Why Easy Hiking Is Adventure For Beginners

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Escape. Breaking out.

Leaving it all behind – every day routines, places, surroundings …

Isn’t that what every good holiday is all about?

"Easy hiking is adventure for beginners here"

Look around you: while you are reading this, you are, in all probability, surrounded by walls and when you look out from your “little cell”, all you will be able to see is a bigger cell, one with more and higher walls, a network of thousands of little cells just like your own, stretching all the way to the horizon and beyond.

This is what is called a town or a city. Towns and cities are where we eat, sleep, and raise our kids, where we are born and where we make our living. Isn’t that already enough time spent in cities?

I don’t know about you, but the last thing in the world I need to see in my holidays is another city. In my holidays, I want to feel the sun on my back and the wind in my face.

Fortunately, there is a perfect recipe for doing this: it’s called HIKING

If only I had found that out sooner. But I did not discover hiking before my 40s, and consequently, I spent many of the “most precious days of my working years” in networks of prison cells that looked very much like the one I have at home: spa towns, shopping towns, museum towns. Or, worst of all, one of the soulless holiday toy towns on the Mediterranean Coast. (Benidorm: twinned with Mordor.)

But I’m no Daniel Boone

Much as I might want to, I do not know how to suck the sap out of a cactus once my water bottle is empty and which rodents will provide a tasty snack if I feel peckish but have finished my supply of sandwiches. Neither do I know how to fight a grizzly bear. I may want to break out of my natural habitat, but in the real wilderness, I would be a danger to myself, as much without a clue as a deer in the middle of Piccadilly Circus.

This is where the idea of Easy Hiking comes in

Because, you see, you can really have it all: adventure without the existential risk, a taste of nature that does not involve painting yourself “red in tooth and claw”, a meaningful outdoor experience, which is nevertheless coupled with the experience of spending your nights sleeping between clean fresh linen.

  • Easy hiking meanssleeping in hotels, not trying to go one better on the snail, which carries its own house on its back, but, sensibly draws the line at pots, pans and cutlery.
  • It means hiking in civilized portions of no more than three or four days at a time instead of trying to wolf down an entire mountain range in a single bite.
  • It means taking the time to make a stopover wherever there is something interesting to see: a castle, a country church, a picturesque village.
  • And all that on trails that have been designed for the very purpose of providing you with a pleasant and easy hiking experience.

 

A good easy hiking trail is like a good detective story

You never know what to find next except that it will surprise you – within a comfortable band of expectation.

Much in the same way that, as you approach the denouement of an Agatha Christie novel, you can be sure that Hercule Poirot’s explanation will not involve ghosts, aliens or time travel, you can be sure that behind the next corner of your trail you will find something charming but not unsettling: a forest, a field, a heather-covered slope, a view of a winding river or a mountain. You will not discover the Victoria Falls.

But neither will a band of hostile natives lie in wait for you – or a grizzly bear.

And, just as importantly, the path ahead may be steep, it may be challenging, but it will not feature anything that you will not be able to master. That may be the best thing about easy hiking: everyone can do it.

On any easy hiking trail, you will meet sprightly pensioners in tank tops and short trousers, exposing acres of leathery skin, gentle elderly couples on a Sunday walk, groups of men with pot bellies celebrating somebody’s birthday or a stag night, and prim middle-aged women whose pale-skinned arms tell tales of sheltered lives behind the doors of offices, schools and public libraries.

Believe it or not: not all hikers are Olympic athletes and, while we are at it, let us dispose of yet another hiking myth: not all of them are nature fanatics either. Many of them, I bet, could not tell you the names of the wild flowers and trees along the way any more than I could.

Everybody gets something else out of hiking

 While some hikers love to read and study the book of nature, others simply enjoy the sounds of the forest and the smell of the leaves after a light summer rain, and yet others are there for the existentialist challenge of ploughing on through the heat, the dust, the rain, whatever nature throws at them, until they have reached their day’s destination where they can put up their feet, gulf down an ice-cold beer and perhaps light one their favourite cigars.

So what do you think: does easy hiking have something in store for you, too?

There is only one way to find out: pack your bags and have a go at it. It may change your life – or at least the way you will be spending your holidays from now on.

Easy hiking is adventure for beginners!

 

 

64 comments to Why Easy Hiking Is Adventure For Beginners

  • Missy l Sole of Missy

    Interesting site! I am also into hiking and mountaineering and I find your articles very informative even if we are of different locations. Continue inspiring others. Kudos!

  • Ruth

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking a vacation that involves some quality time in the outdoors. Your easy hiking adventure sounds pretty awesome. I’m a pretty avid runner and yoga practicer–do you have any tips for a “medium hiking” adventure? Thanks! =)

  • You’re right, Michael. We really can have it all when we hike. I hate moving around with “bag and pan” as we say here and sleeping outdoors. I’ve never even camped so I’d be the first one to find a comfy bed to spend the night in before continuing on with the hike. Great and sensible advice.

