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Walking and Talking: Discovering the Comforts and Joys of Hiking in Britain

If you are keen to discover the joys of hiking and want to explore some new terrain you might want to consider taking a trip to Britain, where there are some amazing inspiring and historic walks waiting to be discovered.

If you are new to the idea of a walking holiday and want to prepare properly, here are some tips and ideas to help you get the most out of walk around Britain, or wherever else you decide to go.

Planning Your Trip

If you are just discovering what hiking has to offer, you may need to head to sites like Abscent Design and others like it, so that you can get things like protective clothing sorted in preparation for your trip.

When planning your trip you might want to take a look at sites like National Trails which offer a map of National trails which can guide you through some of the most glorious landscapes that Britain has to offer.

Photo CC by Glen Bowman

Most walks are graded according to their difficulty and accessibility and many websites will grade walks as either easy, medium or hard. Know your limitations and plan a route that you feel can be safely and successfully navigated.

You will also need to ensure you are well prepared for your trip by not only having the right amount and type of clothing and provisions but also the right equipment for the planned route.

Length of Your Walk

If you are going on a hiking adventure to somewhere scenic like the Scottish Highlands or maybe the Lake District for example, you will likely to cover a fair distance and may need to camp overnight.

The amount you need to pack and your pack weight that you will have to carry will increase according to the duration of your trip.

Whilst pack sizes for hiking can vary according to your requirements and the predicted weather amongst other things, there are some bare essentials that you will need wherever you are headed to.

The basic list will include a good quality tent and sleeping bag, a roll mat for comfort and protection from damp conditions, and some cookware together with enough food to sustain you while you are out in the wilds.

Camping in Joshua Tree National Park.

Camping. The basic list will include a good quality tent.

Hill Walking

You don’t want to burden yourself with too much weight to carry as this will limit your ability to travel as far as you want to each day safely.

If you are planning on doing plenty of hill walking, remember that for a day, a typical pack should probably be less than 35 liters in capacity and be capable of storing enough food and water for 24 hours as well as some spare clothing and other items comfortably with a little bit of room to spare.

A hillwalking daypack is your ideal starting point if you are a fairly new or inexperienced hiker and don’t plan to venture too far between overnight stops that don’t involve camping out.

Once you gain your confidence to venture further afield, you will probably want to graduate to a hillwalking rucksack, which has a typical capacity of 50 liters and is suitable for sleeping gear as well as provisions.

Photo CC by marhis_

What to Wear

You need to be mindful that when you are walking on an incline, which hillwalking will inevitably involve of course, your heart rate will increase as your body works harder.

This will result in you sweating more and is a fundamental reason why you should consider investing in breathable clothing.

This breathable clothing will form your base layer and should be both comfortable and competent in dealing with any excess moisture your body produces. You might be surprised to learn that fabrics like Merino wool amongst others, are good at absorbing water within its own fibers and holds about a third of its own weight in fluid before it reaches your skin.

Once you have your base layer, your next choice is a mid-layer, which is also referred to as the insulating layer.

This layer of clothing needs to be able to keep you insulated and comfortable at the same time and quite often you will find that fleece fabric garments serve this purpose.

Finally, you need to choose a suitable waterproof jacket which will give you the protection you need from the elements. Look for jackets with plenty of zipped and internal pockets, so that you can store all the things you need securely like maps and tools or snacks.

Other considerations when planning a walking trip include deciding whether you might need a walking pole to help you navigate hilly terrain more easily.

Hiking should be enjoyable and comfortable, which you can achieve if you plan not just your route but the equipment you need for a safe trip.

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Brian Price works as a part time local tour guide and spends the rest of his time following his passion for hiking. He has visited many different areas of natural beauty over the years and enjoys sharing his experience with an online audience. Brian writes regularly for a variety of different leisure and lifestyle websites.

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