As I get hiking again following Lockdown and particularly as I’ve been doing one or two longer hikes, I’ve got to retrain myself and thought that I’d share some practical tips for hitting the countryside…
1) Eat an Energy Providing Breakfast
Enjoy a good coffee to wake you up. Eat some porridge or wheat shreads/weetabix type cereal. Bananas are a great option too.
2) Tell People
Tell people where you’re going, when you expect to be back and let them know when you are!
3) Set Off Early
Know how long it’s going to take to get to your starting point. Avoid the crowds and provide yourself with enough daylight hours to complete the hike.
4) Take a Map
Have a look at your planned route. If new to hiking, start somewhere familiar, maybe with a friend and learn to use a map as you go. You’ll pick things up quickly.
5) Break in New Boots
Don’t sign up to do an epic hike, buy some new boots the day before then set off! Walk to work then maybe around a local reservoir before building up hiking distances.
6) Wear/Take Appropriate Clothing
Is it going to be hot? Do you want trousers that can become shorts? Have you got a collar on your shirt and a hat? Don’t forget suncream! Or maybe you need waterproofs as well as a hat and gloves. Have you got a waterproof sack for your rucksack including to protect your valuables?
7) Leave Spare Clothes/Food and Water in the Car
Have some spare gear in the car incase you get soaked/muddy. You want a comfortable ride home. Also, have spare food and water incase you miscalculate and run out on the hike. This way, you don’t use it all up during the hike and will get some energy before driving home.
8) Take an Energy Providing Lunch/Snacks Including Water
Fruit, nuts, granola type bars, jerky, plenty of water. Eat less of the right stuff rather than more of the wrong stuff!
9) Exercise Caution Around Wildlife
Even animals not renowned for being threatening can pose danger. Cows have been known to trample people to death! Walk around animals, particularly if they have young, even if it means leaving the track.
Finally, not really a tip and something that should go without saying… take your rubbish home and dispose of it appropriately!
What have I missed? Please let me know in the comments…