hiking

A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking

Enthusiasm and a positive mindset are critical components of hiking.

Hiking for beginners might feel daunting. This does not need any special skills; all you need is to walk and be watchful of the surroundings. It’s an excellent opportunity to reconnect with nature, get in a decent exercise, and replenish your energy. This article will provide you with some crucial hiking ideas for beginners to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

Physically Prepare Yourself

When you first begin hiking, we suggest selecting a path appropriate for your current level of fitness. While hiking is an excellent way to jumpstart your workout regimen or get in shape, if you choose a trail that is much beyond your skill level, you will not enjoy it, and may never hike again. We’ll discuss how to choose the best hiking path in a moment, but before your first hike, little physical preparation and developing a healthy consciousness of your body can help build your confidence as a newbie hiker.

Stretches and Hiking Exercises

As a beginner, the more moderate stretches and exercises you include in your daily routine, the faster your strength will develop. Whether it’s going to a gym, performing workouts at home, or beginning your morning with some yoga postures, being a little more proactive in your everyday life can help to improve your confidence and stamina for the trail called. However, keep in mind that you do not need to be a marathoner or a professional athlete to begin hiking. Simply being on the path will aid in your fitness efforts. While training, remember to listen constantly to your body and any physical indications. This may provide a fantastic opportunity to determine whether to push yourself or change course on lengthier, more strenuous hikes.

Managing Aches and Pains

Hiking is a strenuous exercise that may leave your muscles and joints exhausted and achy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, if you have sensitive feet or weak knees, some preventative steps can be taken to prevent hiking from taking a toll on your body.

The Most Important Hiking Gear for Beginners

Day pack for Supportive Hiking

The first item of kit you’ll need is a day pack. In the beginning, you may use any old bag that is lying around the home. However, if you develop an addiction to hiking, in that case, there’s a few advantages of a decent day pack that is well worth the investment. A supportive hip belt on a hiking day pack will redistribute the weight from your shoulders to your much stronger hips. A hiking day pack would often have a separate bag for a hydration reservoir, enabling you to drink from the pipe without taking your pack off.

The Essentials

Utilize the essential packing list, you’ll want to bring a tried and true list of items for the simplest to moderate hikes. These basics include food and water, navigation equipment, first aid supplies, and other safety equipment. Bear in mind that you may take this listing as a starting point and then modify it according to your need.

Preparing for Hiking

Along with the essentials and hiking gear, you’ll want to dress appropriately for the environment and weather conditions with the appropriate hiking attire. Understanding how to dress adequately for hiking is a necessary skill. Check the forecast before, and keep in mind that weather in the hills may change rapidly. Always be prepared for the worst-case scenario using these tips.

Boots for Hiking / Hiking Shoes

Hiking boots are perhaps the most crucial piece of gear for a hiker. Spend considerable money and time looking for footwear that best fits your foot, feels comfortable and supportive, and is appropriate for the terrain you visit. Nothing beats a superb pair of hiking boots like wide-toe box hiking boots to start your adventure in the great outdoors – not to mention that it helps to prevent terrible blisters on the route.

Trekking Poles

You’ll certainly require a pair of trekking poles, both as a rookie hiker and an experienced peak climber. Purchase a set of lightweight, adjustable trekking poles to assist the knees on the route. It’s an excellent tool for maintaining balance, distributing weight evenly, and maintaining a steady pace over various terrain. Additionally, most of them are simply linked to your pack, allowing you to travel hands-free when necessary.

Choosing a Hiking Trail

For many first-time hikers, the barrier to entry is simply understanding how to pick and discover the right trail. Allow yourself to be intimidated or discouraged by various possibilities of picking a decent hiking path. Several resources are available to you, like applications and websites, that may supply you with a wealth of knowledge. This will assist you in planning details such as where to park, whether pets are permitted, or the difficulties involved, and any current trail conditions updates.

Beginner hiking should always be fun and appropriate for the level of your ability. Therefore, choose a well-maintained track that is designated and doable for your current performance level, not for what you believe you should be capable of. In general, and particularly as a novice hiker, keep the following in mind while selecting a route. Before picking a path, distance, weather, fitness level, time, logistics, and altitudes should all be considered.

