5 Ways to Enjoy a Hiking Trip
Hiking offers different benefits to different people. Some enjoy the solitude; others enjoy disconnecting from technology or reconnecting with loved ones on the trail. Whatever your reasons might be for lacing up your boots, here are some tips on how to enjoy a hike (no matter your experience level).
1) Make sure your hiking boots or shoes are worn in and support your ankles and foot arch
When you first buy your boots or hiking shoes, wear them around the house with thick socks for an hour a day until they feel comfortable; this will help you avoid blisters when out on the trail. Make sure your boots are a good fit; not too tight or too loose. You should be able to fit a finger in your boot when they are laced up (your feet might swell up a bit while hiking).
Hiking boots with good ankle support can be helpful if you have ankles that easily roll or if you’re hiking on uneven terrain. Make sure the arch of your foot is supported too, this helps prevent any knee problems or can keep them at bay. A good shoe shop should fit you properly with these ideas in mind!
2) A good hiking companion will keep you on route and make the time fly by (or remind you to stop and take in the scenery!)
Whether it’s a Backroads Trip Leader you just met or your partner of 40 years, time can fly by when you’re having a great conversation on the trail. Our guests love hiking with our Trip Leaders, who always have great stories to tell and share interesting details about the region. Whether it’s explaining the geology of the Dolomites or the more recent history of World War II in Flanders Fields, our Trip Leaders make your hikes come to life.
3) Stay hydrated and fueled
Eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty. When basic needs are met – food, water and sleep! – it’s easier to stay upbeat and energetic, no matter the mileage ahead. Make sure you rest up and stay fueled and you’ll be golden!
4) Plan a realistic route and pace yourself
Plan a hike with a distance and elevation gain that are within your abilities. Instead of committing to five miles when one is more achievable, start there and celebrate when you reach new milestones (pardon the pun!).
On Backroads trips, our Trip Leaders are always available to support you with a lift in the shuttle to give you a boost up the road or back to the hotel, and to provide ample snacks, water and sunscreen, making it easy to pace yourself and enjoy the journey. This is your vacation, and you make the rules!
5) Remember why you’re out there!
The point of a hike is never just to get to the end. Be present on the route. Whether it’s a provincial French town with maze-like roads or a rocky trail in an alpine forest, savor the moment in the great outdoors.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it gives you a few key pointers to allow you to put your best foot forward on your first hike (or your hundredth!).