New to hiking? If yes, then you need to learn a thing or two about pacing yourself. Pacing yourself on the trail is key to having a successful hike.
Rookies often make the mistake of pushing themselves in the very beginning, thinking that covering most ground when you first start off will set you up for the hike. There’s one big problem with going too fast at the beginning of your hike – you burn out! Burning out so early on in the trip will slow you down sufficiently.
Remember, it’s not only about getting to your destination; you’re going to need to preserve energy to walk back to base camp as well!
Check out these tips on pacing yourself on a hike:
Have A Consistent Pace
There’s no need to go fast and then slow down at any point on the trail. The best thing to do is to maintain a steady pace at all times. Even when you begin to move uphill after walking on flat terrain, you should aim to keep your pace steady since it’s better for the body.
If you’re able to converse with your hiking buddies without any trouble, then you’re walking at a good pace!
Taking Breaks is Essential
Depending on how long your trail is, you need to take regular breaks. For a day hike, taking a couple of breaks should be enough but when you intend on hiking for a while then you have to take regular breaks.
For day hikes, short breaks of just 3-5 minutes every hour or two along with a half an hour break for lunch will give you enough rest. Of course, the amount of breaks you need will vary depending on your fitness, skill and experience.
No matter how hot you’re getting, resting for just a few minutes every couple of hours goes a long way. That being said, it’s important to keep your muscles moving; stopping for too long will cause your muscles to stiffen so keep your breaks short.
Decide on a Steady Pace for the Whole Group
When you’re hiking in a group, you’re only as fast as the slowest person there. In a group situation, its helps to make sure that everyone had enough practice and is around the same level of fitness.
While walking on flat terrain, you can push your weaker hikers to go faster but as you go uphill, it makes sense for the stronger hikers to slow down instead.
Before you go on your hike, buy yourself specialized hiking gear that keeps you comfortable on the trails and doesn’t hold you back.
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