How it all began.
When I have an idea, you know, something pops in your head. I normally reach for my phone and go online and do a google search, on whatever subject I am interested in. For this instance, it’s to do with, hiking and camping for beginners.
Looking back over a long period, people walked and set up camp, from the north pole to the south pole, and everywhere in between. Humans have not settled at the poles, as the weather conditions are too extreme.
We have lived nomadic life styles, in different parts of the world. From the frozen north, to the searing heat of the great deserts. Hunter gatherers routinely moved camp in search of new sources of food and water. Imagine waking up with a new back yard every so often. Nomadic people are very resiliant and hard working.
Living a nomadic lifestyle, seems a harsh way to live ones life, but their are pros and cons, and choices to be considered. Were i, to walk in there shoes, perhaps i would have a different take on the subject.
As we have evolved, we have bonded together into tribes. And seem the benefits of closer ties with each other. Benefits such as defence against attack, from other tribes. Helping and learning from each other, new skills and passing on skills.
As time has moved forward, we are now living in great cities though out the world. There are still people living a nomadic lifestyle, but now their is more choices for them and every one else.
Holidays and leisure time have become the norm. We have more down time now, than ever before. There is so much to choose from today, I would say we are spoiled for choice. There is an activity for everyone. We have so much today compared with years gone by. All we have to do, is go out and find an activity that we can enjoy, as one, or with others. From my first trip as a young boy in the country side, I have loved the great out doors.
Finding your passion.
How wonderful life is when we are young. All playing together in our school’s yard. Little knowing, we will one day soon, be going on our separate journeys of life. How wonderful life is, looking through the eyes of a child, as we start learning and exploring all the wonders of childhood.
When I was young, all we wanted was to play sports, any type of sport, (as long as it was football) We would have played football all night long, if not for the fact, our mothers would be calling us in for bed.
As life moves on, you find new things of interest. I had my first taste of the big outdoors, when my father took our family on a holiday trip to Ireland. That was the beginning, of a life long passion, for the great outdoors.
The feeling of freedom was amazing. Growing up from an early age in the east end of London, all we new was concrete buildings, and yes we had parks, but not the rolling hills and greenery as far as the eye could see. (The bigger picture, is the great outdoors).
By living in big cities, some of us, never or rarely venture out in to the country side. So we find our passion for living in what ever we are introduced to. What ever your passion, and their are lots to choose from.
Go out, grab it, and run with it. I like Looking forward to going to the gym, playing football, going to the theater, or what ever floats your boat. I like going on hiking and camping for beginners, short day hikes. So what ever we do, just go out and enjoy our selves.
When we introduce someone new, to life outside of the city. We have to do it responsibly, ie do not throw them in at the deep end. Imagine you have never been in the country side before, if it has been raining, the ground is very heavy, and its very hard going we are not going to enjoy our self.
What are the chances you would like to do it again, slim, comes to mind. So pick a good day, and Finnish off your day in the pub. Chances are you will have a good time and will want to go again. What ever your passion, make it enjoyable. The great outdoors is truly a great adventure.
Let’s get started.
With hiking and camping for beginners their are costs involved. Lucky for us we will not have to pay to go hiking. We can walk the length and breath of the country, at no charge to us. as it is completely free to roam. How ever there are exeptions, with Ministry Of Defence land, some restrictions may be in place. If your not sure do your research before entering.
The actual cost of going hiking is nada zilch zero. But to go hiking and camping, there are transport costs, equipment costs as well as the time it takes to walk from start to Finnish. There are designated campsites along the way that will have a small charge for using there falcilitys
Before we go on a trip, it’s always best to make a list, especially in my case, I am bound to forget something important. For all hiking and camping for beginners, the first item on our list, must be a good pair of hiking trail boots, or a good pair of trail running shoes The socks we wear are equally important.
The last thing in the world we need is blisters, when walking along. So do not wear cotton socks or cotton shirts, as they hold in the moisture, and take a long time to dry.
So now we have our hiking trail boots, and socks made from wool, or a blend of wool and synthetic material, that will help to keep the blisters at bay. But we are not totally certain at the moment of not getting blisters.
This is just a bit of advice to some of us, who are not used to, or have never been out in the country side. The best way to protect our feet from blister, is make sure we wear our boots in before we go on any long walks. Take it from someone that has had badly blistered feet.
The first time I experienced blistered feet, I was about ten or eleven. A group of us set of for a week end in Dartmoor, to walk the ten tors. Somethings stay with you for the rest of your life, and Dartmoor and it’s Ten tors have always bought memories flooding back to me.
I borrowed a pair of army boots, I had no time to wear them in. by the end of the walk I was being carried along by two good friends of mine. (Never to be forgotten) Friends for life.
Some years later I joined the army, the same thing happened, went out on a 24hr exercise not long after getting new boots from the army stores, yep you guessed it blistered feet once a gain. I sometimes wondered if i would ever learn.
3rd time i recieved blistered feet was twenty years ago. Same old story, in the pub with my brother-in-law and some friends. Decided to walk the west highland way, Trouble was just had another knee operation. No time to prepare, bad decision, and new boots.
When someone tells you it’s not the best idea you could have come up with, perhaps I should have listened. Well onward and upwards as they say. It was on the second day, going up a steep incline that I felt the first blister pop, by the time I sat down, pop another one on my other heel.
It is easy to give advice, shame I didn’t take it my self. I had advised my son peter to put a plaster on the back of his heals, and never did it my self. But we learn by our mistakes don’t we. (Do we).
Well now ,you know, that i make the odd mistake with my feet, do not follow my example, take really good care when it comes to your feet, What ever our budget is for buying equipment, we can not afford to scrimp on good quality hiking trail boots and good quality socks. No more blisters please. Wear in your boots long before you leave home. We dont want this.
We have our two very important items. hiking trail boots and socks. To go with them we need a good quality waterproof, wind proof jacket and trousers. A pair of gaiters will help keep our feet dry when the going is wet, or walking through the long grass. Out in the open country side, weather can turn very quickly, a warm jumper and scarf and hat will keep us warm.
Its very important to be prepared for all weathers when packing equipment Packing for a trip, its important to think of the weight we will be carrying. There are good quality lightweight back packs, this is where we will start. Were we can, try to find lightweight items and equipment.
Water is an essential part of our bag, rule off thumb, better to carry too much than to little. Will their be staging posts along the way, where we can find food, or will we have to carry food with us. A good idea is to carry some high energy bars with us, will help if we start flagging a little.
Good quality lightweight tent, perhaps a lightweight mattress roll, pillar, optional. Sleeping bag. Quality head lamp essential for camping. Cooking stove and small gas bottle, mess tins, cup knife fork and spoon. Multi purpose pocket knife. Toiletries Small shovel, whistle, lighter.
What ever else you deem essential. An absolute must, is a first aid kit, when ever going on a trip to the country side. Remember the country side rule, when you leave take every thing with you. Leave no trace behind.
Making memories, be safe.
I hope I have been of some assistance. If you are thinking about, hiking and camping for beginners. I do hope you take the leap in to the great out doors and make your own memories. Have fun on what ever journey life takes you on. Keep smiling even when the going gets tough. We are all in this together. So the very best of luck, perhaps we will meet one day on some remote moorland, in some part of this great outdoors. Until then. Take care.