It is practiced more and more hiking in spain, a trend motivated above all in the last two years by the pandemic. According to one pollthe percentage of people who went hiking in 2020 reached 10.2%, almost one point more than in 2019.
For many of them, it’s an easy way to exercise and spend more time in nature without a lot of equipment. But, like any outdoor activity, there are some keys to keep in mind before starting so that the experience is comfortable and safe.
Why start hiking?
There are several compelling reasons to start hiking. First of all, it is an excellent form of physical exercise because it involves cardiovascular activity and helps strengthen the legs. In addition, all the kilometers that our feet travel will help us lose weight and gain muscle.
For many, hiking is an adventure to explore the great outdoors, discover natural heritage, and motivation to lead an active lifestyle. And also a way to feel more relaxed, energized and in a better mood.
Hiking is not a competitive activity: on the contrary, it is a quiet way to exercise calmly, in company, sharing moments and experiences and disconnecting from the routine.
Small guide to start hiking
1. Start small
An important part before starting is to be aware of our limitations and to know what we can and cannot do. Therefore, if we have just started, it is better to leave that peak that fascinates us so much for later.
The best way to do this is to choose marked trails that are neither too long nor too demanding, on routes that are rated as easy or moderate. The important thing is to maintain a comfortable rhythm, that we can follow it throughout the route.
Although we may be tempted to go faster, at the end of the day, after a few kilometers behind us, our body will thank us. In hiking, perseverance is better than speed because we never know in what situation we will have to use our energy (if we get lost, for example).
There are interesting hiking apps where we can find useful information about different routes. It is better to opt for routes that can be done in one day.
2. Wear proper shoes and socks
We don’t need a lot of equipment to start walking. One of the priorities is equip your feet well. If we start on easy terrain, a pair of sports shoes or sneakers will suffice. trail running have good traction. In this link we help you choose the best.
As we progress, we will be able to consider the option of acquiring more resistant mountain boots, with greater support for the ankles but also heavier.
Hiking socks represent a small investment but can be very comfortable.
3. Dress in layers
Refering to clothingThis will depend on the weather and the season. Synthetic fabrics should be prioritized, which, unlike cotton, wick away moisture and adapt better to temperature and climate. It is also very important to dress in layers: a light base, a fleece lining that keeps you warm and a light waterproof jacket.
In this way, we can add or remove clothing as needed. We can take an extra warm layer, preferably something that protects us from the wind. It is possible to opt for resistant hiking pants or shorts or tights. They should be strong and stretchy enough to allow movement and snug to prevent chafing.
4. Choose a light backpack
The backpack it is also an essential part. At first, a small one that we already have will suffice and, as we progress, we can acquire one that adapts to our body. In it we can carry water, sunscreen, insect repellent and snacks such as nuts and energy bars or a sandwich.
5. Check the weather
Always, before leaving, we will check the time to get dressed and take everything we need. Choosing a good day to walk is one of the best ways to guarantee the best experience. Adverse weather is the cause of most hikers’ accidents and makes hiking hell.
We must bear in mind that in autumn and winter, when the sun sets earlier, it is important to plan the route well so that dusk does not surprise us. It is preferable to consult local weather forecasts because they are more accurate.
Other elements that will facilitate the route
With the clothes, the backpack and the time controlled, there are other additional elements that can make the route easier:
- hiking polesa great support for beginner hikers, especially on slopes and descents.
- Carry the battery of the mobile charged: we never know when we will have to use it and for what, so it is better to be prepared for unforeseen situations.
- avoid going alone: better accompanied than alone. But if it is the case, we will have to inform someone where we are going and when we will return.
- Respect nature: the forest and the mountain must be left as we have found them, clean and free of garbage, including organic.
- Do not leave the indicated paths if we do not have experience to guide us through the mountain.
- First aid kit: We can carry a small first-aid kit with some essentials such as gauze, adhesive tape, band-aids, single-dose antiseptics, stitches, anti-inflammatory gel, oral analgesics, antihistamines, sugar, tweezers and scissors.
- navigation systems: a compass, a map or a GPS device will help us reduce the risk of getting lost.
- Start soon: the sooner the better, we will avoid crowds and we will have time even if unforeseen events arise.
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