  • Henry Mitchel

    Great thought man! Nice blog. :)

  • Poppy Raggatt

    I totally agree with you guys! Hiking is one of the best adventure activities I ever had..

  • Margarita

    Michael,
    lovely post. It is really easy but connecting with nature is a precious experience. I am from Bulgaria and we have many “not so easy” hiking trails. Have you been to Musala – the highest peak of the Balkan Peninsula. It is in Rila Mountain.
    Your pictures are beautiful – as if I were there.
    Thank you

  • Robert S. Lewis

    Perfect adventure for beginners it’s a free activities!I love the way you post.Great idea.

  • Rich

    I used to hike as a kid with my dad. I think I like your easy hiking concept more. (I really don’t like sleeping in tents.) I’m going to give it a shot this summer.

  • Joane

    Ugh! I’ve never gone hiking. I remember asking my older brother to bring me with them next time they go hiking. He just told me it’s not that easy and don’t have the stamina (because really it seems so easy when you’re just a kid). Anyway, i totally forgot that I wanted to try hiking someday and reading this post reminded me that i need to do it one of these days or during the holidays. Thanks!

  • Kristy Harris

    Hiking is perfect adventure for beginners. Indeed, it is a good adventure activity for everyone. Through hiking, it can develop your esteem and it can give wonderful satisfaction when you reach the peak destination of your hiking. There are a lot of beautiful panoramic sceneries you can see while walking. So, it is really awesome.

  • John Vasquez

    I get jealous to people like you who has every time for such great activities like this. I weigh 290 pounds and still getting heavier every month. I think I should hike more often. Great blog!

  • Hi! First time visitor over here. You are so right about how much time we spend in the city doing those same routines each day – – I think it’s not only healthy but necessary for people to be in nature – to remember where we came from.

    So good for the soul. I’m looking forward to reading your future posts!

  • Kelly

    We have recentury taken up hiking, a wonderful way to make the most of your spare time.

  • Ashley Wagner

    Hiking is really great most especially together with your family. Even if you are a beginner you can still enjoy hiking because of the wonderful sceneries you can see around the place. Indeed, I am looking forward to do another hiking activity next summer. Thanks for sharing your article.

  • Marcus

    I enjoy your post on easy hiking for beginners. In my my early twenties I used to go hiking in the densily covered forest of Trinidad barefoot along. I would not recommend that anyone go hiking baredfoot in the forest, epsecial if the forest is know for its coral and other poisonous snakes. I guss I though I was invincible.

  • Mary Hamptom

    I am so jealous of you. I live in a city where there is not much nature aorund me.

  • Francine gardner

    I am a wanderlust trekker, just came back to Kilimanjaro, off to Ireland and planning to train for the Sahara crossing trek 2013… So glad to have found your blog and will be a committed follower!

  • Mario

    I agree with you, there are a lot of great things that go with an easy hike. For me, the best is to meet a lot of amazing people along the way.

  • I love to hike– it’s such a great escape! I could relate to this post :)

  • Cindy

    Hiking is really great. I even remember skipping school and going into wood with whole class! We would do miles!!!

  • Thanks for dropping by, Alvina. Hope to get to the Lake District next year for a family holiday.

  • Hi Michael – lovely blog, and a similar aim to myself. Get up, get out and enjoy! The world is a fantastic place and hiking is a great way to enjoy it. I know one of guest bloggers well, Zoe Dawes, she encouraged me to start my own walking blog.

    Hope you enjoy and may be inspired to visit our English Lake District once more.

    Alvina

  • Thanks for dropping by, Duncan. Our first easy hike was actually in the Peak District.

  • Duncan

    Hi Michael

    Love the blog.

    Im starting to get into rambling a little more although i have to be careful on my right ankle.. It puts me off a little bit in case i turn it again!

    My mum is an avid rambler and will walk all over derbyshire and the peak district, so i think i need to follow her a bit more to get my confidence back.

    Best wishes

    Duncan

  • Lyka Ricks

    I enjoy Hiking the most when our little toddler gets up that early to join with us. We find it more a bonding time, telling stories, singing cute songs, breathing fresh air and got to play sometimes.What we always bring during hiking is the camera- there are cute, funny moments wherever our feet brings us.

  • I like the idea of easy hiking and hope the world doesn’t go sour in the next ten years so that my grandson, when he turns eighteen, will be able to hike through Europe like Paddy Fermor did in the 1930s. Like Fermor, he is a very likable lad and could wind up sleeping in castles as well as hayricks, if Europe is still there.

  • Thanks for dropping by, Lara. Unfortunately, I’ve not been as far as Australasia. I would love to visit New Zealand and Australia eventually.

