Hiking is a great way to take a break from everyday life. Nature, fresh air and enticing views can be enjoyed with little effort. The word has gotten around and hiking has freed us from old negative clichés: Today, most people know that hiking is not just for old people and unsportsmen.
It is now known that fitness and relaxation can be combined excellently when hiking. Nevertheless, a hiking cliché persists: “Hiking is all about running. There is nothing else to consider. ”We explain here why this assumption is incorrect and which hiking mistakes beginners should avoid.
Hiking mistakes are not bad – but often spoil the fun
Hiking can look back on a long tradition and history . When the topic comes up, most people automatically think of a relaxed walk in the forest. But beginners also often want to enjoy spectacular views. In addition, fitness should not be neglected and as many kilometers as possible per day .
Of course, everyone can start hiking in the way they enjoy most. However, one thing to consider: Beginners of hiking venture out with a high-quality hiking backpack , for example, but without suitable footwear on stony mountain slopes, the hiking fun is quickly lost. So that the hiking start goes smoothly and is also fun, beginners should avoid some common beginners’ mistakes.
1. Underestimate the sporting challenge
Many beginners underestimate the sporting challenge they can expect during a tour. Full of zest for action, newcomers to hiking often want to venture onto particularly spectacular routes. At the same time, however, they assume that the sporting challenge when hiking does not exceed that of a walk.
But that is not the case, especially with long or challenging hiking routes. Then the first hiking attempts overwhelm and the fun is lost. It is therefore important to adapt the selected hiking route to your own level of fitness. In addition, especially before longer tours, it makes sense to prepare for it by regular endurance training .
What is also often forgotten: endurance is not the only requirement when hiking. It also depends on strong muscles and sufficient warming up! The muscles of the trunk and legs are particularly stressed when hiking off-road. Preparing for a hike through regular strength training and extensive stretching before a tour therefore prevent pain and injuries.
2. Start with a difficult route
Many beginners are particularly drawn to difficult, long or hiking routes with many special features. This is understandable: after all, sensational images encourage you to want to explore this route yourself. However, it should not be forgotten that challenging routes also require a lot of planning, physical fitness and preparation. They are not to be confused with a walk in the park and often overwhelm beginners.
But what can be done so that a lack of access to rest areas or poor cell phone reception does not make difficult routes a disaster for beginners? Very simple: For beginners, it makes sense to start with an easier route. As their experience grows, they can then gradually tackle larger challenges. For the first tour, it is advisable to choose a route that is about 5 to a maximum of 10 kilometers long.
3. Underestimate a route because it goes downhill
A particularly common mistake among beginners is not only to underestimate a route due to its rather short distance. Even if a hiking route leads partially downhill, many beginners assume that it can be easily mastered. However, this is not true! After all, going downhill after a while is a real challenge for the thighs.
4. Choose the wrong footwear
Those who choose the wrong footwear for their first hikes rarely enjoy their trip. This is especially true when going off-road or on the first longer hiking tour. While normal sneakers are also suitable for hiking on rather easy beginners’ hikes, the situation is very different on rougher routes. Well-fitting hiking shoes that can also cope with wetness, rubble or slippery surfaces are a must here.
So the hiking shoes not only have to fit and fit well, they also have to be adapted to the conditions of the hike. After all, glacier-compatible expedition shoes are rather out of place on a summer hike. Here it should be a rather light couple.
5. Avoid walking poles completely
Hiking sticks are often superfluous for beginners. Especially for a rather easy hike, many like to forego this purchase. However, if there is a steeper descent or rough terrain on an otherwise easy route, hiking sticks should not be omitted. Finally, the sticks are used to improve sure-footedness and to make ascents and descents easier and without injuries.
By the way: hiking poles do not necessarily have to be bulky and impractical. If you choose practical telescopic walking sticks, you can easily store them in your backpack if they are not needed.
6. Pack too little water and food
Fitness studio, therefore, appropriate food should not be left out during a hike. But which foods are actually “suitable for hiking”?
Foods that quickly provide a lot of energy are particularly suitable for on the go. These include, in particular, carbohydrate-rich foods such as sandwiches, cereal bars or fruit. So that you don’t have to transport too much of it, it is advisable to have a good breakfast before each hike.
This is particularly true because there must be enough space in the backpack for drinks. Especially when hiking, it is important to always meet your own fluid needs. The rule of thumb here is that there should be space for around 0.5 liters of water per hour of hiking in your backpack.
7. Choose clothing that is too warm or too light
If it is still rather cold in the morning, many beginners set off with a thick jacket. After a short time, however, they notice that the outside temperatures and body are slowly warming up – and the selected jacket is much too warm. Experienced hikers rely on the shift principle for their excursions: Instead of a thick one, they wear several rather light pieces of clothing that they can put on and take off as required.