The Best Prior Preparation For Hiking

It is officially spring now, warmer and longer days are just around the corner and we can all come out of hibernation mode, dust of those walking boots and get out into the world hiking!


Perhaps your new years resolution this year was to get more active and you are new to hiking, or maybe you’ve been away from it for a while, whatever your situation, we’ve come up with our top hints and tips to make sure that you are fully prepared for the walking months ahead and you can enjoy your hikes to the fullest.


Shoes

Before you can embark upon a hike you need to have the right footwear. Walking boots can be costly but it is so important to have the right shoes because your feet are going to be putting in a lot of the hard work and you don’t want to end up with blisters and sores.

Be sure to wear your shoes in before you set off on your hike, wear them around the house to soften them as much as possible.


Socks

Like shoes, socks are super important for your feet. Choose socks made from materials that will wick the sweat away from your skin, making them as dry as is possible and reducing the risk of rubbing and blisters.

It is a good idea to pack a spare pair of socks when you are on your walk because if the ones that you are wearing get wet or are too sweaty you can swap them out while those dry.


Clothing

Layers are the key when you are walking, firstly because your body temperature is going to fluctuate a lot whilst out hiking meaning you can easily pop layers on and off. Layers are great if you are feeling cold because the layers trap the warm air and will heat you up in no time.

Loose clothing will be far more comfortable for hiking too.


Build Up Slowly

Build your hikes up slowly, don’t go in all guns blazing and choose an incredibly difficult route. It is nice to challenge ourselves, but build up gradually. Start with a short and relatively easy walk and increase the difficulty level each time, almost training your body. This way you’ll avoid injury and can feel the achievement of taking on more and more difficult hikes.


Walking With Children

If you are planning on walking with your children then try to build up your child’s interest before hand. Get them looking in  nature books and go on field trips so they can discover their favourite animals or plants for themselves.

Start your family walking adventure with a regular walk to encourage healthy habits and get them used to hiking.

When you are out walking with children, make sure the route and length of time spent walking is appropriate to their age, or you may find the hike goes badly and they are put off walking for some time, not what you want!


Older People Walking

If you are starting a new walking hobby as an older person then there will also be things to consider.

Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking can improve cardiovascular fitness and bone strength, reduce excess body fat and boost muscle power, so well done you for getting involved.  

It can be an idea to see your doctor for a medical check up before embarking on any new fitness program especially if you are overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time.


Katharine Mabbett