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Hiking for Beginners… yes even you!

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Up until last October, I could never been an described as an”outdoorsy” person, I didn’t own anything waterproof and my idea of a sports shoe was my white pair of Converse. This all changed when my boyfriend and I tackled the 2nd highest peak in the UK; Snowdon Mountain. It my first hike and it shocked absolutely everyone I knew.

Being a complete novice, I thought it would be useful to share some of the tips and tricks that I picked up in the hope to inspire another novice to take the leap (not literally..don’t worry)

How to prep for your hike:

  • Stretch!-  your body will hate you otherwise!
  • Have a good breakfast & hydrate- Empty tummy + Hillwalking = “Hangry” mess
  • Bathroom check before you leave (there are no toilets on the mountain..who would have thought eh?!)
  • Sunscreen – even if you think you don’t need to.
  • Map out your route- mark it on a map or download on your phone.

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What the hell do I wear?

Sadly, it’s not about fashion and functionality is key when shopping for your gear.

  1. Invest in a good pair of hiking boots/shoes. You will need to wear these a few times before you hike to break them in so they don’t rub your feet and create blisters. Make sure to get measured properly at a suitable store and combine them with proper hiking socks.
  2. Layers are your friend no matter what season or location. For winter, a tight fitted under-layer, fleece and light waterproof jacket is perfect. In the summer, drop one of these or add in lighter short sleeves.
  3. Breathable fabrics work best so that you don’t end up a sweaty mess and try your best not to mix fabric types. Wool & wool or synthetics & synthetics.

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What to pack in your kit:

  • Light snacks; cereal bars, dried fruit/nuts & bananas are all great.
  • Water bottle or Camelbak reservoir
  • Packet of Tissues
  • Camera
  • Mini first aid kit with plasters
  • Insect bite cream
  • Face mist
  • Sun screen
  • Hand sanitiser & Hand Cream
  • Lip Balm

After your hike: 

  • Stretch- your body will thank you for it!
  • Have a bath & apply some muscle cream
  • Eat a healthy protein packed meal- feed those hard working muscles.
  • Pour yourself a large glass of wine and bask in your new found hiker smugness

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3 thoughts on “Hiking for Beginners… yes even you!”

  1. Well done Kate, good job. One important thing I’d have included is rainwear – trousers and jacket, good quality breathable even if they don’t leave your bag. Also hat and gloves (thinsulate) cheap but effective, no matter what time of year (yes, even July). The mountains can be very unforgiving in the wrong conditions any time of year. If you are expecting rain and/or wind or it’s earlier/later in the year and half litre flask, a packet of cuppa soup and a teabag. This can make a huge difference if the weather turns. Best of luck in your future adventures, Fintan.

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