Hiking has been around for a long time. In fact, Native Peoples across what is now Canada used hiking trails to hunt and fish and move their communities as the seasons changed. When Europeans arrives, hiking became an indispensable part of commerce as the newcomers hiked and canoed across the country to trade furs and other goods.
Today, hiking trails can be found in most communities across the country, from large cities to small towns and across virtually untouched stretches of wilderness.
If you’ve never hiked, the first thing to know is you shouldn’t feel intimidated by it. There are some things to keep in mind, some of which are listed below, but all in all, hiking is a wonderful way to get active, get in touch with nature and have some peaceful me time, far away from the hustle and bustle of 21st century life.
1. Find a hiking club: The first thing you’re going to want to do if you’re interested in hiking, is to connect with other hikers! A good place to start is to google ‘hiking’ or ‘hiking groups’ – there are sure to be a couple in your community.
2. Start small: No one takes up hiking and heads for the Rockies. Hiking in a local park or forest is a good start and a great way to develop skills, test out gear and build your endurance.
3. Drink up: The most important thing to bring when you hike, no matter how long you plan on being out, is water. One litre for every two hours you plan on hiking is probably a safe amount, but as you hike more, you’ll figure out how much is right for you.
4. Lace up: Different hikers prefer differently designed shoes. As you practice, test out boots, mids and trail runners to find the shoes or boots that are comfortable and don’t leave you with blisters.