Sport Activities Insurance
On this page you will find information on hiking, mountain biking, sky-diving, scuba diving, skiing, water skiing, camping, hunting, fishing, canoeing, rafting, rowing, snorkelling, surfing, rollerblading, skate boarding, etc. So far the hiking section is available please check with us for new information postings.
Hiking - Learning What You Need to Know in Order to Enjoy Hiking
If you can walk, hiking is easy. Really! Hiking is simply going for a walk, but doing so in the wilderness. It's not really that much different than taking a walk anywhere else except that the surfaces you are walking on may be more uneven than the paved or flat surfaces you usually find in a city.
In addition to walking you need to be prepared for whatever the weather conditions are when you go for a hike, and you need to be able to find your way back home again. For all unexpected surprises we recommend you purchase a backpackers insurance cover.
The following suggestions are intended to help you ease into hiking if it is a new experience for you. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with the idea of going off into the woods for a walk, they may help you to get started.
Probably the closest thing to hiking that you can do in the city is to go for a walk in the park. If hiking is really new to you going for a walk in a park is probably a good way to get started . Find a park that has some unpaved walking paths or just some open areas where you can get a feel for walking on unpaved surfaces.
One of the best ways to get started is to start with short hikes first. That way if your muscles or your feet aren't used to hiking or if you find you are not properly dressed for the weather you won't suffer unnecessarily.
While you are hiking there generally won't be a car, bus, house, store, or any other shelter to duck into if you get too hot or too cold or too tired or too hungry. And depending on when and where you go there may not be anyone else around. If you miss judge something on a short hike, it won't take long before you can get back to warmth, shelter, food, water, and more familiar surroundings.
Learn about hiking by doing it at the time of year when the weather is the nicest. Remember you're going to be outside. Summer in most areas is usually the best time of year for hiking because the weather then is most pleasant, but if you live in an area such as the desert you may want to start hiking in the spring, fall, or even winter when temperatures are more moderate. Choosing friendly weather will mean one less thing you have to worry about while you are finding out what this hiking thing is all about. Later after you have gained some experience and want more variety or challenge you can go out when the seasons are less friendly.
Start out by hiking with others in a group. It is also a good idea at least at first to go with other people who have already been hiking and know what to expect and can help you out when you don't know what to do. If you don't have friends that are willing to take you along with them, you can probably find some more formally organized groups to go with. Check with local hiking clubs, municipal parks and recreation departments, outdoor supply stores to see if they have organized hikes scheduled. Some people find they enjoy hiking so much with a group that they never get around to hiking by themselves. Others really enjoy the solitude of hiking alone.
One of the most common mistakes made by the hiking novice is the wrong choice of footwear. Choosing the right footwear is very important. Hiking by definition is walking which means being on your feet. So you should choose footwear that is designed to make your feet comfortable while walking. Some people prefer hiking boots, but you do not need boots to go hiking especially if you are just going hiking for a few hours or a day. A good pair of walking shoes is quite adequate in most areas.
Another common mistake is to buy brand new footwear and wear it for the first time on a hike. This is more of a problem with boots than it is with shoes. Give your feet a chance to get used to any new hiking footwear by wearing it for short periods around your home or for short walks in the park. Generally the heavier the footwear the longer it will take for your feet to get used to the new shoes.
The clothes you wear are also important for comfortable hiking. Wear only clothes that feel comfortable while you are walking. Generally this means loose fitting clothes. Your clothing should also be chosen to help your body maintain a comfortable temperature while hiking - not too hot and not too cold.
Experience will be your best teacher if you're paying attention. To gain experience start out with some short, easy, group hikes. Ask questions when something doesn't feel right or you don't know what to do.
Good luck and happy trails to you!