Following the events that followed on my last hike, here are 5 must know things that I think are important to take note of after months of dormancy.
Don’t be overconfident.
Yes, you might have aced your first ever hike without prior training like I did, that’s just beginner’s luck. That should be no reason to assume you can ignore proper training if you’re serious on taking up hiking again.
Train train train.
Hit the gym if your able to or work out from home to strengthen your muscles and your breathing technique. Ensure you do a proper work out to particularly strengthen your legs and improve flexibility in the hip joints. I will do a separate post on a few exercises that hit the core areas.
Listen and pay attention to the feedback your body is giving.
Your body will most often than not tell you when something is wrong. Let’s say you have been working out hard and taken all measures to ensure you’re ready for your next hike, nonetheless, on your way up you get winded and your body gives up. As much as this might be confusing, your body is trying to tell you something so pay attention! It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you need to slow down or go back there’s absolutely no shame in it, ensure you follow whatever guidelines the group leader or the guide gives you (assuming they are professionals).
Get advice from qualified and experienced tour operators / guides.
I don’t need to mention that unfortunately we have a lot of quacks parading as professionals, and this industry is no exception. Do your research before trusting a guide / tour operator on your next hike, this could make the difference in saving or losing your life when in dire straits. Yes, it’s that serious!
Be honest and let them know how far back you went on your last hike and whether you have been active in the time in between. If they are professionals, they will guide you on what type of activities you should do first.
Consult your physician.
Finally, if you have health issues it’s important to ensure that your physician ascertains that you’re fit enough to take up the sport. Nowadays professional tour operators will make you sign an indemnity form relieving them of any liability in the event something happens to you. Therefore, protect yourself by ascertaining that your fit enough to hike.