Getting Around the Trail

You should always carry and be able to read a route map on your treks. This is a fundamental ability you should master through hiking for a beginner’s journey. Enhancing your trail navigation abilities can raise your morale and keep you safe, so spend some time becoming acquainted with a map. Additionally, spend some time before the journey reading about the path and any previous trip reports posted by other hikers.

If the trek is less than two miles, downloading a trail map on your phone should be adequate. You may track your whereabouts using an app. Simply ensure that you save the maps for offline usage if you anticipate being out of mobile coverage.

Conclusion

Recognize that it is natural for a new hiker to have some anxieties or worries about being outdoors. Whether it’s wildlife, skill, or getting stuck, all of these factors might prevent you from gaining the experience necessary to conquer your hiking anxieties. Avoid setting yourself up for failure or visualizing an adverse event. Enjoy!

cycling

The Ultimate Guide for Going Cycling This Summer

In this article, you are promised much valuable knowledge about cycling and how to take your cycling game up a notch this summer.

Get Some Use Out of Your Old Bike

If you think that it’s time to let go of your oldest best friend, then wait a second. Maybe it will come in handy this summer, and what is better than memories of your good old days with it, and exploring the nuances of your town? However, test it well before hopping on it for a ride. 

These are a few issues to check to make sure your bicycle works fine.

  • The moving parts of the bike are not rusty.
  • The handlebars and saddle are not loose.
  • The wheels roll smoothly.
  • Lastly, make sure your brakes work to their full potential. This is the most important factor.

Chances are your bicycle will be up and running with just a little oiling on the chains and some freshly pumped-up tires, but safety always comes first. If you are hesitant about being a good judge for your bike, take it to the nearest bicycle store and get it fixed and renewed with some money. 

New Bicycle for Newcomers

If you are new to this bicycle game, you probably don’t have a bike lying around in the garage unless someone in your family has it. Therefore, if you want to spend money on a new one, here’s your checklist.

  • Look for lightweight bikes with thin tires, and excellent bike geometry. These bikes help you maneuver around effortlessly.
  • To search for the perfect bicycle for your body, hop on the bicycle and stand over the top tube and check if there is an inch of space between your body and the frame. If this is your first time, all of this might sound overwhelming but trust me, it’s not that hard. Your nearest bicycle shop can help you with this and if you need more assistance, here’s a beginner’s guide to picking the perfect bicycle. The main goal is to check whether you have a good hold of the bicycle or not.

Don’t Take The Gears Lightly

If you think bike gears are only for professionals, you are wrong. You might not ride your bicycle as your life depends on it, but you still have the chance of getting in an accident if you don’t follow the basic rules. Cycling has many benefits including weight loss, having a perfect physique, a reduced resting heart rate, and impeccable strength and energy throughout the day. Not to mention, the views you are going to explore during sunsets, or the bond you are going to have with your fellow cyclists or your dog if he runs to keep up with you. Research has shown that a daily sweat is good for your overall mental and physical health. With that being said, taking optimal precautions is necessary if you want to get the above experience. The basic gears to have are, 

  • A helmet that meets the U.S. safety standards.
  • A white headlight in the front and a red rear reflector in case you are cycling at night.
  • A water bottle carrier.
  • Essential tools in case your tire punctures.
  • Protective eyewear must be shatter-resistant.

Be Slow and Steady

Starting a new physical activity is not a walk in the park. At the beginning of your journey, you will encounter intolerable muscle ache along with fatigue throughout the day. Being persistent and pushing through it is the cornerstone of making real progress. That ache will be enough to convince you to give up, but you will never get over that pain if you stop and resume every time you start your cycling journey. 

The idea is to take it one day at a time. Fix your cycling routine according to your current schedule and slowly tweak it to turn it into your desired schedule. For instance, if you want to cycle through the fresh air in the morning because it’s too hot during the day, but you are not a morning person, incorporate it into your current schedule and once your body is accustomed to your new physical activity, only then fix your overall schedule to go cycling in the morning. 

