items are of high-quality and built with your task in mind, as choosing these items will make the trip feel much more natural and effortless.
When it comes to gear, the boots you choose are hugely important. You need to make sure that they are designed for the terrain you will be facing and are as comfortable and supportive as possible. Choosing high-quality, lightweight hiking boots by LOWA will ensure that you have the perfect boots for the job, allowing you to really take on the challenge ahead and truly enjoy your hiking adventure!
Respect the Environment
A vital piece of hiking etiquette that must not be ignored, it is essential that you respect the natural world during your trip. This point is not just for the sake of your fellow hikers but is also about understanding the world you are stepping into and the animals that could be calling your route home.
It is important that the natural balance of your environment is disturbed as little as possible. Therefore, respect any animals and dwellings that you come across, don’t litter and be generally aware of the world around you. These are lessons that we like to carry with us throughout our lives, and they are ideals synonymous with the hiking community.
If you are considering hiking or are looking to take the next step in your hobby, then check out our range of boots and accessories, with options specific for every aspect of hiking and walking! What would be your number one tip to a budding hiker? Let us know via our social media channels! #LOWAUK