Are You Prepared

HIKING

Do you like landscape photography?
Going places few others go?
Sharing your experience?
This could be for you.

Hiking or walking in a natural environment, can be enjoyed in many ways. There is however one thing that can spoil the whole experience.

GOING UNPREPARED OR UNDERPREPARED

Physical fitness.
Know your limits and listen to your body.
You may want to climb Mt Everest but if you are having trouble walking around the block, it’s best to do a bit of training to get you into shape. If you are new to hiking, first see a doctor and get advice. If all is good, you may start with walking around that block and slowly increase the distance with the emphasis on slowly.
Once you comfortably can walk an hour. Bushwalking, and enjoying the photographic opportunities it delivers, can become a reality. There are many parks and forests where trails with a distance of 3 to 5 kilometres have been set out.


A choice of trails

In some cases, the duration of a walk is given at the start too, which gives a good indication of the average fitness level one should have to complete that walk. When at the start of a trail the indications are that the length is 4 kilometres and the time given is an hour. The average walker won’t have a problem walking this track.
When however the distance is 4 kilometres and the time given is two hours, you can expect that rough terrain may lay ahead or, some steep climbing can be involved. Therefore a different fitness level is required.

Preparing for longer walks.
Once you start thinking longer distances, often conditions of the terrain are different from the shorter walks. As said, steep climbs and rough terrain can be involved, while weather conditions can change during your hike. Your fitness has to be lifted to a higher level and the training will become more intensive.

Carrying backpacks

Strength and endurance training are daily exercises to prepare muscles for carrying a backpack over longer periods. Your photo equipment might not be too hard to carry around for an hour but when a walk takes several hours or days, the weight of your carry case will feel like it increases with every step you take. Often you have to make a choice of what to take or more important, what to leave home.
Keep in contact with your doctor when the training gets more demanding and listen to your body. Pay attention to aches and pains.
Once the body is prepared for a long hike, are you mentally prepared?

Are You Prepared

John Vriesekolk

Joined December 2008

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Artist's Description

Enjoying your hike.

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