Whether you’re excited for some beach rambles in California, heading to Europe to hike the Black Forest, or even limbering up to take on a section of the mighty Appalachian Trail, you’ll know that a holiday on your feet involves a certain amount of preparation so as to avoid any mishaps while you’re enjoying the marvelous scenery, fresh air, and peacefulness of nature. From training through to what to pack, this article takes a look at what you’ll have to do to so that you’re fully prepared for your hiking trip, allowing you to soak up the vacation without disruption or disaster.
To really enjoy a hiking trip, you want to be in as little discomfort while walking – and while resting after walks – as possible. It’ll allow you to enjoy chatting with other hikers and will ensure you’re always admiring nature as it passes by. Training runs, swims, cycles and – most importantly – hikes will give your legs and feet a little boost in terms of muscular ease and sturdiness that’ll help you avoid any aches, pains or blisters that come from extended periods of walking. Start training at least a month in advance for the best results.
Your footwear will depend on whether you’re planning on drifting along sandy beaches, climbing up rocky crags, or walking lazily down a muddy footpath. Most hikers nonetheless opt for a form of the walking boot, with a high ankle to prevent sprains, and a level of waterproofing to avoid that squelching wet foot. It’s imperative that your boots aren’t a last-minute purchase; wearing in your new boots through walking is important in order to soften the material around your foot which will increase your comfort on the hike while also doing a lot to reduce the risk of painful blisters.
Pack a Medical Kit
Even the best-prepared limbs and bodies cannot plan for the mishaps that can occur during a holiday spent in the great outdoors. It’s therefore important to pack a comprehensive yet light medical kit, with painkillers and plasters, blister packs and anti-bacterial spray, and bug repellent if you’re hiking in areas with flies or mosquitos. Indomethacin would be an important extra addition to the first aid kit for those with arthritic gout, just as an inhaler is absolutely essential for asthma sufferers who’re not afraid to tackle a hiking trail on vacation.
Plan Your Route
Before setting off, it’s a good idea to invest in a detailed map of the area you’ll be hiking in. It’s something you’ll be able to pore over in the days leading up to your trip, highlighting the towns and villages on your route and deciding on where you’ll stop off for food and refreshment breaks, and where you’ll lay your head each night. Your training walks should give you some idea of how long your body can walk without it becoming stressful, so plan around that distance, and use online resources to check you’re on the right track.
Hiking trips are wonderful when planned right; bear these tips in mind to prepare for the perfect walking vacation.