Every time I talk about being a hiker there are two reactions that I get;
- Never ever! I will wait for you and your team in the hotel
- I want to try it! But will I make it?
The truth about the matter is that hiking is DEFINITELY NOT for everyone. But as I always say, ‘I am always willing to try out almost anything once- anything within reason’ To be honest it would help for you to be moderately fit. This means that leaving your daily desk job and couch potato lifestyle will possibly not be the best way to start your journey into hiking. Especially if you want to join a group. I am not saying that this is impossible, what I am saying is that it will most likely be an unpleasant experience for you. This is because the other people will be moving along with relative ease and you will struggle to keep up with them. Most hikers are accommodating of newbies however there are others who will not only be irritated by your struggle but will most likely also voice their irritation and this will not make for a pleasant first hike.
Preparing for your first hike
- Gear- There is an article I have written about this so read it here and know that gear is an integral part of a successful hike
- Fitness- Start moving. This simply means that you can start walking around your neighbourhood or walk from work to home. Basically increase your footsteps to about 10,000 steps at least three times a week. This will build up your stamina and leg muscles for the hike. Most hikes will take anywhere from 5 hours to 8 hours (of course this is a simple guide and the hours could be more or less. Walk consistently for at least a month before diving into hiking.
- Mental preparation- Start researching and reading about what hiking entails and what you need to do in order to be ready so that when you eventually go for your first hike you are mentally prepared for the journey. Here is the thing, if you think you can, then half the battle is won. If you think that you cant, then you are better off not even going for the hike as you will be miserable.
- Pre-existing medical conditions- Talk to your physician about your intentions and let him/her give you a clean bill of health. Remember that hiking is a dangerous sport and one needs to be aware of their medical status before venturing into hiking.
Above all, look for a hiking group that has a good track record and also one that has hikers with a similar demographic as yours. Hiking is meant to be a pleasant and enjoyable experience and it should be a good form of relaxation.
That being said and done, if you get all these things right and you have an enjoyable experience, I can guarantee you that this will become one of your healthy addictions!