READY TO SET OFF ON A HIKE? 

Pre-hiking jitters, anxieties and confusions are normal emotions for most of us especially if it’s the first time.  Here’s a list of things that you can take care of before you head out to make your experience easier and more enjoyable.

Here are 3 tips for starting out on the right foot!

WARMING-UP PROPERLY 

It's important to warm up properly, even for hiking.

What's the point? It wakes your body up gently, getting your joints, muscles, breathing and circulation ready and in good shape. When your body has been warmed up properly, you run less risk of injury.

The time to spend on warming up depends on the efforts you're going to put in. It can vary from five to several dozen minutes depending on how tough your trail is. You can start by walking slowly, then performing a few exercises to ease up the parts of your body you'll be using: ankles, calves, knees, back, shoulders and neck.

The same goes for cooling down when you get back. It helps to keep your muscles supple and reduce body pains!

A BREAK-IN CIRCUIT

When starting up after a long break, it's a good idea to break yourself back in gently! The kind of circuit you start with will depend on how much exercise you have done in the winter. If you have been cross-country skiing, or Nordic skiing, you can choose an itinerary of a similar distance and change in altitude to what you did in the winter.

Whereas if you have been hibernating all winter, we suggest a gentle break-in. When you take a break from sports, your physical condition deteriorates. It's best to go gently when getting back on track, to avoid injury or getting discouraged. So you don't simply start where you left off, you scale back to an easier route!

 

Lastly, to avoid unpleasant surprises, choose a circuit that's fairly low in altitude, so you don't get stuck in snow half-way along.

APPROPRIATE GEAR

Spring weather can still vary hugely. It can be hot or cold or wet, or all three in a single day. To adapt to these changes in temperature, we suggest the following gear:

- a breathable, long-sleeved base layer,

- a fleece item for warmth,

- a lightweight, compact, waterproof jacket for protection from the rain,

- lightweight, comfortable trousers that dry quickly,

- watertight footwear.

 

Wearing three layers on your top half means you can weather all conditions, as well as changing to suit the effort you put in. You can keep your fleece in your backpack on upward climbs and in hot weather. When you take a break or if the temperature remains low, you'll be happy to wear it!

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