  • Just saw this. Great advice. I’m definitely an ‘easy hiker’ at the moment – too unfit after too many hours spent at a desk writing. I’m fearing my Inca Trail days will be over unless I do something drastic soon. Went to Lord Howe Island in Australia recently – have you been, Michael? I think you’d love it. Did nothing but walking for 6 days (aside from when it rained), though struggled a wee bit. Wasn’t up for climbing Mt Gower, which is why most people go. Would love to return to do it. But a bit more ‘easy hikes’ for me until I increase the old fitness levels.

  • Cindy

    now i just want to give it a try! in our family my hubby is the sportsman, his hobby is the climbing, he travels about 2times a year with his friends into the mountains to climb. I was always afraid from that, but maybe the easy hiking could be the perfect one for me.

  • Oscar

    I live in Puerto Morelos, and every weekend i do hiking in a place called “Ruta de los Cenote” which is mostly virgin jungle, is very addictive, you not know what types of animals you’ll encounter, maybe is a “Tejon” or even a “Jaguar”!

  • You are so right, Jade. It’s a great way to unwind. Me and the wife try to do it every week-end after days of work. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Love hiking and the share your sentiment about the sport. I love taking off on a hike, relaxing my mind and just being. Bob and I have started doing it every day after work and it is such a nice way to unwind.

  • Anna

    Easy hiking is definitely something for me! I absolutely loved the way you wrote this post!

  • Can’t believe I never saw this post before — being such an avid fan. Your photos make me want to get up from this computer and go for a hike right now. Great idea!

  • I am an avid hiker and trying to do as much hiking as I can while living in central America and I’ll try and chronicle it on my blog too. Keep posting.

  • Zack Stieber

    Hi,

    I’m the Travel editor at Before It’s News. Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 4,000,000 visits a month and growing fast.

    We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed in our Travel category we are launching in the next several weeks. This will generate more traffic for your site.

    You can have any text and/or links you wish appended to the end of each of your posts on Before It’s News. Just email me the text and links that you want to include. If you have html you can send me that. If not, just send me the text and a link to your site. It should be around 200 characters or less (not including links). 
     
    We don’t censor or edit work.

    Please email me at [email protected] for more information, so our readers can start looking at Easy Hiker

    Thanks,
    Zack Stieber
    Travel Editor, Before It’s News

  • Joe

    Have you heard of the Pap in Scotland, Michael?

  • Hey, Joe, glad to see you here. I still have to meet a person who wouldn’t enjoy hiking or walking along a coastline or be awed by a view from atop a hill that one just climbed. Happy hiking!

  • Joe

    Hi Michael

    I read your article & I find it interesting, I alway like hiking along the coast, forest or anywhere else that has a nice & spectacular scenery.

  • There is no single method or location, unfortunately. Read between the lines of the literature of the hikes, always keeping in mind what you are looking for. Do you like forests, do you like castles? And of course, subscribe to my feed because my forthcoming posts will include how to choose the right easy hike.

  • Growing up, my parents took me on day hikes all the time. Now, I prefer getting outside to overpriced resorts.

    Has there been an area or method you use for finding a consistently quality easy hike location?

  • Good on you and your family, Eric. I’ve turned my son and wife to easy hiking too and both love it. We do at least 3 in a year in Germany alone and one or two where we go on holidays.

  • Love this concept. You’re so right. Most folks are out there are not “Daniel Boone” or as I say “Bear Grylls” so they can be intimidated by hiking. I am just introducing the concept to my family and love taking short hikes of just a couple of hours to clear the brain and heal the soul.

    Nice post!

  • As a poor boy, I used to hike 7 kilometers from our farm house to the school early in the morning and back in the late afternoon.Though seemed exhaustive but I was used to it because that was my life then. But, my vigor and stamina was beyond question. I have not visited a place called hospital then. But life has changed when I went to college, got a job and until recently. Seldom I can hike and I became a frequent prescription drug taker. Your post has awakened me. I am in my middle 40’s now. Like you, I should go back to hiking and I am determined to do it. Thanks for the very informative post.

  • Completely enjoyed your post :)

    My possible current surrounding completely match your description, lots of small cubicles all around me…and its sad. I love hiking too, but somehow get to do very little of it. Somehow, I am kind of inspired by your story!

  • Adrian

    Hi Michael,
    Adrian here from Manila. Your easy hiking sounds great. No need to do a “death march”. Will have to leave the confines of the golf course and explore new areas each time. Hope there are flowers to smell and butterflies to feed.

  • So you’re more an easy biker than an easy hiker ;-D Good for you! Keep those wheels rolling. Thanks for the comment.

  • Hey, I like the blog. Personally though I prefer the sun in my face and the wind on my back! I’m a bicycle tourer by heart and I prefer a thunderstorm to a headwind :)

    Enjoy the hiking, I’m currently looking into lightweight camping equipment to see if it’s feasible or if we should just stick with the tried and tested “reach a B&B every night”.

