The days when holidays were merely about lazing on a beach for a week or two, doing nothing more energetic than sipping a cocktail, are now long gone. Energetic Brits are seeking new and exciting ways to spend their time relaxing and one of the most popular and easily accessible of all holiday activities is walking.
So if you are thinking of digging out the maps, strapping a rucksack to your back, purchasing a new pair of shoes and heading out for an amble on your holidays this year, take heed of these five top tips to ensure your trip is, quite literally, a walk in the park.
1. Know your capabilities and plan your hikes accordingly
One of the major hurdles that can affect your enjoyment of a walking holiday is if you assume you can do more than you are able. It is no fun if your vacation is a struggle, so ensure you know what you are capable of in advance.
Hiking the Himalayas may be a long-held dream, but if you are out of shape and spend all day in an office chair, you are not going to be able to do that without serious preparation, so perhaps a gentle amble through the beautiful Scottish borders may be a better choice. A great walking holiday is one that taxes you without the stress, so consider this when you are planning your holiday.
2. Ensure you have the equipment you need
Whether you are checking out the latest clothing range from companies like Scarpa, or seeking a sturdy rucksack to carry your lunch and other essential items, ensuring you have the right equipment for your trip is vital. Long before you go, make a list of all the items you will need. This can include: a rucksack, walking sticks, sunscreen, insect repellent, maps, compass (or GPS if you are more technologically minded), first aid kit as well as the specialist clothing you will need. Furthermore, check that you have obtained the items on this list well before you leave.
3. Take care of your feet
On a walking holiday, your feet are your primary focus. Without them in good working order, you will not enjoy the holiday and may not even be able to take part some days if they are sore, blistered or in poor condition. Combat this by ensuring you get comfortable, thick walking socks to wear. And what is absolutely vital is quality hiking footwear, and Scarpa boots are as good as they come. You need a boot that is sturdy, comfortable to wear for long periods and affords grip in potentially slippery conditions and these boots certainly fulfil that criteria.
4. Prepare for your holiday in advance
A couple of months before you depart for your holiday, it is a good idea to give all your equipment and yourself a trial run. Find a local spot that offers similar terrain to your holiday and give your equipment and boots a thorough work out. By doing this regularly, you are not only building up your fitness and stamina ahead of the holiday, but also giving your equipment a much-needed field test to resolve any issues you may have before you go away.
5. Take your camera
Walking holidays can give the hiker some of the most enjoyable and astonishing views they will see in their lives. Don’t just commit them to memory, take your camera and record your journey along the way. Not only do photos and video provide a great memory of your trip, they also serve as a potent inspiration to get out into the hills and mountains and do it all over again.
By following this simple advice, you can be sure that not only are you well prepared and equipped for your walking holiday, but that you will also have a great time and the photographs and video to remember it by!