Beginners Guide to Hiking
If you’re new to the hiking game it can feel like there is much more to it than just going out and walking! We’ve put together some helpful do's and don’ts to get you on your way so that you too can enjoy some beautiful Cotswold walking tours.
To begin with it’s really important to consider the weather that you’ll be walking in and pack your bags and choose your routes accordingly. If you haven’t packed sun cream and the sun beats down you’re going to have a very uncomfortable walk, same goes for heavy rain which can make clothes and shoes rub and make some trails very slippery, really not that much fun. Hikers often wear Polyester as it dries faster, which comes in handy during a cold downpour whereas Cotton tends to retain moisture and also absorb odours so if you’re hot and sweaty…well I won’t elaborate on that! Wool socks versus cotton socks are highly recommended too.
Eating and drinking well during your hike is key. You’ll need some healthy calories to give you the energy your body needs and of course drinking enough water is absolutely essential. Snacking through the day and a hearty meal in the evening is the way forward.
If you’re going to be carrying your own gear then definitely try to keep it to a minimum, walking for long periods of time is hard enough without the added luggage so the lighter the load the better.
You definitely must follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ rule – bring a bag for rubbish and be really respectful of the environment, it’s a big one for us walkers, we are a friendly bunch but littering the countryside would certainly not go down too well.
Walking generally doesn’t result in too many injuries however if you aren’t careful you could find yourself in a sticky situation that could really spoil your Cotswold walking tours. Shoes are a big one – there are so many different styles, brands and materials, where do you start? The advice is to go to a real fit expert and get the shoes that are right for your particular feet. Good shoes can be costly but it can certainly be worth spending a few extra pennies. To keep those muscles happy be sure to warm up before starting your walk each day. Cold, tight muscles are a set-up for injury and you really don’t need that.
Lastly it is definitely worth advising you to increase your walk distance and intensity gradually. There is no reward for walking the furthers, highest or fastest, so do your body a favour and take it a step at a time (quite literally!) by working your way up to the hardest walks. This will also give you challenges to aim for and look forward to.
Now just go and enjoy it! We are very happy to welcome you to the walking club and hope to see you on one of our Cotswold walking tours soon.