    Interesting take on the Atahualpa theme by the way, I use the same theme on my blog with the standard settings and it looks completely different!

  • Thanks, Juno. Being with nature, getting fit and seeing beautiful lanscapes, just a few of the benefits of hiking. :-)

  • Wonderful article Michael!! Yes hiking is highly overrated. I mean the difficulty. It’s not like impossible to do it but many people think as it is.
    Hiking is just enjoying myself and nature around. With light backpack, good hiking shoes, all set!
    Oh now I mention it, I have to buy one…. any suggestions? :)
    hehe Stunning article! Good I can learn more about hiking from now on. :)

  • Great stuff Michael, thanks. I’ve subscribed to yours too, look forward to following your travels.

    It’s interesting what you say about hiking light. I’m embarking on an inter-rail tour soon and am debating whether I even need a rucksack. They just don’t feel right to me and perhaps they’re easier to pickpocket from.

    All the best
    Jools

  • Hey Jools, nice to get to know you. Sure, we can swap links. Rail travel will feature in my blogs too, when I discuss getting to and from hiking trails in Europe, particularly Germany. So, linking up would be great. Cheers,

    Michael

  • Hi Michael, nice blog, I saw you on TBX. I’ve just started recently too, do you want to link swap etc? I’m not a hiker myself but mine looks at international rail travel, in Europe mainly, so it could be a nice overlap? If you agree, pop over to mine and leave a comment.

    Cheers
    Jools

  • Thanks for coming by, Mei. Hope you get inspired to take up hiking, easy hiking… ;-)

  • Congrats to two wonderful people, M&M! love your new site.. and love the way you write.. keep up the good blog:)

  • Aahh, the Lake District. We’ve been there 20 years ago, but hiking was not yet a twinkle in our eyes, so to speak. We certainly have that in our list to visit. Thanks for the comment.

  • TravelholicA

    Hi Michael,

    It is nice to discover your blog now. I ve just come back from a weekend in the Lake District, England. It is my last trip here and in Europe and it could not be better. As you said, we live in cities and I also feel so good when I see nature. I guess I am really getting tired of visiting cities and monuments. The most relaxing holidays for me are the ones close to nature.

    Yesterday me and 6 other friends hiked the highest mountain in England – Scafell Pike which is 3,209 feet high. It is not really a beginner’s hike but with some extra time it is possible to do it on your first time. Great place and beautiful landscape.

    I look forward to reading more about your hiking adventures.

    Cheers,

  • Thank you, Ted. People are missing out on the fun and health benefits of hiking because many have this picture of them having to lug a big heavy backpack, complete with tent, pots and pans and enough provisions for 2-3 days in the wild when the word hiking is uttered. Easy hiking is not that at all. It’s another form of sightseeing with a bit of adventure thrown in.

  • Ted Nelson

    Congratulations on the new website and first post. I think this is a good niche where there is a definite audience as many want to escape outdoors, but fear that they are out of shape, fear the unknown, and are unsure how to start. This website could be a great guide for those individuals.

  • Hi there Leila,
    Thanks for your comment. Believe me, even a 10 year old would enjoy easy hiking. It could be a rather pleasant day out for the family too. We’ve done 2 or 3 in the environs of Paris. I would suggest this one here, on which we’ve written about. This would be an ideal first hike (think walk in a municipal park than a walk in the Rocky Mountains) ;-) Here, you may choose to do the entire trail or cut it short with a picnic. We were also recently in Ville d’Avray, in the Forest of Faussess-Reposes, a town less than an hour away from Paris by RER train. For a day “hike” in trails near Paris, a good pair of walking shoes would suffice as the terrain is not very rugged. I’m sure you would love the experience.

  • Beautiful. You’ve inspired me. I’ve always been curious about hiking and I think I will finally start! What do you suggest for a first hike with a 10-year old? In or around Paris? Hiking shoes? Do they have good ones at Decathlon? Any suggestions on how to entice my workaholic husband? :) Or maybe I’ll just surprise him with a first hike birthday gift. Then he won’t be able to say no! Haha! Thanks for the blog!

  • Michael

    Hi Keith,

    Marlys, my wife, was not a hiker herself, either. Or so she thought. After the first one, she was so exhilarated she was asking for the next one. The key is not to be too ambitious for the first hike and go on from there. Hiking is good not only for your health but also for your sanity.

    Cheers,

    Michael

  • Hi M&M, :-)
    Congrats on your first post! I’m not much of a hiker myself but I love the great outdoors; feeling the fresh breeze in my face, smelling the flowers in a spring meadow, swimming in the cold water of a natural pool and listening to the birds and insects.

    Well done!

    Cheers,
    Keith

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