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Preparing For A Hike

What you need to know before going on your first hike.
Preparing For A Hike

If you’re keen for an adventure and want to get hiking, it’s important to start off on the right foot.

Warming Up Properly

As with all sports, it’s important that you and your hiking buddies warm up. You might ask, Why? It’s just walking! Well, warming gives your joints and muscles an alert to warm up, brings your breathing and circulation up to speed. When your body has been warmed up properly, you run less risk of injury.

How long you should warm up for depends on how much effort you plan to put in. It can vary from five to several dozen minutes depending on how tough your trail is. You can start by walking slowly, then performing a few exercises to ease up the parts of your body you’ll be using: ankles, calves, knees, back, shoulders and neck.

The same goes for cooling down when you get back. It helps to keep your muscles supple and reduce body pains in the coming days after your hike!

Getting Back Into It

When starting up after a long break (like hibernating in winter), it’s worth taking the time to gently go back to your pace. If you have been relaxing for ages before this trip we suggest a gentle reintroduction. When you take a break from any sport, your physical condition deteriorates, even if it’s not noticeable. It’s best to go gently when getting back on track, to avoid injury or getting discouraged. So you don’t simply start where you left off, scale back to an easier level!

Appropriate Gear

The weather can always be unpredictable, hugely so on the mountains. One moment you’re melting, the next you’re hunting for your jacket or shelter from the rain. Be ready to adapt for these changes with our quick gear suggestions:

  • breathable, long-sleeved base layer
  • fleece jumper for warmth
  • lightweight, compact, and waterproof jacket for protection from the rain
  • lightweight, comfortable trousers that dry quickly
  • waterproof hiking boots

Wearing three layers on your top half means you can weather all conditions, as well as changing to suit the effort you put in. You can always take something off and hold it in your backpack on hard climbs or hot weather. When you take a break or if the temperature remains low, you’ll be happy to have it. Don’t forget to help sort out your friends and family too if you’re going with them!

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