With uncertainty still surrounding travel as we approach the spring and summer seasons, a hiking holiday in your hometown or country seems like the perfect solution for having a bit of respite from everyday life, without the hassle. Whether you’ve never hiked before or love to hike every weekend, hiking is an amazing experience and is one of the best ways to both keep fit and take in some of the amazing scenery the world around us has to offer. Whether it’s just a short weekend walking trip or a whole week in the mountains, we have some tips on how to prepare for the best hiking staycation.
Making sure that you have a good base-level of fitness before you embark on a hiking holiday is key to enjoying it. Whilst the scenery and the break away from reality will be amazing regardless, if you’re huffing and puffing all day, it might not be as enjoyable as it could be. Of course, your hiking holiday will go at the pace that you make it, but if you can do a few practice hill climbs before hand, as well as get into the habit of regular walking, you’ll ensure you have time to focus more on the scenery around you and the company you’re with, rather than on your breath and simply making it to the top. To train for a hiking holiday you should combine a mixture of aerobic exercises with weighted leg training, so your legs become strong enough to conquer those mountains. Trust us, it will be worth it!
Fuel with the correct nutrition
Hiking requires a continuous slow release of energy, which makes fuelling it extremely important. As well as having a substantial meal before you head out on your hike, it’s important that you take some extra food for along the way. Snacks such as nuts, dried fruit and oat energy bars are great at keeping your body fuelled, and energy gels are also perfect for a super quick hit of glucose if you’re feeling like you need it. In preparation, you should get your body used to consuming food on the go before you head on your hiking holiday, as your digestion will then be used to this style of eating and will therefore avoid any stomach aches or indigestion on the hike. Of course, hydration is also key, especially if you’re out hiking on a warm day. You may be wondering how you’re going to transport fuel without it getting in the way, when you’re focussing on the hike. A phone holder for hiking that also has additional pockets for things like energy gels can be a great piece of hiking holiday equipment. Whilst an arm strap phone holder for hiking might be the obvious choice, a phone holder for hiking in the form of a vest, which keeps the weight of your belongings central throughout your body, is an even better option.
Choose the right footwear
Having a pair of sturdy yet comfortable hiking shoes probably goes without saying if you’re planning a hiking trip. There’s nothing worse than a hike being spoiled due to pain in your feet and blisters on your heels. A great pair of hiking shoes will be designed to give your ankles the support they need whilst stepping over uneven terrain and will be accompanied by thick hiking socks designed to keep out any blister-causing moisture. Your hiking boots or shoes should not only provide the correct support but should provide enough ventilation for your feet to breathe as well as be water resistant for those rainy days. In terms of preparation, don’t, and we repeat, don’t purchase a pair of hiking shoes and wear them for the first time on your hiking holiday. Before you go, take the time to break them in over a few long walks, to check that they are the right pair for you.
Purchase the right equipment
Preparing for a hike in terms of equipment doesn’t just end at a decent pair of shoes. As well as this, you’ll need to make sure you’ve purchased lightweight, breathable clothing that is suitable for the weather conditions in which you’re hiking. If it’s going to be a hot day, you may still want to wear a lightweight long-sleeve top to avoid sunburn and insect bites and also a hat or cap to protect your head. Merino wool is a fantastic choice for socks due to its temperature regulating properties. If it’s winter and temperatures have turned chilly, thermal base layers on both your top and bottom, along with gloves and a woolly hat or beanie are highly recommended. When it comes to carrying your essentials, you might want to pack extra socks, clothing and of course, water, in a backpack that fastens securely and doesn’t pull on your shoulders. For things that require immediate reach, such as your smartphone and emergency medication, you might want to consider a phone holder for hiking.
Here at Freetrain, our training vests make for the perfect hiking accessory. Not only do they have straps to adjust to your most comfortable fit, but they keep your smartphone at the centre of your chest, meaning it’s so easy to access when you need to! Whether you’re accompanying your hike with a playlist or podcast, need to check your maps to ensure that you’re sticking to the route or simply want to grab your phone to capture the beautiful scenery around you, the Freetrain is your answer to safely storing your phone whilst enabling quick and easy access without interrupting your hike as you’re exploring your new surroundings! You may already have a phone holder for hiking, but the Freetrain is the perfect solution to annoying armbands and uncomfortable waistbelts, meaning absolutely nothing can now stand in your way. Choose from the Freetrain V1 for regular daytime hiking, or choose our reflective version so that you can be safe and seen as you tackle a pre-sunrise or post-sunset adventure.