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How and with whom to start hiking

Are you thinking about getting started in hiking? Would you like to know everything you need to get a great start?

Hiking is an exciting and addictive activity, with time you will see how your health improves, you’ll be more active and that enjoying nature will become your favourite hobby.

In Walkaholic we motivate you to become a hiker. So, before we start, we’ll talk about everything you need to start this activity in safe and planned manner.

Choose the right shoes

Many people make the mistake, at the beginning, of wearing the same shoes they use for running or for some other sport, this is fatal for your feet. You need to wear comfortable and suitable footwear. Although it’s true that if you hike a few kilometres you won’t notice it, but as you increase the distance or difficulty of the route you might get injured. Both in the skin and at the muscular level.

The most recommended is to wear a special footwear for hiking that fits the requirements of the kind of route you are going to do. For example: waterproof if the trail has waterfalls, rivers or if there are probabilities of rain. If there is a lot of unevenness or terrain imperfections you should protect your ankles, etc. In this article you can delve into the types of boots and soles for hiking.

Wear comfortable and appropriate clothes

The clothes you’re going to use are also essential to enjoy the trail, it must be light, comfortable and breathable. Depending on the season of the year you must use different layers or thickness.

What clothes should you have to start your route?

  • Pants. There are a lot of models, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable wearing them. These must be breathable, elastic and resistant to allow you to have freedom of movement and durability.
  • T-shirts. They are the first layer of protection, they must be thin and breathable, it helps us to isolate ourselves from the outside temperature. It’s recommended that you have a long sleeve T-Shirt and a short sleeve T-Shirt.
  • Jacket. Choosing the right jacket will depend on the altitude of the hiking trail and the time of the year. It should meet three criteria: perspiration, coat and protection.
what clothes do you need for hiking

In this blog article we show you how to choose the right hiking jacket for each time of the year, this will help you to get it right to get started.

Get fit

If you are going to start on short hiking trails, the same path will serve as a physical preparation, there are trails that you can hike with older people or children because their level of physical demand is minimal.

However, if you want to start with a higher effort level you should prepare for it. You can start with workouts through your city or in the gym, this will allow you to gain resistance and muscle strength.

It is very important to don’t choose hiking trails for which you are not physically prepared. Since this can cause a health inconvenient and also a problem for the group of people who accompany you.

Bring and wear the right equipment

Having the right equipment is also an important part of planning your hiking route, keep in mind the duration, distance and weather conditions, on this will depend the material you need to carry in your backpack.

Try to transport the minimum and essential equipment to avoid carrying a lot of weight. Consider food, drinks and a small medicine cabinet.

It is also advisable to have some walking sticks, these help you to maintain balance, be more agile and unload some weight from your body.

Types of routes

types of routes to start hiking
PR Small Signal Route / Photo by Manel, License (CC BY-ND 2.0)

There are different types of hiking trails, it is important that you know them so you plan the appropriate route for your level.

GR Trails

They are the hiking trails of Great Route. They have a distance greater than 50 km.

Its signage is white and red and its identification code is made up of the letters GR + the number corresponding to the route.

PR Trails

They are hiking trails of Small Route. The trails are covered in the day and do not exceed 50 km away.

It is marked with the colours white and yellow and its identification code is composed of the letters PR + hyphen (-) + territory + path number.

SL Local Trails

They are routes of smaller distance than the PR and travel around a specific town or location.

They are marked with the colours white and green and are identified with the letters SL + hyphen (-) + region or territory + the corresponding number of the trail log.

SE European Trails

These are trails with distances of more than 1000 kilometres away, a route that is for experts or professionals, although in some cases you can make a section of the route.

They are indicated using the marks established by each federation for the GR and PR paths to which the European Union stars badge is added along with the letter E and the corresponding number.

Who can you plan your hiking trails with?

You can plan a hiking route with family and friends, however, in many cases you will find yourself wanting to hike a route and not having companions for it. Don’t worry, there are many ways to join a group.

  • Facebook groups: in this social network you can find groups in which many companies and individuals publish tours that may be interesting, consider the level of the route and ask the organizer any questions that may arise such as: meeting place, duration, equipment or what food you should take for the tour.
  • Federations, associations and guides: these organizations and mountain guides also organize hiking trails, you usually have to pay to go with them, but it is worth it because you guarantee that you will be accompanied by professionals.
  • Specific websites: you will also find planned routes on the tourism websites of some localities, natural or national parks or specific places to do this type of activity.

Remember that your health comes first, so you must keep in mind that you are starting and assess what type of hiking trails you can or should do.

It is important that you apply good hiking practices such as: do not litter, respect the sources and rivers and do not spill any type of waste and, very important, do not tear flowers, plants, or grab the animals you find.

We hope that all this information is useful for you to start enjoying hiking now that spring begins and the weather encourages you to go outside. Tell us, what will be your next adventure? We may get along the way.

info Offline maps for Andorra, France and Spain with +3.500 hiking routes in our Android app.

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