Hiking: 10 tips for routes on foot23 Dec 2013 Bardenas Reales, Hiking, Prepirineo
Winter is the perfect time to come hiking in both the Pre-Pyrenees and in Bardenas Reales. Here are our 10 tips for getting the most out of your hiking trips in the countryside:
1.- Plan your trip: Get the most information possible about the best itinerary, dates, maps, weather forecast... If you can also get the track, even better.
2.- Calculate the distances: The length and difficulty of the trip should be chosen according to the abilities of the weakest in your group. This is vital when there are children on the outing.
3.- Footwear: Comfortable, with a rigid sole and boots rather than shoes, for ankle support. In hiking, as in many other sporting activities, it is better not to wear new boots. Make sure you have "worn them in" on shorter walks.
4.- Clothing: Suitable for the season. As well as comfortable and light, it must be breathable and you should have some sort of waterproof layer. It is always advisable to cover your legs.
5.- Poles: 2 are better than 1. Telescopic poles are ideal, since you can lengthen them a little during descents and even fold them away during sections when you don't need them.
6.- Rucksack: Comfortable and with sufficient capacity. Make sure it is well-fitting so that the weight rests on your hips and not on your shoulders when you hike our routes.
7.- Protection: Sun protection, a visor, sunglasses, gloves and lip protection will all be vital on our hiking routes.
8.- Ascents: Take shorter steps, placing the whole of the foot on the ground and following an easy-to-maintain rhythm. If the gradient is very steep, zig-zag across the terrain to make it easier.
9.- Descents: When hiking, lengthen your poles and support yourself to alleviate some of the stress on your knees. If the gradient is very steep, again try to zig-zag and place your feet perpendicular to the slope.
10.- Final piece of advice. When hiking, always try to:
- Eat before you are hungry
- Drink before you are thirsty
- Wrap up warm before you feel cold
- Rest before you feel exhausted
Remember that in hiking, more than anywhere else, it is not the end goal that matters but the journey. Enjoy it!