Are you flirting with the idea of an overnight hike? Keen to explore more outdoors and looking for a little more information before you head bush?
There is an increased awareness of the health benefits of hiking and with the lockdowns of the previous years, we are all seeking a little solace in nature. Nature resets and retunes our bodies, and minds whilst taking an overnight hike speaks to our nomadic soul for adventure.
As the weather cools, it’s my favourite time to hit the trails for an overnight hike. Summer can be inescapably hot in the tents but turn down the heat, add a fleece and a hot cuppa by the campsite before cozying into bed and for me this is heaven.
The idea of packing up and heading bush for a few days could be a little daunting for some, so I’ve unpacked a few things that you need to know before considering an overnight hike.
Training & Base Strength
Hiking can be an exertive task. If you’re carrying all your gear, then the extra weight requires a little more fitness than your standard – walk the dog – routine. Having a solid baseline of fitness means that you can physically raise your heart rate with a steep climb for a few minutes without having to stop every few metres. Depending on the trail you take, the tracks can be undulating, providing obstacles from tree roots or sandy soil means that you are walking against resistance.
Base strength factors the full body. Whilst many focus on building strength through the lower body, having a great core and upper body strength shouldn’t be underestimated. Hiking is a full-body workout with our core providing support for our back, especially when carrying a pack. If you have ever been on a longer day hike, then you will understand how your core is engaged throughout the hike, particularly ascending a hill. When we climb a hill or scamper over rocks, we pivot from the hips, engaging our core, and lean into the hill to move upwards over it often using our arms to pull ourselves forward.
Our self-belief is one of the underpinning factors when we consider doing something a little challenging. Whether it’s the physical aspect that is daunting or the unknown, it is important to have the right mindset – a positive framed way of thinking. Hiking – or pack hiking for that factor can be a little intimidating so moving into the wilderness with a – can-do attitude – will set you in good stead.
Choosing to challenge ourselves in this way can lead to improved confidence, self-efficacy, and self-empowerment. When we push through our comfort zone, we step into a place of a growth mindset.
Whilst it’s hard to know how you will react if this is your first time, why not consider taking someone who is more experienced so that you are reassur