For the past few weeks my ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ have been pretty thought provoking – which is great because that’s exactly their purpose, to make you stop, think, reassess, change, reverse or do whatever you think is necessary to make you happy and content. Definitely the aim of the game!
This week however, I wanted to talk about something lighter and a great hobby of mine – hiking/ trail walking.
I was very lucky to grow up in Scotland and be surrounded by the most stunning scenery, mountain ranges and forest. There was never a shortage of places to walk and I remember spending many a happy Saturday as a child, with my family walking up or around our local range Bennnachie – I even had my own walking stick!
As I got older, I fell in love with the outdoors once more and David and I made sure we got in some of the most breath taking sights before we left. The real treasure of Scotland is in its size – you are never far away from a sight that will make you stop, reflect and smile.
Since we have moved to Perth Australia, we have been trying to explore as much as possible, whether that be a walk around our local country park or a bit more of a hike as we did recently at Serpentine Falls. Everything is so different to home but that is what makes both Scotland and Australia so special – its differences.
So for this weeks ‘5 Top Tips on a Tuesday’ I want to encourage you to step out into the great outdoors and see what is on your doorstep with ‘5 tips for hiking/ trail walking’!
The most important tip – know where you are going! Look online for information on your trail and print out a map. (Having this in paper form will help if you run out of battery on your phone.) Find out what the markers on your trail look like and how long the trail is expected to last. Doing your research will also help you to find out information on parking, wildlife in the area, fees for the park etc.
After doing your research you should know what terrain to expect. I have done walks and hikes in hiking boots but also my birkenstock sandals (good grip and support). You want to be comfortable, warm and prepared for what is ahead. Most walks in general will be fine with a supportive pair of sneakers/ trainers.
Always bring snacks and water. No matter how short you expect the walk to be you never know what you might face or what might happen. Be prepared and the worst that will happen is you return home with your snacks intact. Always stop periodically to drink water and the hydration will keep your energy up. Good ideas for snacks are options that don’t involve needing to be cool – dried fruit, nuts and seeds, corn/rice cakes, jerky, chocolate etc.
Always walk with someone if possible. If you wish to walk alone make sure it is in an area that is on the busy side – if you need help you want to be able to get it! Bring a fully charged phone with you and be prepared for having no signal – aka take a paper map.
Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to return – better to be safe than sorry.
Know your limits
And finally, know your limits when it comes to hiking. Your research should help you to realise what to expect from the walk – is that realistic of your level? Think of the terrain and distance – are you equipped for that? Also take into account the weather forecast – and not just bad weather, the sun and heat can be pretty debilitating without enough water, a hat and sunscreen!
Research, be prepared, explore and most importantly, have fun! There is a whole world out there to explore, start with your own doorstep for inspiration!
Do you like to hike/ trail walk?
Day trips or overnight camps? (I love walking but camping is a no no for me!)
What is your favourite snack to bring with you?