How To: Get into Hiking

At Dust & Pine, we love getting outside and going on a long walk, whether that’s walking the dog or a day spent hiking up a mountain. It has not always been that way though and we wanted to share with you our guide on how to get into walking & hiking outdoors.

Step 1: Pick your footpath, trail or destination before you leave

If you aren’t aware of any local footpaths in your area, we’d suggest either purchasing an OS map, downloading a route planner app or using the Ramblers route finder.

It’s always best to plan your route out in advance, saving you time on the day and avoiding any wrong turns.

We’d also recommend you download the ‘What 3 Words’ app before you leave, that way if you do get lost you can easily supply any emergency services with your location. 

When choosing your route, consider the following:

How much time do you have? Are you setting aside a full day, or do you have a couple of hours? This can determine where you go and which route you take. Remember to factor in how long it takes to get from your parking spot the beginning of the route.

The intensity/ difficulty of the route: you want to enjoy your time outdoors if you haven’t done much hiking before, consider gradients/elevation, terrain & length of route and location before you decide. Remember, the average walking pace is about 3mph and could be slower depending on where you are walking. 

Getting to and from your route: It is always worth checking before you leave whether you route starts and finishes in the same place. Some routes can finish in a different place to where you started, so you may need to arrange transport or factor that time into your day.

Step 2: Have appropriate walking gear and clothing

The time of year can impact the clothing and gear you need but we’d recommend the following whatever the weather

  • Running shoes or trail shoes are suitable for most terrains, if you are taking a tougher, uneven route you might want to consider sturdy walking boots.
  • Good quality socks - you don’t want to end up with a blister mid-walk (trust us!).
  • Depending on the weather and the area you’re walking in you will need either:
  • If you suffer from any aches or pains, especially in the knees we’d recommend walking poles for if you're walking up, or down any inclines. 
  • A rucksack for snacks, water and an extra layer or two, like our long sleeve tops.

Don’t forget the essentials:

When packing your rucksack make sure you’ve got the following:

    • Suncream - even if it isn’t sunny, you should wear SPF protection, especially when at higher elevations.
    • Food & drink - it’s important to always remain hydrated and food to refuel throughout your hike.
    • Extra clothing & waterproofs
    • Navigation materials - a map & compass
    • Torch - dependent on the length of route & when you start.

Step 3: Start Small

It’s easy to get carried away and plan your first hike or walk, to be a big one. From our experience, the best way to start is to start small and not set any high expectations, you can plan everything right but many factors can impact your hike that is out of your control, the great British weather for one! 

Step 4: Find your hiking partner or friends

If you are nervous to go out on your own, find a partner or friends to enjoy the day with. Join an online group such as Love Her Wild, a community of women who love the outdoors & adventure and regularly arrange meet-ups and walks across the UK.

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