Beginner's Guide to Hiking

Beginner's Guide to Hiking

Wear the right shoes

Before any hike, make sure you’re wearing proper walking shoes or boots, with a good grip, waterproof and can take being covered in mud. Also make sure you’re prepared to end up covered in mud, too.

 

Never go alone – go with friends

The entire way up, being helped out by her hiking companions, who would routinely turn around to check if she was OK, and help in particularly tricky areas – such as the cave, where they had to drop down on to a path. Fortunately, there weren’t any more major mishaps until they were on level ground again – but it all boiled down to what she could'nt have done if she hadn’t had the guys around.

 

Expect the unexpected

As the group have been hoping to reach Glymur, one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland. However, once they reached a small river, they knew there was no way they'd be able to get across. The water rushed by at such a pace, they knew that even if they swam over, they'd probably get swept downstream by its force, into God knows what.

 

Take food and water

Water is the most essential – and, even though many may see this as an obvious point to be making, so many forget to take a bottle or two with them. It’s much harder to keep going if you’re dehydrated and starving. Take a packed lunch to have at the halfway point, and keep your hydration levels up as you go.

 

Pace yourself

‘Pace yourself. Go at a speed you can maintain – don’t try and keep up with anyone else, then burn yourself out. Focus on your breathing – take steady, deep breaths, and watch your footwork when the terrain gets more difficult to navigate.’ Take breaks when needed. Just a minute or two, to recollect yourself.

 

Take a change of clothes

Even if you’re fortunate enough not to get covered in mud, it could have rained while you were hiking, you could have to go straight to a party afterwards – there are many reasons why a spare pair of shoes, trousers or jacket will be welcome once your hike is over.

 

Source: A beginner’s guide to hiking: How I trekked through an Icelandic mountain range

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