Up The Mountain!
Ever fancied yourself as an adventure seeker? If you love hiking and travelling to little corners of the Earth, then have a gander through my top tips for doing so.
So, what makes me qualified to offer some top tips for hiking? I love hiking and growing up in Wales allowed me to do so every week! I've also been fortunate enough to hike in South America and India...
Top Tip #1 - You're never over-prepared.
I think this is the most important tip. Always prepare for the worst-case scenario. Is it going to rain? Not 100% sure?...then pack the waterproofs! This is especially true if you're hiking up mountains where the weather is very changeable. At the foot of the mountain the sun may be shining and the sky may be blue, but at the summit the weather can change in the blink of an eye. Always prepare!
Top Tip #2 - Get a good pair of hiking boots
There's nothing better than a good pair of walking boots. If you want to avoid the blisters - and you definitely will - then I recommend going to a specialist boot shop and trying out a pair of boots before you buy them. There may be cheap pairs on-line but it's worth spending an extra £20-£40 to make sure you have a comfy pair of shoes.
The lighter the shoes are the better, especially on long day hikes. I'd also recommend getting boots that support the ankle just in case you have a little slip-up.
Top Tip #3 - Socks!
Nowadays you can spend a fortune on socks for hiking and walking. A mid-weight sock should do the job for an average hike and it should be snug. To help stop blisters it's also a good idea to use sock liners. These are thin socks that go between your feet and your main socks and reduce the friction. If you're on a budget, normal, day-to-day socks will do just fine.
Reference to Top Tip #1...always be prepared and bring a spare pare of socks because wet socks are just as good as no socks.
Top Tip #4 - Food and Drink
Nothing puts a downer on a hike more than a hungry and dehydrated hiker. This one may seem obvious but always prepare enough food and drink for the duration of your hike. I'd recommend taking some sweets or chocolate with you for those moments when your energy levels may be a little low.
Top Tip #5 - Bags and Clothes
When you're packing for your hike, be it one day, three days or a few weeks, you need to prepare clothes for the day and night. Are you going somewhere cold or hot? Is it likely to rain? Does the temperature drop a lot at night? Will you need a tent? These are all questions to ask yourself and then when you know how much space you're going to need for your things, you can then pick a suitable bag.
Always think...am I going to be able to carry this bag for the duration of the hike? Could I prepare for everything but take less?
If the climate is cool, I'd recommend taking plenty of layers - a t-shirt, a fleece and a coat. Your body will warm up considerably when you start walking. If the climate is warm, take some breathable or quick-drying t-shirts and some sun-cream!
Bonus Tip - The Pictures and Videos
ALWAYS take pictures and videos to document your hike! Who doesn't love a selfie?
Or maybe an artistic pose...
I'd recommend buying GoPro. They're great products and they record excellent quality videos. If I can't convince you, maybe these incredible videos can...be warned, you may end up watching a lot!
Who doesn't love a surfing pig!?
And who could resist an orangutang?
Most importantly, stay safe and have fun!