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Top Tips For Beginner Hikers

Hiking is a fun hobby and it is accessible to almost anyone, regardless of experience level. There are many different hikes all across the country, from winding country lanes and gentle hills to more intense, difficult climbs.

While hiking is relatively straightforward, it is important that you are properly prepared before setting out on a journey to ensure you are fit and safe to complete the hike and have all the necessary equipment you may need.

Planning and preparation is the best way to ensure everything goes smoothly and you are ready for any situation, whether you stray from the path and end up a little bit lost, or the weather changes and you have to battle through wind and rain.

If you are new to hiking, the best way to get to grips with it is to plan a few short, easy trips so you can get your bearings. This is a great way to learn essential skills such as map reading and navigation, which will be useful when tackling longer and more difficult hikes later down the line.

Many national parks offer short, easy walks for beginners which allow you to safely build your hiking confidence up without any worries. These are usually signposted and easy to navigate should you end up mapless and lost at any point.

Circular hikes are also a great choice for beginners as they start and end in the same area, meaning you don’t have to worry about finding your way back to your car or other transport once the hike is over. Again, these are usually relatively easy to navigate once you get to grips with map reading.

While it may be tempting to head out with nothing but your mobile phone in hand, this can actually be quite unsafe. While you should carry your phone with you, should you need it in an emergency, it is not always reliable for navigation.

Phones can lose their battery, can be useless in the rain and are also prone to breaking. If taking your phone, it is best to keep it in a safe and secure pocket or in your bag so you can use it in any emergencies and rely on a map for navigation.

Maps are much more reliable as they are durable and you don’t need a signal or battery to use one.

If you are just starting out hiking, it's also advised that you find some friends to walk with. This makes the hike more fun, as you will have people to keep you company, but it is also a great safety precaution as well.

If you do decide to go hiking alone, ensure you have all the supplies you need, take your mobile phone with you and also let somebody know where you will be going so that you don’t end up being potentially stranded.

Once you have your friends, your map, your boots and enough food and water to keep you going, you can set out on your adventure. Happy hiking!

For guided mountain walks in Scotland, get in touch with The Highland Mountain Company today!

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