4 Tips for Planning Your First Walking Holiday

This is a collaborative post.   If you’re tired of sunbathing on the beach or wandering around foreign cities, why not try something differe...

This is a collaborative post.

If you’re tired of sunbathing on the beach or wandering around foreign cities, why not try something different for your next vacation? If you love the great outdoors and want to break out of your comfort zone, a walking holiday can be a breath of fresh air. I've been really into hiking lately - there's a state park five minutes from our home so we head there often. I even bought some hiking boots recently that I'm obsessed with. I want to spend more time in the great outdoors and hope to visit more state parks in 2021.

Spending several days or weeks trekking through a remote location is a fantastic way to enjoy your summer holiday, whether you’re by yourself or with the whole family in tow. But if you’re new to hiking (like me!) you may be wondering how on earth you are supposed to prepare for such a trip. The wilderness can be dangerous for those who are unprepared, so it’s essential to have all the right equipment and knowledge to ensure a fun and safe journey. 

To get you started on your exciting adventure, here are four tips for planning your first walking holiday.

Pick the right walk

The world is an enormous place, and there are endless options for trekking destinations all over the globe. Do some research to find the right walk. Do you want to spend your holiday hiking a continuous long-distance footpath, or would you prefer to go out for smaller day walks while based in one location? If you’re not an experienced hiker, make sure you pick a walk that is not too strenuous and leave yourself plenty of time to complete it. You don’t want to overestimate your abilities and end up breaking an ankle or rushing to get to the end. If you're anything like me, you'll likely want to stay indoors and take day hikes with a bed to return to each night.

Build your fitness

Walking for several days on end can take a toll on your body, and if you’re not physically prepared then you will have a very tough time. In the weeks and months leading up to your holiday, make an effort to get outside and train yourself up. Go on short walks with a light pack and build yourself up to longer, hillier routes while carrying heavier weight. When the time comes to embark on your adventure, you won’t have to worry about your body and can focus on the beautiful scenery instead. I often have knee and ankle trouble, so I always take it slow. I encourage taking your time and not trying to rush. Being outdoors is about slowing down and enjoying the space you're in.

Learn some new skills

Spending a long period out in the wilderness is a serious undertaking, and it can be dangerous. There are all kinds of risks to be aware of, such as bears, falls, river crossings, poor weather, and heatstroke. Therefore you need to equip yourself with some specialist knowledge. Take some time to learn some navigation skills, first aid, and how to go camping safely. Familiarize yourself with the wildlife you might run into, and what to do in the event of an animal attack.

Get kitted up

A long-distance trek is very different from a beach holiday, and your usual travel essentials won’t help you much when you’re camping in the wilderness. Hiking requires a specific kit to keep you safe and comfortable. Your exact equipment list will of course depend on where you are walking, but at a bare minimum, you will need a backpack, camping essentials, clothes for all weathers, and a sturdy pair of shoes. Bass Pro Shops is one of my favorites - in fact, I like to visit the local shop in all the cities I travel to because they all have features specific to their location. If you're planning to shop at BPS, make sure to check out https://www.raise.com/coupons/bass-pro-shops for deals and coupons.

Most folks can just up and leave their lives to hike a long trail like in Wild. There are real dangers in the wilderness and a lot can go wrong. But being prepared allows you to take those risks and have plans in place. Prep, prep, prep to make the most of your hiking. 

Where would you go if you could go hiking anywhere?

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