HIKING TIPS : 4 ESSENTIALS FROM A NEWBIE

Hiking is the way forward. Forget treadmills. Embrace dramatic scenery, fresh air and a real sense of achievement. I’ve been hiking on and off for 2 years but a lot more over the past year. I’ve got to the top of places which I never thought I would have. This year, I’m going to be climbing some of the big mountains such as Cadair Idris, Snowdon and Ben Nevis (for charity).

As you can imagine, I’m trying to geek up as much as I can on hiking tips from the professionals. This hiking post has been put together on my own personal tips that I’ve acquired through my own hiking adventures and I’m sure there will be more as I hike on.

1. The Way you Walk Down Hill is Important

I’m not very steady on my feet. The days of walking around in stilettos have not been kind to me. I like going up rather than coming down but there are a few down hill walking tips which I’ve picked up:

Walk side ways. Sounds weird right? It’s the same way you get down steep steps. When you’re going down something steep, if you can walk side ways you’ve got less chances of going over because it helps with balance.
Put more weight in to the backs of your heels. This helps you to become much sturdy. Keep your legs slightly bent also as it makes it easier to walk.
2. Tap before you step

Recently I was walking over a stream- jumping on stepping stones to avoid going in. However on the way back I took the wrong stone which was wobbly and slippery and I fell in. Nothing dramatic because it wasn’t deep and I had a helmet on but my feet got soaked!

This could have been avoided by using the ‘tap before you step’ tip. If you’re going to step on anything that you’ve not stood on, tap it with your foot to see how sturdy it is. Obviously you can’t test it with your full weight but it will give you a good indication as to whether it’s safe or not.

3. Look for things to hang on to

if you’re hiking in muddy or boggy areas then there’s a chance of slipping. I always look out for strong plants such as Heather to hold on to and help me up or down.

Always be on the look out for things to grab on to, whether that be large stones, spaces in walls and caves and so on.

It can be hard to judge what’s secure enough to hold you and with time you kind of learn to watch out for the unstable ones. Which is true in many life occasions…

Point being, concentrate on where you are what you’re body is doing.

4. It’s all about your hiking shoes

It is. They are your God when it comes to hiking. Choose a pair that you’re able to wear comfortably with thick socks and they should be breathable and waterproof.

One of the biggest tips I’ve learnt when tieing my laces is to not to do a double knot because it can cause friction and you end up with untied laces, which can be dangerous!

Tip: After you’ve tied them into a tight bow, tuck the excess laces away in to where the shoe’s tongue rests.

Have you got any hiking tips? Please share them below.

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