Don’t cycle a hundred miles on the first day. Maybe start by going around the block of your house. The most important point is to make sure that your body doesn’t find it a boring errand. Keep the experience light and fun, mainly as a stress relief so that you want to go cycling every day, not just because you need it.

Find Your Fellow Mates

Competition always makes things interesting, whether it’s a test or a cycling contest. Once you have learned to have a stronger grasp of your bike, it’s time to go sight hunting! Cycling on a narrow road with trees on both sides and no cars to worry about brings a different feeling of joy. Countries like the U.S. or Canada have a cycling route drawn out on maps. Take full advantage of those maps, and you are bound to make some good cycling friends in no time. Having friends while cycling makes you want to be regular because your friends check up on you every day. Thus, it helps you reach your goals faster while making your journey exuberant and full of memories.

Takeaway

Being an active cyclist does not happen in a day. Hard work, persistence, and perseverance are the secret to that joyful and fulfilling ride.

hiking

Some Useful Tips To Effectively Prepare For A Hike

Hiking can be an enjoyable and relaxing adventure. But not knowing how to prepare for it can be rather stressful. Follow these steps to make it simple.

Hiking is a fun activity that allows you to relax and bond with your friends and family while experiencing the great outdoors. The best part about hiking is that it allows you to venture into unknown parts of nature where you usually cannot reach using conventional roads. This unique point makes hiking a must-have experience to destress and satisfy our wanderlust. 

As a completely safe outdoor activity during the pandemic, hiking is a great way to reconnect with your friends and family as well. However, you may be intimidated by the thought of preparing for hiking if you have not done it before. You might worry that you are not in the perfect shape to hike or that you might lose your way in the wilderness. So we have put together a few tips that will guide you to the essentials of preparing for your hiking trip – from packing for the trip to how to plan the safest route.

Things To Pack For Your Hike

Packing for hiking is one of the least arduous tasks as you are supposed to pack only the essentials. Be sure to pack light, choose a good backpack (check out this list of affordable outdoor backpacks for ideas), and go through the list below to know what to pack.

Tools To Navigate

It’s important for you to be aware of your location and where you are headed at all times. It is also better for you to know where the rest areas, emergency exits, and campsites are located. We recommend that you carry a compass and a map even though you might have a GPS. This way, at least, you will be able to navigate your way out in any situation.

Adequate Food And Water

Adequate drinking water is a must when hiking. Be sure to pack enough drinking water with you on a hiking trip because you need it for your body to perform as required. You need to be adequately hydrated before the trip and be sure to keep sipping water throughout the day. Also, be sure to pack a few extra snacks so that you can all enjoy the moments of rest along the mountain streams. Some great snack options include bananas, nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, whole grain tortillas, and nut butter.

Protection From Rain

You cannot tame the weather; it might be responsible for thwarting even the best-laid plans. As rain and thunderstorms can’t be predicted, it is best to pack clothes to protect yourself from the rain. Also, include layering items or lightweight ponchos so you can adjust to any nasty surprises due to weather changes. 

Safety Items

If the trail you are taking is well-maintained and easy to navigate on foot, you don’t need to be too concerned about your safety too much. That being said, you should always include a whistle, a firestarter, and a flashlight to help prepare you for any unforeseeable circumstance. You can use the whistle to call for help, the flashlight will help guide you in dark conditions, and the fire will keep you warm and can be used to signal for help. You must also pack a small portable first aid kit that includes bandaids, antibiotic ointment, bandages, bug bite or blister treatment, allergy medications, and gauze pads, along with whatever daily medication you need.

Toiletries

If your hike takes you to remote areas without access to restrooms, you need to prepare for the bathroom breaks. For this, you need to pack hand sanitizer, waste bags, toilet paper, and other items you require. You might find a few wicks, spiders, bees, and mosquitos on your hike. Don’t let them ruin your hike – pack an insect repellant that you must reapply frequently.

