A hiking trip is one of the best ways to experience the scenery and nature of a country. The right hiking trail can take you to traditional villages, incredible vistas and allow you to see wildlife that you might only see in the zoo (if at all). If you’re planning your hiking trip, this handy checklist will help you get the most of your experience, wherever you’re going in the world.
Choose a Hike based on your Fitness level
Don’t overstretch yourself, at least not when you’re an inexperienced hiker. Try and choose hiking trails that you know won’t finish you off. Most hiking routes will be easily manageable into smaller sections, with stops in local villages or towns. The Camino de Santiago in Spain, for example, is a very long route but with plenty of stops along the way for you to break it up. You’ll find plenty of useful websites to help you pick a hike based on your experience or fitness level.
Choose the Right Shoes
If you’ve got some lovely new hiking shoes, make sure you break them in before you set off. There’s nothing worse than blisters, rubbing and broken soles to ruin a hiking trip. If you buy new boots take them for a local walk for a few hours to break them in, before you end up in the wilderness!
Research stops Before you Go
Most hiking routes will be researchable before you go, so make sure you know the path and the various options before you set off. This way you’ll be able to do two things:
1. Avoiding getting lost will be much easier if you know where you’re heading for.
2. You’ll know where you can stop to refuel, sleep, camp or even enjoy a simple rest break.
Consider Hiring a Guide
In some parts of the world, hiring a guide is an essential part of your hiking trip. They will know the safest routes and how to avoid hazards such as landslides, local problems or even where to spot the wildlife. If you don’t know the country, or there are perhaps issues such as local conflicts then definitely consider getting a guide. They’re not normally expensive and they’ll most likely be worth every penny!
It can be tempting to bring all kinds of mod cons for your hiking trip, but, let’s be honest, you’re unlikely to use them. The most important things to pack for a hike are waterproofs, a local map (avoid using smart devices as they can run out of battery and get damaged), a refillable bottle for water and some food for the duration of the trek.
If you’re planning a long hike through the wild then you may also need to pack tents, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, and other creature comforts. But when packing, think of the weight, and if there is a way you can go without it then choose that option.
The final word on Hiking trips…
Whenever you’re going on a hiking trip, make sure to leave only footprints and take only memories and photos. Take all your rubbish home, leave no marks that can’t wash away, respect the locals (both humans and wildlife) and avoid damaging the local environment as much as possible.
For more information, check out this guide by a hiking expert for planning your hiking trip, including tips on some of the best hiking trails around the world.