What a perfect way to spend the day, exploring the outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a short hiking trip or something a little longer, get home with nature and set up a date. Best experienced either in spring or autumn, when you can start to see flowers coming into bloom or the crisp colours of autumn the weather can also be better at these times of the year – not too hot and not too cold (at least hopefully)!
The type of hike you take will depend on the endurance levels of you and your date. Have either of you hiked before? If not, then start off with something short and take extra care to plan carefully to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable time.
- Hiking boots and comfortable clothing
- Map(s) and compass
- Water and snacks (or maybe a picnic)
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone (don’t forget to make sure it’s fully charged)
- Camera and/or binoculars (optional)
- Plan your hike carefully. You should both be in good health and reasonably fit (if in any doubt or you suffer from medical problems you should speak to your doctor first). Hiking can be very strenuous and tiring so it’s best not to choose anything too arduous if this is your first time. Think about walks around a local wood or a national park. If you enjoy it, you can both work your way up to the more taxing hikes over a period of time. It gives you a goal to work towards. Maybe create a list of all the places you’d like to go hiking and then you can work your way through the list over time. Not only is this a great challenge but something you can achieve together as you build up your fitness levels.
- Prepare carefully. Make sure you have plenty of water and a means of getting help (ie, mobile phone, whistle, flares if you are going on a serious hike). Let someone know where you’re going and when you’re likely to be back. This is particularly important on longer hikes.
- Adequate clothing. Layers and breathable clothing are a must for hiking, along with walking socks and quality hiking boots. Depending on the terrain you’re walking over your feet can become sore pretty quickly so the right footwear is so important. Waterproof jackets and over trousers can also be a good call. For a beginner’s guide to hiking you can read more on the Go Outdoors website.
- On the day. Check to make sure that you have everything you need and then enjoy the hike. Make regular stops to take in the views, snap a photo or two and enjoy a picnic perhaps. This is an opportunity to share the experience of the surrounding countryside and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.