Protection From The Sun

You need to pack a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides at least 99 percent protection from ultraviolet A and B protection. Without it, you will be prone to get sunburn from Ultraviolet radiation. Even shaded wooded areas can give you sunburn! You also need to carry a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays. Between the hours of 10 a.m to 4 p.m, it is advised to hike on trails shaded as the sun is strongest at this time. If you sweat a lot during the hike, you need to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours (and don’t forget to keep hydrating).

What Should You Wear On A Hiking Trip

Your overall hiking experience will largely depend on what you wear on the hike. Choosing heavy clothes will make the experience uncomfortable on a hot summer day, but shorts will not go well in areas with poison ivy or mosquitoes. Here are a few pointers on choosing the right clothes for your hiking trip.

Pants

Depending on the temperature, you should choose breathable pants, allowing you to both keep warm or cool. Comfort should be the critical deciding factor when choosing pants – that is why you should avoid denim. So it’s best not to pack your favorite pair of jeans for the hike. For the winter months, choose clothes with layers to keep you warm. Wicking fabric will be ideal for hiking pants – be sure to wear leggings beneath it to keep warm. 

Shoes

To have a great hiking experience, you must have the right hiking shoes. If your terrain is mountainous or snowy, choose rugged mountaineering boots. For mild terrain, you can pack backpacking boots that have a solid sole. It is best if the shoes are made from breathable materials like nylon and polyester as they are lightweight and easier to break into. On the point of breaking in new shoes, you should avoid doing that during the hike. Wear and walk in your new shoes ahead of time to break them in. For a challenging terrain, you can choose full-grain leather boots, which are very durable. High-cut boots will give you greater balance and support if you are hiking on challenging terrain. If you need more ankle support and weed protection, you can go with mid-cut boots. If you are a beginner starting on well-maintained trails, you can choose low-cut boots that are lighter. 

Ultimately it is essential to set aside your worries and have a relaxing and hike and take in the great outdoors. You don’t need to rush anything; just explore at your own pace. Make this time about reconnecting with your family and friends and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

canoeing

Reasons To Take Up Canoeing

Anyone who does canoe will tell you that when they spend time on the water they feel happier and it makes them healthier. If you have never so much as picked up a paddle, keep reading below to find out why the past time could be a route for you to experience a greater level of wellbeing in life.

You Will Connect With Nature

The waterways throughout the UK are home to an abundance of wildlife, from trout fish to Canada Geese, and dragonflies to kingfishers. Canoeing provides a great opportunity to see these types of animals up close and in the wild, their natural habitat.

It Is A Fun Thing To Do

Ask yourself this; have you ever seen someone looking unhappy as they paddle a canoe? The answer to this question is very likely to be no because it is such a fun activity. Canoes can be taken on flowing rivers, still-lakes, or open stretches of sea, meaning you can do it no matter where in the country you are based.

You Will Feel Good

Even the most gentle of paddles down a river or across a pond will leave you feeling good thanks to getting some fresh air into your lungs. Being out in the open and close to nature helps to reduce your stress levels, thus making you much happier and carefree.

It Is For Everyone

The past time is accessible to pretty much anyone in society, regardless of age, athletic ability, or health status. Both adults and children alike will find that they enjoy canoeing once they have given it a go. Because of this, it is a great way for families to spend time with one another whilst out in the wild.

You Will Meet Great People

With canoeing making you feel good, it means that those who take part are a very happy bunch of people. There are lots of canoeing clubs across the UK that are more than happy to welcome new members and introduce them to their world, all within a friendly setting. Because of the wide range of people that the activity attracts, it means there your group of friends will broaden, which is never a bad thing.

It Will Make You Stronger

The act of paddling requires the use of many muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and upper torso. Because of this, it is a great way of not only increasing your strength but also making your body that bit more toned. Due to the effort required to paddle, it also improves your overall fitness and cardiovascular system – benefiting your health in many ways.

Having read all of the above reasons, it is not surprising then to hear that there are almost 2 million people in the UK who go out and canoe every year. If you are interested in finding somewhere in the Ross-on-Wye area where you can try out canoeing for the very first time then see details here.